Although the soon-to-be-open Patrizio in Southlake is the seventh location, in many ways it is the restaurant chain’s first. In addition to being the first Patrizio in Northeast Tarrant County, a new look and menu will be unveiled at the Southlake location when it opens this month.
According to Ken Kuczwaj, vice president of brand development for ECB Enterprises which oversees the Patrizio chain, Southlake is the debut of the new Patrizio and the model for future locations.
“As a company, we are placing tremendous focus on expanding Patrizio throughout Texas and nationally. Southlake is unlike any other location and we’ve spared no expense in building it. This is the prototype for Patrizio going forward,” confirms Kuczwaj.
Encompassing 8,900 square feet, the two-story building is an architectural marvel of wood, marble, granite, stone, and glass. One of the most distinctive features is the glass rotunda near the front entrance that houses a spiral staircase leading to the second floor lounge, which Kuczwaj describes as ‘Las Vegas chic’ and was inspired by The Venetian hotel. Red leather and velvet banquettes line the walls, along with a white marble bar and a dramatic Champagne bubble chandelier that extends from the ceiling, through a circular opening in the floor, to the main dining room below. Two outdoor terraces are also located upstairs to enjoy the view or smoke one of the specialty cigars available.
“This is another first as cigars are only available at the Southlake location. We are going to sell the best cigars at the best prices in DFW. We’re not doing this to make money, but because we believe it adds to the overall experience,” Kuczwaj states.
Modern Mediterranean décor can be found downstairs in the main dining area, bar, and private dining room that seats up to 16. This room is available for private parties and also will be used to host chef dinners, wine presentations and other special events. Rustic wood floors, cream leather chairs and banquettes, muted walls, and floor-to-ceiling draperies create an intimate mood. A half-wall separates the dining room from the large, rectangular bar topped with tiger’s eye granite. A mural by Los Angeles graphic artist Stuart Patterson pays tribute to Italian classics Ferrari, Acqua di Parma, and Cento tomato paste. An outdoor dining patio stretches around one-half of the building and is equipped with ceiling fans, a fireplace, and big screen television.
“We are a combination of family-friendly and date night, which is why the main dining room is so different from the upstairs lounge,” comments Kuczwaj, noting food service is also available in the lounge.
Kuczwaj credits the architectural and interior designs to Oscar Renda, who owns the property and along with his daughter, Natalie, began building the restaurant out of love for authentic Italian cuisine. A partnership with Ed Bailey, president of ECB Enterprises, brought the Patrizio chain into the picture. As a result, the traditional menu will be supplemented with a page of southern Italian cooking made with ingredients imported from Italy.
“We are taking this opportunity to give the menu a facelift and showcase great selections of true Italian cooking,” explains Kuczwaj. “We call this Patrizio’s Osteria which refers to a neighborhood restaurant that uses local produce and ingredients. We want people to feel like they’re dining in Italy.”
But Kuczwaj is quick to point out that Patrizio favorites — such as iron skillet mussels, chicken lasagna, and the grilled vegetable plate — will still be on the menu.
At the heart of every restaurant is the kitchen, which is overseen by Executive Chef Luciano Salvadore. He and his staff will make fresh pasta and sauces daily, and he hopes to have a wood-fired grill to make the famous Patrizio pizzas (they are awaiting approval by the City of Southlake).
Last, but not least, Kuczwaj reveals tweaks are also being made to the wine selection, with more Italian wines being offered in Southlake to complement the new menu.
“We want people to understand Italian wines and drink something that is magical. A great restaurant must have people who are enthusiastic about food and wine — this is what makes it fun,” he adds. “We are bringing in our best staff from other locations to make sure this restaurant kicks-off with a bang. It’s such a cool environment and we want people to feel like they’re family here.”
Patrizio Southlake is expected to open by October 22 for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Reservations will be accepted after it opens. They are currently hiring all positions. For more information, call 214-226-6396 or go to www.patrizios.net.