Our favorite dishes from North Italia’s new Fall/Winter Menu

By Joey Stewart Photos by Joey Stewart

North Italia has just rolled out their new fall/winter menu, and we thought we’d share the standouts with our readers. The spot is known for their house-made pastas and a modern approach to Italian dining. The new dishes center on seasonal ingredients such as butternut squash, fuji apple, figs, rainbow cauliflower and hazelnut, while also offering elevated versions of year-round staples.

“The new menu rollout was one of the largest we have seen since the brand began. The idea was to capture the most beautiful winter vegetables and present them in ways that are memorable for our guests,” said Executive Chef Austin Brown.

Here are five new dishes that we felt held their own against any of the best Italian dishes in the city.

Braised Short Rib Lumache

Lumache, which translates to “little snails” in Italian, is a hollow pasta that’s pinched on one end creating a pocket so that each bite has a nice mouthful of sauce. The sauce is a house-made Parmesan cream sauce made with wine and aromatics, reduced down and blended with plenty of Grana Padano cheese and horseradish gremolata. The pasta is then topped with herb breadcrumbs and braised short ribs, which are salted and cured for 12 hours, then cooked for another 3-4 hours until extremely tender. Delicious

Squid Ink Tonnarelli

This was a spicy dish we loved. Along with calamari rings, juicy tiger shrimp are butterflied and cooked to medium rare, and then both are folded in with some shaved softened garlic and raw fennel. The sauce incorporates dry vermouth that’s cooked down and folded into a tomato sauce and cooked for 4-6 hours, then mixed with Calabrian bomba. The bomba is a traditional Italian garnish/sauce made with Calabrian chilis, roasted red peppers, roasted garlic and other aromatics. Finally, the dish is finished with chili oil and fennel pollen. Who doesn’t love spicy seafood pasta?

Crispy Eggplant Parmesan

Traditional but elevated, the eggplant is sliced to 3/8ths of an inch and salt cured. This process pulls out the liquid so when it’s deep fried it creates a soft nice interior with some body to it that’s not too watery. It’s traditionally breaded with flour, egg, parmesan breadcrumbs and topped with a spicy vodka sauce, mozzarella, grana padano and provolone picante. The mozzarella provides a nice, creamy texture while the provolone picante adds a bit of sharpness.

Roasted Porchetta

Possibly the star of the evening. Skinless pork belly is scored and seasoned with salt. A paste is made with chili flakes, toasted fennel and coriander seed, fennel fronds, fennel pollen, garlic and olive oil and rubbed into the cuts so it penetrates the meat. It’s then rolled up and trussed, allowing the flavors to sit and join throughout the belly. This marinates for 12 hours and is then slow roasted for 3 hours until it’s cooked to perfection. Finally, it’s served with braised greens, Fregola, citrus and fennel.

Butternut Squash Anolini

Composed of brown butter, hazelnuts, broccolini, butternut squash, and breadcrumbs, this is about as autumnal as it gets. The filling is roasted butternut squash, honey, ricotta cheese, grated grana, and brown sugar, all of which is cooked down until dry and then piped into the house made anolini. It could almost work as Thanksgiving dinner.

North Italia Dallas Executive Chef Austin Brown grew up in an Italian / Polish family where food was the epicenter of everything. His interest peaked as he grew up watching his uncle serve as an executive chef for several restaurants in Arizona. After a stint as a fry cook, he attended culinary school in Scottsdale while working at smaller restaurants around town. After moving up from pantry cook to sous chef, he became the executive sous chef at Doughbird for two years. That eventually led him to take over the North Italia Colorado location as Executive Chef, which he embraced. “I immediately fell in love with the fact I had the control to make it mine. I truly found my niche,” Austin said. Dallas became his home four months ago where he has focused on building a team to serve amazing food to the Texas market.

North Italia has two locations in Dallas where you can find these tasty dishes. Pair them with one of their new cocktails, like the Black Fig Manhattan made with fig infused piggyback rye, or the Barberini Smash, made with Hendrick’s Gin, elderflower, ginger carping honey, lemon and topped with Islay scotch.

Leave a comment

Filed under Joey Stewart

Leave a Reply