A new restaurant specializing in Southern Italian food will open in downtown Dallas. Called Partenope Ristorante, it's from husband-and-wife team Dino and Megan Santonicola and, according to a release, will open in the fall.
The restaurant is going into the Titche-Goettinger building at 1900 Main St., in a space on the corner of St. Paul Street that's been inexplicably empty for many years.
The menu will focus on Naples cuisine, including street food, traditional pastas, and seafood. Dishes include:
- Pizza fritta: fried pizza stuffed with daily toppings
- Mozzarrella in carrozza: fried mozzarella cheese-bread
- Timbaletto di melanzane: eggplant filled with bucatini, tomato sauce, mozzarella beef, sausage, and boiled egg
- Ragú napoletano: with slow cooked tomato ragu with pork and beef
- Branzino all'acqua pazza: with roasted branzino, black olives, tomato, and capers
- Braciole di carne: slow braised beef rolled with pecorino, prosciutto, pine nuts, and provolone
Desserts will be made in house and include flourless chocolate and almond cake, gelato, and Limoncello panna cotta.
There'll be pizza in several styles including pizza fritta, focaccia napolitana, and Neapolitan, baked in an oven from well known manufacturer Stefano Ferrara in Naples.
The wine list will focus on Italian varietals, with an emphasis on southern Italy. Cocktails will emphasize aperitivi plus twists on classic drinks.
The restaurant is in a 4,000-square-foot space that seats 100 in the dining room and 12 seats at a full-service bar. Most recently, it was going to be a concept called Oven and Cellar but had been eyed — and subsequently abandoned — by a variety of bidders.
It'll be open for lunch and dinner.
Dino is a native of Naples' Spanish Quarter, who trained at the Italian Culinary Institute then honed his skills working many years in restaurants and pizzerias throughout Naples. He moved to the U.S. in 2004 and has worked at pizzerias in Seattle and Washington, D.C., before moving to Dallas in 2011 to become executive chef and master pizzaiolo of Cane Rosso, where he and Megan met.
Megan earned her bachelor of science degree in hotel and restaurant management from the University of Missouri, and has been involved in many restaurant and hotel concepts since 1999, including iconic establishments, such as The Green Room, Dragonfly, Hibiscus, Hotel Palomar, and Central 214.
"We are thrilled to bring Dallas an authentic family-style dining experience – not so much in the way it's presented but encouraged," Megan says in a statement. "In Italy, we start dinner on Sundays at 4 pm and end at 10 pm. We take our time and converse with one another. This is the spirit of Partenope as well. With our 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry as well as Dino's deep Italian roots, we hope that guests can feel like they've been transported to Naples when dining with us."