In what feels like a passing of the torch, GoGo Burger in Frisco Square has been replaced by an Italian bistro called Tavolo Italia. The restaurant comes from Jeff Frankel, owner of Mattito's next door, and reflects not only the area's changing landscape, but also his own personal interests.
"I've been wanting to venture into a different concept, something that focused on wine, which is one of my passions," he says. "And my wife's family has significant Italian ties; we go to Italy all the time. Our two focuses are Italian and California wines, and that's what we serve."
Chef is Andrew Powers, who has worked for Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek and Dee Lincoln's Steak Bar in Plano. The menu features a dozen pastas, such as carbonara, pomodoro, lasagna, and Bolognese; four entrées, including a hanger steak and chicken saltimbocca; and five pizzas, ranging from pepperoni to prosciutto with arugula. Appetizers run from calamari to mussels to bruschetta to spinach dip.
"We have a limited menu, but we've tried to take the best of the best," Frankel says. And they're keeping prices low; entrées top out at $16. "If you were in Dallas, you'd be paying $25," he says.
Aside from his interest in wine, Frankel says that changes at Frisco Square called for a reboot. No more GoGo's house-made cheese tots, no more milkshakes made from ice cream and Hostess snack cakes.
"When we went into Frisco eight years ago, we took enough space to do two restaurants," he says. "It was a Mattito's, but then we had the smaller space where we opened GoGo, based on the fact that Frisco Square was anticipated to have more pedestrian traffic. But this little burger place needed in-and-out parking in front of the door."
The nail in the coffin came when a Jakes Hamburgers opened one block away in 2013.
To do Tavolo, Frankel took some square footage from Mattito's and gave the interior a glamorous update, with chandeliers, warm woods, and cozy tan banquettes. The only place remotely resembling competition might be Pizzeria Testa — but its focus is on pizza.
"There's not anything in the immediate area like this," Frankel says.