De Vega Brothers Rafael and Alberto have been serving up Italian cuisine to the 209 for over two decades. The restaurant is truly a family affair with the brothers, wives, children, nephews and even their dad putting in blood, sweat and tears for the restaurant’s success.
The fine dining restaurant is located at Stone Creek Village in Stockton on Pacific Avenue. The wide-ranging menu has stayed relatively the same since their humble beginnings with the exception of a few changes and specials. They prepare all their own sauces and pride themselves in bringing fresh tasty dishes to their customers.
In the beginning the brothers worked for other Italian restaurants where they took on many roles like dishwashing, serving, and cooking. They both learned recipes and techniques that they implemented into their own creations and skillset.
“For many days, many weeks, many years I worked … I learned everything and I would keep it in my head,” said Alberto. “I kept dreaming of opening my own restaurant one day.”
“So, we would get together and talk about opening our restaurant,” added Rafael. “We were working for these people and we had been working in Italian restaurants all these years. We knew how to make all the Italian dishes and we knew how to create new dishes. So, I was like why don’t we open our own restaurant and start putting ourselves up there. It took us 10 years to save money and open our own restaurant.”
Although they did not have any experience owning a restaurant, they had experience in all the other positions. The first few months were extremely hard for them trying to figure everything out back in 1999 when they opened what they call a ‘hole in the wall’ as their original location in Manteca was very small.
“It was hard the first time. It was scary because we put everything on the line,” stated Rafael. “We had to go for it and if we don’t make it, we will have to start again from the bottom. If you never try, you are never going to find out if it is going to happen or not so that is what we did.”
It didn’t take long before they had customers lining up.
“We had a moment where we realized we made our dreams happen,” expressed the brothers. “This is the American dream. Dreams come true in America.”
They relocated to a different location on Main Street in Manteca and after being asked by several customers to open a place in Stockton they opened another location in Brookside. They opened the Stone Creek Village restaurant 10 years ago and have since closed down the other locations.
“We have families and it was getting too hard,” explained Rafael, “It is not about the money, but we need to have a life. When we had a day off all we did was sleep. So, we decided to just focus on this beautiful restaurant.”
They are open for lunch and dinner and have a happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily with drink and appetizer specials. The full bar has an extensive wine list and a variety of cocktails like the Hawaiian Ocean, Paradise, an Appletini, Sunrise, and an Old Fashioned to name a few, hand crafted by Joanne, the wife of Alberto De Vega.
De Vega Brothers also caters, has an outdoor patio for dining and offers takeout. Although their dining room is closed due to the coronavirus, they do have outdoor seating on their patio and have even extended out into the common area of the shopping center to adhere to the social distancing guidelines.
The appetizer menu has tasty selections including the guest favorite Coconut Shrimp, Steamed Clams Bordelaise, Crab Cakes, Fried Calamari strips, and of course Bruschetta that can be ordered with a twist, adding some Ahi Tuna.
Lunch is served between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and along with an assortment of salads like the Calamari Caesar Salad, Greek Chicken Salad, House Steak Salad, and Salmon Salad there are several entrée options that are ‘Delizioso.’
The lunch menu has traditional pasta dishes and sandwiches served up with French fries, salad or soup, as well as a few hearty dishes like the Pork Chop, Tri-Tip, or Greek Chicken.
On the dinner menu there is something for everyone. Whether you want a vegetarian dish, steak, pork, chicken, veal, seafood or traditional gourmet Italian dishes, De Vega Brothers offers it. Along with the Spaghetti, Ravioli, Tortellini and traditional Italian dishes they have Halibut, Giant Prawns, Chicken Marsala, Veal Picatta, Pasta Del Mare, Pasta Salsiccia, Lamb Chops, Prime Rib, Pork Osso Buco, and Eggplant Parmesano. The Angus Rib Eye Steak and Giant Prawns is a current guest favorite. The Halibut and Salmon are fresh from Alaska.
For those that want a little something sweet to eat they offer Flan, Tiramisu, Spumoni Ice Cream, sorbet, chocolate cake and cheesecake.
“We both like cooking,” remarked Alberto. “I am so happy and proud that people like my food.”
In November they will be open on Thanksgiving Day and will serve up the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry, stuffing and all the fixings.
5757 Pacific Ave, Suite A140
Stockton, CA 95207
Monday – Thursday 11am – 9pm
Friday – Saturday 11am – 10pm