Italian Food

New fine-dining restaurant at Star Frisco hikes Dallas Italian scene

New fine-dining restaurant at Star Frisco hikes Dallas Italian scene

Catalan Calamari
More Italian restaurants are always welcome. Photo by Ruthie Johnson Miller

Probably the most famous restaurant from outside Texas opening at the Star in Frisco is Zaytinya, the Washington, D.C.-based Mediterranean concept from famed chef Jose Andres. But a new restaurant coming to the sports center may force Zaytinya to share the stage.

Called Da Mario, it's an Italian restaurant with an authentic menu, fine-dining atmosphere, and a strong menu of Italian wines.

There are a few Da Mario restaurants out there, including one in Australia and another in London that was a favorite haunt of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the go-to eatery for Renee Zellweger when she was packing on the pounds for her role in Bridget Jones's Diary.

But this Da Mario is from D.ream, the same global leader in hospitality that's partnered with Andres to open Zaytinya.

D.ream is a subsidiary of Dogus Holding, a high-flying Turkish corporation that owns not only restaurants, but car dealerships, retail, construction companies, and banks. Dogus launched D.ream in 2012; it claims to run 170 restaurants in 10 countries. The company is definitely expanding into the United States.

Turkish ownership of an Italian restaurant notwithstanding, Da Mario's menu of entrees, pasta, and pizza has a Northern Italian slant. There is seafood risotto and risotto with porcini mushrooms; penne all’arrabbiata; rigatoni with mozzarella, tomato, and eggplant; and linguine with asparagus and truffle.

There is also potato and spinach gnocchi, ricotta-filled ravioli, tagliatelle Bolognese, and even a whole-wheat fettucine with wild mushrooms.

Entrees include veal shank with saffron risotto and bone marrow; Milano-style breaded beef with rosemary potatoes; and beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes.

A basic assortment of pizzas includes a Margherita pizza and one topped with mushrooms. That category seems a little redundant since Dallas-based Neapolitan pizzeria Cane Rosso is already open at The Star.

According to a spokesman, the restaurant has started staffing and hopes to have Da Mario open by late January.

Meanwhile, its cousin Zaytinya is on target to open in mid-January February. There are nearly two dozen restaurants set to open in the district.