The northwest corner of Frankford and Preston Road just got a little snazzier. In the space that recently housed Grover’s Grill & Bar, there now stands a sleek Italian-American restaurant owned and operated by former radio personalities Julie and Gene Gates. They are more than just window dressing: the couple is hands-on and devoted to fresh, local, and seasonal products. The menu offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, and boasts handmade pastas, pizzas, vegetable purée soups, fresh seafood, and Italian specialties. Two of us split a salad and an 8-inch pizza covered with medium-rare filet mignon, fresh figs, caramelized onions, and Gorgonzola, and we each had a glass of wine. We got out for just a little more than $40. A few evenings later, I returned and four of us feasted on simply sublime cauliflower soup scented with roasted garlic, and a spectacular salad of roasted beets mixed with Texas pecans and arugula. Gene and Julie were friends with talented Dallas chef Rino Brigliadori (Modo Mio, Positano), who passed away last November. They honor him on their menu with his popular gnocchi Modo Mio, potato pasta with a pesto-tomato sauce. Roasted branzino was the best entrée. The flaky, sea bass-like fish is grilled and served with roasted broccoli tips. Pray they have the house-made pistachio gelato—creamy yet crunchy, with bits of pistachio nuts. Three scoops disappeared in a minute.

For more information about Battuto Italian Kitchen, visit our online restaurant guide.

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