Dino and Megan Santonicola to Open Partenope Ristorante
Partenope Ristorante, created by husband and wife restaurant veterans, Dino and Megan Santonicola will open fall 2019 in Downtown Dallas.
Located at 1900 Main Street inside the historic 1920’s built Titche-Goettinger building, the Santonicola’s are passionate about offering a truly authentic Southern Italian dining experience.
Dino says, “True Italian food doesn’t come from a kitchen, it comes from the heart and is always served with a story.”
Dino found his first love, cooking, in Naples, Italy where he was born and raised in the Spanish Quarter. He began his career at the ripe age of 13 while working at a neighborhood restaurant. Since then, he’s had an impressive career that awarded him many opportunities to work in a number of respected kitchens in Italy and the U.S.
After moving to Dallas in 2011, he met Megan while working in the same restaurant. They fell in love and married in 2015 in Naples under the watchful eye of the city’s namesake and beautiful siren, Partenope—hence the restaurant’s name.
The Santonicola’s passion and love for the culture and cuisine will be showcased inside the four walls of their first restaurant.
Partenope Ristorante aims to offer a dining experience with the utmost respect for cooking traditions and ingredients. “Naples has its own style of cuisine with a focus on quality products and simplicity in its dishes,” explains Dino. His menu ranges from traditional street food such as Pizza Fritta: fried pizza stuffed with daily toppings; Mozzarrella in Carrozza: fried mozzarella cheese-bread; traditional pastas including Timbaletto Di Melanzane: eggplant filled with bucatini, tomato sauce, mozzarella beef, sausage and boiled egg; Ragú Napoletano with slow cooked tomato ragu with pork and beef, and more. Additional items such as the Branzino All’Acqua Pazza with roasted branzino, black olives, tomato and capers; Braciole di Carne: slow braised beef rolled with pecorino, prosciutto, pine nuts and provolone and desserts also made in-house of Torte Caprese: flourless chocolate and almond cake, gelato; and Panna Cotta Limoncello: traditional panna cotta, crema di limoncello, and more, round out the beautifully inspired menu.
The pizza oven that Dino, chef and master pizzaiolo will use, was custom designed with hand painted Italian tiles and created by Stefano Ferrara in Naples, Italy. The stunning piece of equipment will take center stage in an open kitchen offering fresh breads baked daily and of course from-scratch pizza, pasta and more.
Dino is part of a select group that hold the prestigious title of Fiduciary of Associazone Verace Pizza Neapolatana and won the gold medal at the AVPN Olympics in Naples, Italy for his Pizza Fritta. He focuses on the art and craft of Neapolitan-style pizza and cuisine. His inspiration to deliver the best Neapolitan-cuisine is simple: a hunger for good food produced from quality ingredients. For Partenope guests, he plans to offer several styles of pizza on the menu: pizza fritta, focaccia napolitana and of course Neapolitan.
At nearly 4,000 square feet, the restaurant is located on the first floor of historic Titche-Goettinger building and will comfortably seat 100 in its dining room with 12 seats at the full-service bar. Megan adds, “The design of the restaurant will be simple and practical with trattoria style dining as inspiration. Since we are open for lunch and dinner, we’d like this to be a welcoming environment where one can dine for a business lunch yet possibly return with the family for dinner.”
The wine list will focus on Italian varietals with an emphasis on the Southern Italy region. Signature cocktails will be offered with an emphasis on aperitivi along with Partenope’s twists on classic drinks.
“We are thrilled to bring Dallas an authentic family-style dining experience – not so much in the way it’s presented but encouraged. In Italy we start dinner on Sundays at 4 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. we take our time and converse with one another. This is the spirit of Partenope as well. With our 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry as well as Dino’s deep Italian roots, we hope that guests can feel like they’ve been transported to Naples when dining with us,” explains Megan.