Neighborhood Italian spots

Photo by Mark Davis

Photo by Mark Davis

Princi Italia has a modern, upscale look and authentic dishes prepared by renowned chef Kevin Ascolese, but this isn’t just for the rich crowd. “We’re trying to be very value-driven,” owner Patrick Colombo says. “We’re not dealing with big corporate expense accounts. This is for the neighborhood.” The moderately priced entrées feature pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven, homemade pastas and artfully prepared bruschetta (the fig and gorgonzola is heavenly). Colombo’s Italian inspiration comes from a culinary tour with his family of Venice, Tuscany, Florence and the Amalfi Coast. “I was struck by how simple everything was. There was not a big focus on presentation as much as using a ripe tomato.” Chef Ascolese’s extensive résumé includes his role as an opening chef at The Mansion in 1980 and the mind behind Cru wine bar. Princi Italia incorporates a rustic Tuscan farmhouse design with charming chandeliers made from wine barrels. “It was a very dark space, and we wanted to open it up and make it more lively,” Colombo says.

Princi Italia
5959 Royal, Suite 707

Ambiance: Tuscan-style
Price range: $9-$16 for lunch; $12-$20 for dinner
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; 4-10 p.m. Sun.; open until 11 p.m. Fri.
Tip: This winter, the patio will be open and temperature controlled.

More Italian spots

1 Ruggeri’s
From plain old spaghetti to veal Parmesan, everything is good at this fine dining spot.
5950 Royal, 214.750.0111

2 Zio Cecio Cucina Italiana
Don’t let the fancy name fool you. This is a casual spot but with upscale taste from chef Francesco Farris.
4615 W. Lovers, 214.351.1100

3 Aboca’s Italian Grill
This slice of Italy opened a few months ago at Meadow and Central and offers Italian staples on the cheap with most pastas under $10.
10455 N. Central, Suite 118, 214.346.1700

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About the Author:

Emily Toman
EMILY TOMAN is the senior editor. Email etoman@advocatemag.com or follow twitter.com/emilytoman.