We didn’t let the threat of a silly little ice storm keep us from eating at Tre Amici last night. However, the news of an impeding blizzard certainly kept bazillions of other Dallas diners from dining out. Perhaps the almost empty dining room of Tre Amici was the reason why our service was so gracious and spot on, but I don’t think so. The people behind this Italian-Steakhouse-with-a-special-Chinese-New-Year-Celebration menu are perhaps the nicest in the restaurant biz. And they– Judd Fruia, Jay Lombardo, Charlie Turano—were all there last night. (You can read the compelling story of their friendship here.)
Anywhoo, loads of Pappas Brother’s Steakhouse talent in the kitchen and on the floor and it shows—the aged New York strip was perfect. Fries were so-so, cut a little too thick dotted with “truffle oil.” (Note to chefs: please stop this tired trend.) A side of fresh spinach was gently steamed and still slightly crunchy—gotta love that. Sides of peppercorn sauce and fig mostarda paired nicely with the meat, although the thick mostarda made me yearn for a slice of aged pecorino. The wine list is heavy into CalCabs, like 4 single-spaced pages. Only one page is devoted to Italian reds—most hovering around $100. Ice pellets started hitting the windows of the restaurant so we didn’t stay for dessert.
Some of the staff and investors (and perhaps the wine inventory) are holdovers from the former tenant, Rick Stein’s Steakhouse. Dan, the wine man knows his stuff and the cognac program he is pulling together sounds insane—some up to $500 a shot. These boys are flying high in the face of a receding economy. Perhaps their gentle demeanor and caring attitude will see them through. Go. Eat. Report. (Rick Stein, where are you?)