by Steven Doyle
For nearly thirty years Adelmo Banchetti has been filling the hearts and bellies of Dallasites at his iconic Knox area restaurant Adelmo’s, now relocated to Inwood Village. The man remains a stalwart in the industry whose name is instantly recognizable for great food, greater portions with an easy going price tag that has guests returning again and again.
Adelmo was born to serve in the restaurant industry beginning at 16 years old when he moved from Florence, Italy to Brussels to bus tables for a decade, moving to work cruise ships and eventually settling at Cornell University for formal training. Moving to Dallas proved his greatest effort working at restaurant luminaries such as Villa Buggati, the Pyramid Room at the Fairmont, the illustrious Beau Nash, and the Mansion on Turtle Creek before opening his eponymous Adelmo’s in 1989.
Today, after relocating to Inwood Village (directly across from Rise No. 1), Banchetti runs his restaurant lovingly with his wife, Eliza, and children, Andrew and Lauren. We spotted his lovely daughter as acting hostess, but she performs many tasks in the family business as does his son who guards the kitchen, preparing the dishes today from Adelmo’s recipes and many passed down for generations. It is indeed a family affair.
And a love affair we do have with these amazing dishes at Adelmo’s. For the uninitiated you will be hard pressed to find classic American Italian fare, instead you will enjoy starters with greater appeal. Enjoy the gnocchi with a gorgonzola sauce, or the beautiful and refreshing escargot that are large, plump and nestled in a provencal – an escape from your typical French send up swimming in garlic butter (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Entrees we enjoyed included a handmade lobster ravioli which has been given the brandied cream sauce treatment. Nothing overpowering, but instead a delicate plate of lobster-stuffed pasta and a sauce you wish could be bottled for takeaway. The tagliatelle bolognese is rich and meaty with a generous spritz of wine that sets it apart from many you may have tasted in the past. A few bites in you will understand this is Adelmo’s nonna handiwork.
More familiar fare might be the lasagna or perhaps even the veal scallopini al limone or marsala with mushrooms. We selected limone for its fresh and light flavors. The dish was a nice pairing with those of cream sauces, and left us satisfied with a defined beefiness.
The specialty of the house is the long braised osso buco served with a saffron risotto. You will be served what looks to be a bone-in double portion, and no doubt will enjoy this entree for luncheon the next day (as we did). The tender veal shank was the table favorite, as it is for many guests who dine with Adelmo. The flavors are rich and will make you smile from the first to the last bite.
Warm bread pudding with raisins and brandy caramel sauce
Warm berry pie with fig jam
Save room for a dolce to finish your evening off, there are many selections on the menu. From a handmade cheesecake with true Amarena cherries to a warm brandied bread pudding that will make a bishop grin, all the desserts are made with an exacting and deft hand. We especially enjoyed the simple yet delicious hand rolled fudge truffles encased in pistachio, coconut or chocolate wafer crumb. Enjoy an espresso, make it a double, and savor nibbles of the truffles with your friends and family. It will transport you to another time, another place where things are made of chocolate and life is as it should be.
The wine list is fun and ranges from bright Italian sparklers to super Tuscans and all inbetween. Cocktails are not an afterthought either. Enjoy a delicious Old Fashioned with a few of those Amarena cherries rescued from the cheesecake.
Look for very regular wine dinners at Adelmo’s by adding them to your Facebook, or keep eye here as we will announce them as well.
Join the Banchetti family for lunch or dinner, they are closed on Sunday.