Màstra Italian Bakery Bistro offers diners a somewhat rare experience around here—a family-owned, non-chain restaurant.
The small, bright and simply designed restaurant is located at 476 N. 900 W. in American Fork, just east of Costco and is owned and operated by Italian native Jonathan Cagnacci. Cagnacci was born and raised in Geonova, Italy, before immigrating to the United States nearly 10 years ago.
“I lived in Italy for the first 32 years of my life, and I’ve been a foodie since I was a kid. When I moved to Utah in 2015, I started looking around for Italian restaurants offering authentic quality food for all budgets, but I couldn’t find any,” said Cagnacci.
Cagnacci and his wife first started by selling their homemade focaccia breads at local Utah Farmers Markets. Their focaccia bread business grew and they decided to open a restaurant, thus Màstra was born.
The simple menu offers a few traditional Italian fares made with homemade pasta, as well as unique offerings not found anywhere else. Popular dishes include carbonara, bolognese lasagna, cacio e pepe, caprese salad and bruschetta.
The restaurant’s signature focaccia bread—made in regular, cherry tomato, onion and olive varieties—is all made fresh daily and frequently sells out.
“Every day we process the best ingredients selected from local suppliers and farms to ensure the best flavors and colors so that patrons can enjoy traditionally-made Italian food,” said Cagnacci.
I visited recently and was deeply impressed with my meal. I ordered the pesto lasagna, a dish I’ve never seen before. The dish was made with basil, olive oil, pine nuts, Parmigiano, Pecorino, garlic, Mozzarella and house-made Béchamel sauce. It had an amazingly fresh flavor.
The restaurant is small and gets busy quickly, as it’s only open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5-9 p.m and Friday and Saturday 4:30-9:30 p.m. Màstra boasts hundreds of five-star reviews and offers a can’t-miss dining experience.