For many, few things are as comforting as a bowl of pasta. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of great Italian restaurants around Dallas. So, take your bib and beaker from my chianti and enjoy.
2000 Ross Ave (downtown)
Since opening his original location at 400 Grady in Melbourne, Australia, in 2008, founder and chef Johnny Di Francesco has worked to ensure that his Italian food is as authentic as possible. The restaurant debuted in the US in 2019 in downtown Dallas, and while pizza is definitely the focus of the menu, there’s plenty to indulge in here. Among the bestsellers are Mozzarelle Frit ($13), Salami Bar ($28), Insalata Pistica ($19), and tagliatelle alla Bolognese ($20). If the temperatures aren’t rising outside, make sure you’re seated on the spacious, shaded patio.
5450 W Lovers Lane (Park Cities)
Adelmo Banchetti began his career in the world of food and beverage at the age of sixteen. His work took him around the world, and in 1989 he and his wife Eliza opened the Adelmo restaurant. More than 30 years later, they still serve cuisine inspired by various Italian and Mediterranean regions. Nightly specials are available as well as classic veal, seafood, beef, chicken and pasta dishes. If you’re a fan of veal, try the lemon scallopini ($39), which features juicy cuts of brovemi veal served in a lemon-caper sauce. The ambiance makes for a great date night, and the service is top notch.
Fine Carbone wine and food
4208 Oak Lawn Ave. (Oak Lawn)
Not to be confused with the restaurant of the same name without the apostrophe, Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine is part Italian specialty food store and part counter service restaurant. The place is filled with gourmet products sourced from small, refined purveyors or prepared at home. It’s a perfect place to find olive oils, wine, and imported meats and cheeses. In addition to house specialties like hand-pulled pasta and fresh appetizers, you can have Italian sandwiches or made-to-order pasta dishes.
1632 Market Center Blvd. (design area)
Looking for an eclectic and eccentric Italian dining experience? Charles is your place, with a great interior, wood fired grill, great people watching and homemade pasta. Besides sides of traditional Italian cuisine incorporated on the menu, you’ll find unusual dishes like charred octopus, lemon ricotta gnocchi, and pork blade steak. Make sure to save room for dessert because the avogato floats with brown butter crumbs, gelato caramel, and cool nitro.
8687 N. Central Expressway (NorthPark Centre)
Italy is an Italian lover’s dream come true. Located in North Park Center, this three-story, 46,000-square-foot space features 10,000 local and Italian produce, three restaurants, and a cooking school. On the main floor, you’ll find La Pizza and La Pasta, which focus on authentic Neapolitan pizza and pasta. You’ll also find Il Pastaio, a pasta and wine bar. Customers can order fresh pasta and watch the chefs make it. The third floor deck houses the Terra, a restaurant with wood-fired grill that serves seasonal dishes, pastas, spiedinis (grilled skewers), smoked cocktails, and a large selection of wines. No time for a sit-down meal? Head to the counters where you can order sandwiches, pizza, desserts and espresso.
8416 Preston Center Plaza (Park Cities)
Nestled between luxury stores like Kendra Scott and Bachendorf’s in Preston Centre, Il Bracco is the perfect place to brunch with the ladies and enjoy a glass of champagne or rosé while indulging in homemade pasta and other Italian fare. Crunchy artichokes ($17) with olive oil and fresh lemon is the perfect start to a meal and is Il Bracco’s most popular appetizer. Homemade pasta, including five different styles and five sauces. The cacio e pepe ($19) is saucy and amazing, and the lemon pasta ($23) is especially refreshing on a hot summer’s day.
La Stella Cucina Ferras
2330 Flora Street (Art District)
Looking for an upscale, authentic Italian place to dine before an evening at the symphony or opera? Look no further than La Stella Cucina Verace. Led by Executive Chef Luigi Iannuario, the menu offers comforting recipes modern touch From regions all over Italy. Start your culinary journey here with an appetizer(s) like Che Burrata ($19) with sun-dried Sicilian tomatoes, fresh basil, shallot chips, and garlic. For a first course, try Spartacus ($54) made with imported Gragnano Napoli pasta, fresh lobster, herbs, and tomatoes. And if you have room left for a second dish, tagliata di manzo ($57), a 10-ounce dry New York bar, sliced and topped with aged balsamic, parmigiano and arugula, is a great choice.
218 N. Bishop Ave. (Bishop Arts District)
At one time, getting a reservation here was almost impossible, but Lucia has more availability now thanks to her relocation to a larger space around the corner from the original. The restaurant still embodies all that is romantic about old world Italian food, only on a slightly larger scale. The menu, consisting of appetizers, primal, second, and dulce, changes frequently and allows you to explore new items with each visit. Many dishes that you will not find anywhere else, such as peaches stuffed with foie gras chips and tonarelli with gorgonzola, walnuts and crunchy shallots. Party tip: Try old-fashioned brown butter.
1401 Elm Street (Downtown Dallas)
Monarch is a modern wood-burning Italian restaurant on the 49th floor of the National Building in downtown Dallas. You will enjoy beautiful city views while dining on a menu that is the best expression of luxury. Only starters can steal the show, from wood-roasted tiger prawns ($38) to Spanish grilled octopus ($22) and the giant shrimp and lobster cocktail ($68). But save space because homemade pasta and main appetizers are unforgettable. Popular choices include shrimp scampi ravioli ($30) and crispy veal steak Parmesan ($58). Can’t decide what to order? For $290 per person, you can sit back and experience the best of Monarch’s menu without having to decide for yourself.
4115 Lomo Alto Drive (Park Cities)
Chef Julian Barsotti’s first dining empire, Nonna has been serving fresh pasta and some of Highland Park’s best Italian cuisine since 2006. A wood-burning oven is the centerpiece of the restaurant, which also includes a yakitori grill for cooking meats like quail and rabbit. If you’re craving pizza, Nonna makes a white oyster pie ($20) that has a creamy topping of garlic and caramelized Vidalia onions with sweet clam meatballs. The menu changes often with the seasons but it is highly recommended to order at least one item from the pasta revolving menu. With the usual ten or so options that you can choose from, you are unlikely to be disappointed with any of them.
1903 Main Street (Downtown Dallas)
Chosen as the best Italian restaurant in observerIn the Best of 2020, Partenope is still killing it when it comes to Neapolitan pizza, homemade pasta, and fresh salads. The owner chef Dino Santonicola is originally from Naples and knows a thing or two when it comes to authentic Italian cuisine. Leave room for one of those great pasta dishes, like spaghetti alla carbonara ($18) or casio e pepe. And if you’re interested in learning how to make Neapolitan pizza, sign up for an hour-long class on Saturday afternoons.
Terelli Restaurant and Bar
2815 Greenville Ave. (Lower Greenville)
Terilli’s is a family owned restaurant that has been serving solid Italian food for over 35 years. Located in the heart of Lower Greenville, this is a romantic and casual place. One of the signature dishes is Italchos (Italian nachos), which contain chips of fried pizza dough topped with red sauce, cheese, and a variety of toppings to choose from. Variety of bread and bruschetta range from classic to steak and gorgonzola. Meat Lasagna ($21) is a combination of Italian sausage, slow-roasted brisket, and cheese blend in the family’s red sauce. Godiva’s Dream ($15) is the perfect end to the meal, with vanilla gelato and white chocolate sorbet.