A case could be made for including Alberto Lombardi in a long list of impressive Italian exports. Gucci and Ferrari, not to mention perfectly brewed espresso, have all migrated from the boot-shaped epicenter of style that spawned da Vinci and Titian. But style is one thing. A cool head for business is quite another. Combine the two and you’ll likely end up with someone bearing a remarkable resemblance to the affable and dynamic native of Forli, Italy who, even as a young boy, dreamed of travel and success.

For the handful of people who don’t already know, Alberto Lombardi is the successful restaurateur who’s managed to dot the American landscape with a dazzling collection of well-appointed and well-attended dining hot spots. Lombardi’s hallmark is a conspicuously artful blend of fabulous dining and continental allure. And in Fall 2014, his family and loyal guests will celebrate Alberto Lombardi’s 37th anniversary as a celebrated restaurant owner.

To attribute his success to sheer happenstance is statistically impossible. He’s hit the mark too often and too long in an arena deemed to be among the toughest in the marketplace to attribute his success to anything but a finely honed sense of style, accompanied by impeccable business acumen.

Lombardi has received countless accolades and been dubbed a “Legendary Restaurateur” and “Restaurateur of the Decade.” While this is impressive, it’s also completely logical. He brought previously unknown Italian staples to Dallas – the now ubiquitous focaccia is just one example – with a zeal that was almost messianic.