Homemade Linguine Vongole at il Bracco. (Courtesy of il Bracco)
A rendering of il Bracco, a new Italian-inspired restaurant in University Park. Courtesy of il Bracco
Il Bracco will serve meatballs- yum. Courtesy of il Bracco
Get your greens with the kale salad at il Bracco. Courtesy of il Bracco
il Bracco will have meat-focused entrees including center cut prime tenderloin. Courtesy of il Bracco
A new Italian-inspired restaurant is coming to Preston Center, bringing some serious chef clout. Il Bracco will be serving homemade pasta, salads and meat entrees seven days a week for lunch and dinner.
It’s tentatively set to open the last week of April at 8416 Preston Center Plaza.
Robert Quick (CEO) and Matt Gottlieb (COO) partnered up to open this new Park Cities spot. Quick will be the head chef of il Bracco and has experience both on the culinary and business side of things. After attending the Culinary Institute of America, Quick worked as a chef de partie at Thomas Keller’s legendary Bouchon and on a freelance basis, before becoming a kitchen manager with the Hillstone Restaurant Group. He then became president and co-owner of Mountain Mike’s Pizza.
Gottlieb is well-known in the Dallas area, having spent the past eight years in the city running Hillstone, R+D Kitchen and Houston’s. He was a general manager of the Hillstone Group for 11 years.
“We were like ships passing in the night,” Quick says about Gottlieb’s and his time at Hillstone. They worked there during different years, but eventually met through a mutual friend in Dallas.
“What started as a quick coffee meeting turned into two hours,” Quick says of their first meeting. “We shared the same vision of what Dallas needed.”
Gottlieb joined Quick’s company, Western Addition, about five days after their conversation.
“I always wanted to open my own restaurant,” Gottlieb says. “It was the perfect union.”
The two decided on an American-type, Italian-inspired restaurant because it’s something Dallas really does not have. Approachable with an everyday accessibility is what they’re striving to achieve with the new restaurant. Somewhere where you can come in and have a salad for lunch and a nice meal on the weekend.
Specific menu items will include meatballs, linguine vongole, kale salad and center cut prime tenderloin. Fresh fish will be delivered daily and meats will be butchered on-site. Breads, pastas and sauces will all be made from scratch.
“Our philosophy is to take high quality ingredients and present them in a clean manner,” Gottlieb tells PaperCity.
Speciality cocktails will also be a highlight of the new spot. The location boasts a 50 seat patio that will be great for sipping on cold cocktails on a warm day. Currently in the works is an Italian slant on a frozen Greyhound. Il Bracco means “the bloodhound,” so the drink will be very fitting.
The wine list is also receiving plenty of focus.
“We want to make it comfortable and approachable,” Gottlieb says. “Unique and carefully selected Italian wine, from major and minor Italian regions.”
The intent is for wine list with reasonable prices, one that also include variations from California, Oregon, Washington and France. “It will be a mix of Old World, New World,” Gottlieb says.
Location, Location, Location
The restaurant space was designed by local Dallas architects Zero Three. Quick’s wife, originally from Dallas, also played a hand in the interior design. The interior has a mix of Italian and American elements. There will be a slab marble bar, terrazzo floor, booths, fixed tables and brass touches. They note that they are trying to “meld two worlds in a very tailored way.”
Preston Center was chosen as Western Addition’s first restaurant because of the “fantastic clientele” and “highest quality shops” in the area.
“We think it’s the best location to introduce ourselves,” Gottlieb says.
Quick and Gottlieb plan to open several more restaurants in the Dallas area after il Bracco gets up and running, and possibly even expand further beyond the city.
“Our thesis is to pick A plus sites and build unique concepts,” Quick says. il Bracco will be the only of its kind — and any other restaurants the duo opens also will be original.
Il Braco’s hours will run Sundays through Thursdays from 11am to 10pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 11pm.