The day draws slightly closer for big Italian in downtown Dallas: La Stella Cucina Verace will open in the Dallas Arts District, featuring Italian chef Luigi Iannuario and maitre d' Riccardo Ravaglia bringing regional Italian food, lifestyle, and culture to Texas, which is no small task to take on.
According to a release, the restaurant will open "this winter," so, sometime after December 21 but before March 20, 2022.
They'll open at 2330 Flora St. #150, in the space also known as the former Flora Street Cafe. Their original plan was to reopen in the Da Mario space, and thus the name, "La Stella," which translates to "the star."
But negotiations took too long, and they were able to seize the Flora Street space; Flora Street closed in January 2020.
The release says that La Stella will bring a classic, honest, and simple approach to Italian cuisine, replicating regional Italian dishes like never before in Dallas, a bold quest.
Iannuario was born and raised in Italy and received his culinary arts degree in Milan while working under renowned chefs such us Gualtiero Marchesi at L’Albereta, a three-star Michelin restaurant in the Franciacorta area. He worked in kitchens throughout Italy and Europe, including for Giorgio Armani as executive sous chef of Emporio Armani Caffe in Milan, and was most recently executive chef at Da Mario at The Star in Frisco.
Managing Partner Riccardo Ravaglia has 22-plus years of experience, including various Cipriani establishments in New York and worldwide, such as the Rainbow Room and Harry Cipriani on 5th Avenue. He also worked at Da Mario.
Beverage Director John Dal Canton is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, who moved to Italy to learn about viticulture and viniculture then worked for Tom Colicchio's Craft restaurant in Dallas and Los Angeles. He was most recently food & beverage manager of the Cowboys Club in Frisco.
For the bar program at La Stella, his wine list will feature highly allocated regional wines, including older vintages of Super Tuscans and Barolos, with a focus on organic and biodynamic wines, plus Italian renditions on modern and classic cocktails.
The menu will be chef Iannuario's reinterpretation of comforting recipes from regions across Italy with a modern twist. Signature dishes include:
- Gnocco Fritto con Salumi e Formaggi Misti
- Paccheri All’Astice, made with pasta imported from Gragnano Napoli
- Fra Diavolo with lobster, tomato, and lobster fumetto
- Risotto Oro del Maestro
- Pesce Al Sale
- Gnocchi Gratinati
- Costoletta di Vitello Alla Milanese
La Stella will also offer a dry-aged meat program, including imported prosciutto sliced tableside. Desserts include Semifreddo alla Nutella con Meringhe e salsa caldo al cioccolato fondente and Faby's tiramisu.
The 5,000-square-foot restaurant will espouse a warm, contemporary atmosphere coupling modern elements with a timeless Italian charm, with cozy booths, an open dining room with chic tables, and the bar serving as a centerpiece, with a privacy screen for private parties in the back.