SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A Utah icon was honored at a public memorial this Thursday, Nov. 11. Valter Nassi, owner of the Salt Lake City restaurant, Valter’s Osteria, died back in September at the age of 76.

He was a man who loved the beauty of life. 

La vita è bella,” said Enrico Nassi, Valter’s son. “My father always said life is beautiful. It’s a gift. Every moment [is] to be cherished. Every moment [is] to be celebrated.”

Valter moved to Salt Lake City in 1996. He opened his first restaurant, Il Sansovino, with decades of culinary experience. He then opened his signature restaurant, Valter’s Osteria, in 2012. It quickly became one of the best places for Italian dining in the city. 

Valter was known to visit every table in his restaurant, greeting every guest. He had a special skill to make connections.

“He made a difference between making someone feel important, making someone [feel] understood, recognized or acknowledged for being important,” Enrico said. 

He went on to say one of Valter’s defining qualities can be expressed through this phrase: in everything that you do, give

“I am remembering my father today as a man that lived a life defined by service and giving,” Enrico said. 

His family and friends also remembered the love he had for the people around him. 

“I think Valter genuinely cared about people. He was everybody’s best friend,” said Jeramy Lund, Valter’s friend and business partner. 

“I know that he believed every day was precious. I know he truly believed that,” said Byron Russell, Valter’s friend. 

Valter was a man not only defined by his incredible talents but also by the love he had for the community around him.

Valter is survived by his wife Phyllis of more than 42 years and his son Enrico.