Pizza News

Cane Rosso veterans open new Italian restaurant in downtown Dallas

Cane Rosso veterans open new Italian restaurant in downtown Dallas

Now this is some pizza. Photo courtesy of Partenope

The pizza is landing in downtown Dallas: Partenope Ristorante, the Southern Italian restaurant going into the historic Titche-Goettinger Building at 1900 Main St. at the northeast corner of St. Paul Street, has arrived. According to a release, it will open September 23.

Partenope comes from Dino Santonicola, the master pizzaioli born and raised in Spanish Quarter of Naples, Italy; and Megan Santonicola, a fixture in the Dallas restaurant scene since 1999.

The husband-and-wife duo call Partenope "a love letter to Dino's hometown, culture, and experiences of dining around a big table with family and friends," with good food, quality ingredients, inviting atmosphere, and great hospitality.

The menu features house-made pasta dishes such as rigatoni alla Genovese, fusilli al pesto, and timballetto di melanzane. The menu features 10-plus pizza options ranging from pizza fritta to focaccia.

Naples-style street food items include mozzarella in carrozza and Dino's Montanara pizza, which won the gold medal at the Pizza Olympics in Naples in 2012.

Lighter menu items include insalata di Barbabietole, prosciutto al tagliere, caprese di zucca, and zia nunzia. There are also vegetarian and gluten friendly items.

Desserts are Southern Italian style, such as tiramisu and torta caprese.

Naples is known to serve some of the best Caffé Napolitano, served with sparkling water, in all of Italy, and Partenope is bringing this authentic drink to the restaurant by sourcing beans from Palmieri Café, the Italian coffee shop and bakery at Dallas Farmers Market; and by using Neapolitan coffee makers that are used table-side.

The 30-40 bottle wine list features Italian varietals with an emphasis on Southern Italy. Cocktails focus on aperitivo and Partenope's versions of classic drinks made with Italian spirits and sodas.

The couple took a space that would seem to have great potential but has been vacant for years, on the first floor of the 1900 Elm Apartments building. The pizza oven is the focus of an open kitchen and was custom designed and made by Stefano Ferrara in Naples with hand painted Italian tiles.

With an Italian trattoria as inspiration, the dining room seats 100, with 12 at a full-service bar and a private dining room for up to 20 people.

Dino and Megan met while working at Cane Rosso, the Dallas-based Neapolitan pizza chain. A native of Italy, Dino also worked at Seattle restaurants Via Tribunali Pizzeria, Ristorante Picolinos, and Mamma Melina, and Washington, D.C. restaurant Pizzeria da Marco.

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 in Dallas since 1999, including The Green Room, Dragonfly, Hibiscus, Hotel Palomar, and Central 214.