In the early ’90s, Mi Piaci used to be a serious foodie place. It was where you went for authentic Italian food, rare back then. But, boy, you had to pay to eat there—not just on the bill, but in aggravation, too. Tables were hard to come by, and the staff could be difficult.
A couple of years ago, owners Janet and Phil Cobb handed off the reins to Janet’s son Brian Black and his wife, Sonia. Meanwhile, more Italian places opened in Dallas, and Mi Piaci’s identity shifted. It has become a neighborhood place that happens to serve Italian food. It may not meet quite as high a standard on the culinary front, but the trade-off is that you don’t have to wait as long and you don’t get served attitude.
Those who judge a restaurant by the quality of its soup won’t be impressed by Mi Piaci’s white bean soup, as the beans were cooked so long that they disintegrated from their shells, and the broth had no depth. But they still make fresh pasta on hand (you can see it being done in a chamber at the entrance), and it was one of the best things ordered. It still had some tooth in it, and it was slopped all over with tomato sauce and ground meat. Risotto was brought to the table by a member of the kitchen crew who spooned it from pan to bowl. It was completely unnecessary, but most people love the personal attention.
Inside, broad columns have a surreal twisted shape, like big pasta. The bright, airy room overlooks a manmade pond. This has always been one of the nicest rooms in town, and that hasn’t changed.
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