In 1963 Tom Ruggeri moved to Dallas from New Jersey to help with his family’s business, Mario’s. When it closed 20 years later, Ruggeri took the top chef and the recipes with him and opened Ruggeri’s. The menu is composed of 27 years worth of authentic recipes. “I’ve known these people my whole life,” Ruggeri says of his patrons. The Preston Hollow restaurant makes its own ricotta cheese daily, and offers New York style northern- and southern-Italian recipes. The cioppinno stew literally is made up of all the fish in the pot, the stuffed shrimp with fresh pasta is a patron favorite, which almost leaves little room for dessert. However, Ruggeri says his zabaione, fresh mixed berries topped with Marsala wine and cream mousse, is light yet sweetly satisfying. Ruggeri is readying his three-course Valentine’s Day menu, so make your reservations now. Don’t worry — the restaurant’s phone number goes straight to Ruggeri’s mobile phone, so he’s always on call. “Sometimes I answer the phone at night to take down reservations, and I have to hop out of the shower,” he laughs. “Nobody ever answers this phone except me.”
Ruggeri’s, 5950 Royal, 214.750.0111, ruggerisrestaurant.com
Price range: $16.95–$39.95
Did you know? Ruggeri’s in Preston Hollow is no longer affiliated with Ruggeri’s Italian Kitchen in Far North Dallas.
| Don’t ditch dessert |
1 Princi Italia
The lemon-cinnamon panna cotta with orange-blueberry compote is worth saving room for.
5959 Royal, Suite 707, 214.739.5959, princiitalia.com
2 Sevy’s Grill
If you go to Sevy’s for anything, go for the crème brulee. It comes with one ramekin of vanilla and one of decadent chocolate to satisfy either side of your palate.
8201 Preston, 214.265.7389, sevys.com
3 India Palace
Like rice pudding? You’ll love the kheer badami, a traditional Indian rice pudding made with raisins and nuts.
12817 Preston, Suite 105, 972.392.0190, indiapalacedallas.com
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