Restaurants / Openings

Big Name Chef’s Buzzy New Restaurant Brings Worthy Italian to Oak Lawn

Pastas and Authentic Naples Pizzas are Just the Start

BY // 12.07.17
photography Kathy Tran

Get ready for pasta, antipasti and apertivo! Mille Lire, the Italian restaurant from acclaimed chef Giuliano Matarese and business partner Brian Ellard, is now open at The Centrum on Oak Lawn Ave. The highly-anticipated new Dallas restaurant is a modern take on romantic Italian traditions and culture.

Named after the country’s former currency, Mille Lire pays homage to Italy’s culinary history through authentic, yet innovative cuisine.

“Every element, from the restaurant’s name and design to menu creation, was thoughtfully and meticulously crafted to deliver a nostalgic, memorable and emotional experience to our guests,” Matarese says in a statement.

It is the chef’s nod to “la dolce vita” of his upbringing in Italy – complete with a vintage Vespa at the entrance, a live olive tree in the dining room, and, of course, a stellar selection of vino.

Mille Lire is currently open daily for dinner, offering a ever-evolving menu focused around seasonal flavors and specialty ingredients. The selection of antipasti includes creamy polenta with truffled mushroom fricassee and poached farm egg, and tuna crudo with Taggiasca olives, Calabrian chili and Amatriciana sauce.

All of Mille Lire’s pastas will be made in-house using a special pasta-making machine imported from Italy. Likewise, a pizza oven from Naples will add authenticity to pies like Tartufata Pizza with mozzarella, black figs, truffle preserve and honey. Other menu highlights include the Chianti Braised Short Ribs with roasted root veggies and the Diver Sea Scallops with cauliflower purée, BBQ oxtail and crispy grits.

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The beverage menu mixes Italian flavors with American cocktail culture, serving up drinks such as the Italian mule (vodka, limoncello, fresh lime juice, ginger beer and rosemary) and the Amarcord (Bulleit Bourbon, Italian vermouth, Grand Marnier and Angostura Bitters).

The restaurant will expand its hours to include lunch, happy hour, and a special Italian weekend brunch in the coming weeks.

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