Chef Julian Barsotti, the young wizard behind Nonna, is finally opening his new Italian-American deli/grocery store/restaurant at the northeast corner of Wycliff and Oak Lawn Ave. on Tuesday, April 17. Carbone’s Fine Food & Wine is partly inspired by his grandfather’s old shop in New Jersey, and partly fueled by a trip he took to Torrisi Italian Specialties in NYC, where an old school sandwich shop made Barsotti think about bringing a taste of that to Dallas.
First and foremost, Barsotti tells me, Carbone’s identity will be a restaurant. Sunday nights the shop will turn into a spot where people can get their Italian fix with a set-price menu starting at 5:30 PM. Six days a week, customers can order off the deli menu and get anything from homemade pasta (spaghetti bolognese, eggplant parmesan, porchetta, etc.) to one of the heroes (roast turkey, Italian combo, chicken parmesan, etc.). If they fall in love with the fresh cured salami in their sandwich or the dressing in their Caesar salad, well, that’s easy. Barsotti can point them to the products in the grocery store section of his shop, all of which are sourced from American makers with a couple exceptions.
“This whole thing is about Italian-American fusion and my personal expression of that,” says Barsotti, “We’re really celebrating America as opposed to products from Italy.” In other words, Carbone’s is creatively different from most Italian-American specialty stores in that it focuses on American artisans, sourcing from them in every instance that it can’t make the food by hand in-house.
Barsotti wants to stick with this concept, but he’s not inflexible. He’ll never, of course, let this idea get in the way of deliciousness.
“My core business identity is to improve and evolve. We’ll see what works and let the customer dictate what we’ll do.”