Thursday, August 1, 2013
Restaurateur Phil Romano will open Italian comfort food restaurant in West Dallas
Saint Rocco's restaurant is one of many in the budding Trinity Groves district.
But last Thursday, Dallasites tasted what’s to come from the Italian upstart during the third installment of a bragging rights battle called Fork Fights. Saint Rocco's is the brainchild of power duo Phil Romano and Jay Valley.
Romano is the Dallas restaurateur behind Romano’s Macaroni Grill. Valley has worked under Romano for more than 15 years and will be co-owner of Saint Rocco's. In 1998, he signed on as executive chef of eatZi’s, a position he will be phasing out for this new venture.
Saint Rocco’s will offer hearty New York-style Italian comfort food. At Fork Fight, patrons sampled four stick-to-your-ribs courses, beginning with jumbo wild mushroom-stuffed ravioli with truffle butter sauce and ending with ricotta cheesecake. For the salad, Saint Rocco’s employees dished up a baby iceberg wedge with cannellini beans, pancetta, tomatoes, and Gorgonzola dressing. The entrée consisted of braised beef short rib and sweet corn polenta.
Romano confirmed these items will make the final menu cut. He and Chef Valley returned Wednesday from a trip to upstate New York where they honed their culinary vision for Saint Rocco's, Romano said.
After Saint Rocco’s opens in late 2013, Romano mentioned plans to franchise.
“We’ll build it and see how it acts and how people like it,” he said. “Hopefully it will be the first of many.”Follow @tineywristwatch
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