Restaurant Reviews DFW

A Taste of Authentic Italian Cuisine

Proprietors Giuseppe Piccinini, Executive Chef Luigi Iannuario and Riccardo Ravaglia.

A Taste of Authentic Italian Cuisine. Real Italian Food at Its Finest

The Dallas Arts District is home to a La Stella Cucina Verace, a new fine dining restaurant and bar

Deeply rooted in authenticity, tradition, and the finest ingredients, La Stella Cucina Verace is a welcomed addition to the Dallas Arts District. Under the direction of Executive Chef Luigi Iannuario, an Italian-born chef, La Stella offers a combination of modern and old-world Italian dishes. Joining Iannuario in partnership is Riccardo Ravaglia, and Giuseppe Piccinini.

Il Cavaliere alla Nerano – Spaghetti, Provolone Stagionato, Zucchini Pureed, Fried and Sauteed

The bona fide Italian recipes and traditions the restaurant prides itself on have been passed down through generations. From Iannuario’s treasured family memories, La Stella preserves and honors the wistfulness of his Italian roots and is a precise representation of Italian lifestyle, food, flavor, and décor.

They offer a wide variety of antipasti plates including meats, cheeses, seafood, shellfish, and bread. Che Burrata – is a satisfying bite of buttery Burrata — a soft Italian cheese, Sicilian sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, leeks, and garlic chips. From the delicate creaminess of the cheese, along with the perfect balance of vegetables, herbs, and spices, this combination of ingredients is extremely well crafted.

U’ Purp – Sous Vide Mediterranean Octopus, Charred, Italian Olives, Potatoes, ‘Nduja

Torre di Crostacei – Lobster, Shrimp, Crab, Oysters
and Traditional Sauce

The tradition of authentic Italian dishes continues with assorted main courses that include delectable pasta and flavorful protein selections. A definitive example of classic Italian cuisine fused with a modern twist is the short rigatoni pasta. It’s served with tomato and white wine braised oxtail sauce and mixed cheeses. A perfect combination of classic flavors with a modern twist.

Astacus – Imported Pasta from Gragnano Napoli, Maine Lobster Fra Daviolo, Brodetto, Fresh Herb, Tomato

Risotto Oro – Aged Acquerello Rice, Spanish Saffron, 36 Months Parmigiano Reggiano, Edible Gold, Roasted Bone Marrow

Other succulent dishes include short ribs, grilled giant prawns, and gnocchi gratin are just a small part of the exceptional line-up. Chefs will be dry aging their own meats, including imported prosciutto, which will be sliced table-side before serving. A selection of a la carte vegetables includes asparagus, fingerling potatoes, local seasonal wild mushrooms, and broccoli rabe.

Cannolo – Ricotta Gelato, Dark Chocolate Tuile, Candied Orange Peels, Pistachio Sauce, Chocolate Chip

Tempting and indulgent desserts will round out your meal. From tiramisu to semifreddo and gelato to seasonal assortments, you really can’t go wrong with any of the decadent desserts.

If by chance you have trouble deciding on which mouthwatering selection to choose from, the wait staff is knowledgeable, attentive, and extremely helpful. In addition, they are professional, yet friendly and very accommodating.

The restaurant includes a well-stocked centerpiece bar, with an impressive wine list and cocktail program to perfectly pair with each exquisite dish. The ambiance is elegant, yet relaxed, with cozy booth and table seating that is exceptionally comfortable.

For those who have a fondness for the finer things in life, La Stella’s also offers Il Club dei Fondatori, an exclusive Founder’s Club membership for the quintessential world-class experience. Membership has numerous perks and benefits including priority reservations, special seating, and private party bookings. Complimentary wine consultation, complimentary executive Uber (within a 5-mile radius) are also included in the membership. Several other advantages are offered. Formore information on this service, email

Finally, the cuisine at La Stella is both flavorful and satisfying. The selection of fresh, high-quality ingredients is an effortless way to enjoy the flavors and aromas of rustic Italy. This memorable dining experience of authentic and distinctive dishes will satisfy the most discerning palette.

Close friends and proprietors of La Stella each share an extensive history of notoriety and great success. Giuseppe Piccinini, is a real estate mogul, and owner of Vesuvius Holdings which is the Venture Capital company of La Stella. Riccardo Ravaglia, is a warm and a seasoned world-class hospitality professional. He serves as managing partner and maître d’. Executive Chef Luigi Iannuario, has worked at Michelin restaurants in Europe. His culinary creations at La Stella focus on authentic Italian dishes with a modern and upscale flair.

La Stella is by far, one of the best new restaurants to open in Dallas this year. Buon appetito! – “Enjoy your meal”

La Stella Cucina Verace is located at 2330 Flora Street, #150, Dallas, TX 75201. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 469-663-7800 or online They are open Monday – Thursday 4:30pm – 10:00pm; Friday – Saturday 4:30pm – 12:00am and closed Sundays.

By Gina Wiklund

Restaurant Reviews DFW

Lombardi Family Concepts Announces the Grand Opening of Lombardi Cucina Italiana

Alberto Lombardi, founder and president of Lombardi Family Concepts, announced that he will be opening a new restaurant at The Star in Frisco, Texas in early 2022. In celebration of Lombardi’s 45th Anniversary as a restaurateur, he will be bringing back his namesake, as his new concept will be called Lombardi Cucina Italiana. As a long standing fixture in the local restaurant industry, Lombardi will bring the same sense of community to Lombardi Cucina Italiana as he has to his many other successful restaurants, such as; Toulouse, Taverna, KĀI, Bistro, Lounge 31, and Penne Pomodoro – just to name a few.

Lombardi Cucina Italiana’s atmosphere will remind you of an open air villa in Italy surrounded by olive trees, Italian marble and Venetian Chandeliers. Their luxurious bar and cocktail lounge is the perfect setting for an evening of relaxation, while listening to live entertainment.

Lombardi Cucina Italiana will be a celebration of authentic Italian cuisine with a modern touch, led by LFC’s Culinary Team; Alfio Longo (LFC Director of Culinary) and Ty Thaxton (LFC Corporate Chef). Their menu will feature a large selection of ‘fatto a mano’ pastas, which will be produced daily in an open style ‘pasta laboratorio’. Offering sustainable and locally sourced products, Lombardi Cucina Italiana will focus on an extensive array of fresh fish, meats and produce.


Some signature ‘piatti’ to to look forward to; Bistecca alla Fiorentina, Branzino al Sale and their housemade Tortelli.

With a vast selection of worldly wines and handcrafted signature cocktails, Lombardi Cucina Italiana will offer a curated beverage program that appeals to every palate. From ‘vini classici’ to rare verticals, the wine list will represent all main wine regions of the world, with a primary focus on the Italian Peninsula. Their forward thinking cocktail menu uses innovative ingredients from the kitchen, such as prosciutto, rosemary and amarene. These food driven cocktails will allow their guests to experience something truly unique.

Lombardi Cucina Italiana will be located at The Star – Frisco, TX • 6655 Winning Circle Drive, Frisco, TX 75034. To receive updates on exclusive events, secret menus, special offers/discounts, loyalty rewards & more, sign-up online at

Restaurant Reviews DFW

Find Out Why Dallas was Named the #1 Restaurant City in the U.S.

As a longtime resident of Dallas, I was thrilled to hear that our city had finally been recognized by a national food magazine as the top restaurant city in the U.S. Since editors at Bon Appetit named Dallas the #1 Restaurant City of the Year in a recent issue, everyone seems to be standing a little taller. That’s especially true of those in the hospitality industry.

“It is an honor to be recognized by Bon Appetit as its 2019 Restaurant City of the Year, and we look forward to welcoming the many visitors this distinction will bring,” said Sam Coats, Interim President and CEO of VisitDallas. “Dallas’ dining scene is as vibrant as ever, and the city’s many talented chefs create a diverse range of cuisines that continue to elevate and bring recognition to a wide range of establishments.”

Find Out Why Dallas was Named the #1 Restaurant City in the U.S.

Photo: Tammany Stern-Best of Guide

The magazine article also singled out Chef Donny Sirisavath and his Laotian food restaurant, Khao Noodle Shop, for high praise. The restaurant was named the #2 Top-rated Restaurant in the Country. Chef Sirisavath was applauded for his made-from-scratch boat noodles and other delicious recipes. Since the Laotian dishes are served on small plates, the food writer recommended their readers should take a group and order everything on the menu. High praise indeed!

Petra and the Beast (brainchild of Chef Misti Norris, pictured with Eric Federlain, Executive Chef of Sevy’s Grill) is another Dallas restaurant that received special recognition in the magazine’s top 50. The small restaurant, located in a former gas station in East Dallas, is decorated with animal skulls. Chef Norris uses a variety of animal parts in her recipes, and oversees a charcuterie board called “Meatums.” The board changes daily, and it’s one of their most popular items.

Grasshoppers Anyone?

Find Out Why Dallas was Named the #1 Restaurant City in the U.S.

Karel Anne Tieszen, a Dallas-based Chef for KXII TV, also teaches a variety of culinary classes in the area. Chef Tieszen said the Dallas restaurant scene is extremely diverse now. She noted that the most difficult question she’s ever asked would have to be “What’s your favorite restaurant?” The only proper response is to fire back with some important questions, like what type of cuisine? What area of the city? A newly-opened place or long-time favorite?

Deep Ellum and Bishop Arts Historic Districts are mentioned in the article as areas known for their diversity. I recently attended a Mezcal pairing at Coco’s Fire & Ice in Bishop Arts, a Mexican restaurant specializing in authentic Mexican food (not your mama’s Tex-Mex) found in Oaxaca. I recoiled when our starter course, chili-grilled grasshoppers, arrived. Some of us may not be ready to explore all the diverse cuisines found in our newly famous #1 Restaurant City in the U.S. Thankfully, they also brought a side of guacamole!

By Jo Ann Holt | October 14, 2019

Restaurant Reviews DFW

City Cafe Your Neighborhood Bistro

We have long been a fan of the beloved City Cafe of Dallas. Located in University Park, this gem of an exceptional white-tablecloth neighborhood bistro offers a seasonal menu and impeccable service.

City Cafe is a sophisticated boutique restaurant offering lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, Sunday brunch, and gourmet to-go.  At the helm of an impressive Chef Mario Flores, the food is impressive. The menu changes seasonally, and you’ll find regional American cuisine featuring rotations of seafood, veal, game, pasta, fowl, beef, pork and lamb. Chef uses highest-quality ingredients to prepare every item on their creative world-class menu and you can taste (and see) the well-thought planning of each dish.

They offer a wonderful selection of wine varied in selection and at pleasing prices. Their talented pastry chefs create decadent desserts. City Cafe has invested a lot of time and effort into having the right people on staff and it shows.

While the fare is truly delightful, equally so is the gracious service. One of the things most restaurants lack in this day and age is courteous, refined service. Certainly not missing that genteel service at City Cafe. Here you’ll find sophisticated and attentive service from the waitstaff to the Maître d’, Karim Alaoui.

Hours of operation:
Lunch  | Monday – Friday: 11:30am – 2pm
Dinner | Monday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 9pm
Brunch | Sunday: 11am – 2pm

To Go Bistro Hours

Monday – Friday: 10:30am – 8pm
Saturday: 10:30am – 3pm
Sunday: 10:30am – 2pm

5757 W. Lovers Ln., Dallas, TX 75209
Northwest corner of Lovers Lane at the North Dallas Toll Road

(214) 351-223

Restaurant Reviews DFW

5 Romantic Dates In Dallas

Looking for a romantic getaway or a special date night in Dallas? The third largest city in the state of Texas is filled with incredible arts, world-class museums, and the most spectacular foods. Wow your lover with our list of 5 Romantic Dates In Dallas.

Klyde Warren Park

Picnic With Skyline View at Klyde Warren Park

Pack a romantic picnic and enjoy the beautiful skyline at Kyle Warren Park. Be sure to check the klyde calendar for any concerts, dance lessons, or events for some more fun. For more information click here.

Dallas Museum of Art to Present New Work by Emerging and Mid-Career Female  Designers This October | R+A

Late Date Night at The Dallas Museum Of Art

At the third Friday of every month the Dallas Museum of the Arts hosts a variety of events that include tours, concerts, performances, and film screening. This makes for a beautiful and interesting date for the two of you.

Dallas Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum is packed with romantic gardens perfect for a proposal or perhaps grab a blanket and enjoy a romantic picnic. Take a relaxing stroll through the gardens and take amazing photos. If you plan accordingly during the summer you can catch a few of the events they have including shows, and concerts.

Gondola Adventures is one of the very best things to do in Dallas

Gondola Adevnture

Nothing says romance more than a gondola ride. Never-mind spending a fortune on a ticket to Venice to cruise the canals on gondola. Just head over to the canals of Las Colinas.

Swoon you’re date as you enjoy a romantic first class experience cruising the Mandalay Canals and Lake Carolyn. Be sure to reserve in advance, you even get the option to include music or a singing gondolier to go along with your delicious dinner and wine.

Dinner & Flight

Try something new and exciting at Delta Charlie’s Bar & Grill. They offer a romanic 3 course dinner for two with an aerial tour of the Dallas skyline. Whats more romantic than a dinner while observing Dallas’s star filled sky and moon.

Restaurant Reviews DFW

‘A Fine Line’ Celebrates Women in the Kitchen

This past Saturday, Palace Arts Center held a limited screening of A Fine Line, a documentary celebrating women chefs and restauranteurs. A Fine Line features appearances from notable female chefs, including Lidia Bastianich, Dominique Crenn, and Cat Cora, who was in attendance at the screening.

A Fine Line was directed and produced by Joanna James, who had been working for five years to put the film together. While production of A Fine Line didn’t come without its roadblocks, James credits resurgence of the #MeToo social media movement and sexual assault allegations against high-profile chefs like Mario Batali as motivation to finish work on the film.

The film is centered mostly around restauranteur Valerie James, a single mom who struggles to secure a loan to build her restaurant. A Fine Line also brings to light sexism and misogyny female chefs and restauranteurs face while working in the hospitality industry. Currently, less than seven percent of head chefs and restauranteurs are women, despite many chefs of all genders citing women as their inspirations. James, Cora, and all of the chefs involved in A Fine Line hope the film helps create a more equal system in kitchens around the world.

Prior to the screening, Cat Cora and a group of children from the Come and Eat It program, a division of Independence Gardens, held a cooking demonstration, in which the children prepared a special dish for Cora.

Founded by Chonnie Richey, Independence Gardens aims to help the community build a relationship with the environment, both natural and man-made. The Come and Eat It program provides resources to children and teaches them how to select healthy ingredients and cook healthy meals.

A Fine Line is currently showing on select dates in select theaters across the country. For more information on how to attend a screening, visit


Restaurant Reviews DFW

Adrienne Hernandez talks Fresh Art Foodie, eating clean, and coping with illness

From the carnivore to the vegan, the athlete to the couch surfer, Fresh Art Foodie has a menu sure to please the eye, palate, and soul. Fresh Art Foodie is a company dedicated to helping people eat clean and maintain health while consuming healthy food designed in artistic shapes. It was founded by Chef Adrienne Hernandez, who was inspired by her work in the medical field.

“When I graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, I went into healthcare,” Hernandez says. “I was working 80-90 hours in a nursing facility.”

Hernandez’s responsibilities included preparing meals for patients. While she enjoyed doing this, she felt that her creativity was limited, and eventually moved on to a catering position at Centennial Hospital. She worked as a Chef, moving up the ladder to Sous Chef and eventually to Executive Chef. She is also as a fitness coach and a wellness coach for Texas A&M University and Prairie View A&M University.

Hernandez was diagnosed with Lupus in her young adulthood and has used her experience to help others alleviate pain by eating healthy.

“Some of the food we eat mutates our bodies, so I try to help people get clean from the inside,” Hernandez said. “It’s hard, because I’m learning with my clients, but if you have Lupus or any other inflammatory disease, I try to help you fix that with food.”

Hernandez adds that her experience working in an Oncology department have helped her learn to create dishes to help subside the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.

“If you have cancer or are going through radiation therapy, let’s sit down and talk about it,” Hernandez says. “There are certain vitamins that inhibit the chemotherapy’s ability to do what it’s supposed to do.”

Some of Chef Hernandez’s signature creations | Image courtesy of Adrienne Hernandez

With Fresh Art Foodie, Hernandez’s mobility allows her to work directly with clients, offering catering services, meal prep services, and even food challenges for team building activities in corporate or church environments. Hernandez caters to people of all diets and works with each client to meet their dietary needs. Some of her signature items include watermelon cakes, radish flowers, and healthy sushi rolls.

To book Chef Hernandez for your next event, visit


Restaurant Reviews DFW

Howard Wang’s opens in Frisco

Via @HowardWangsFrisco on Facebook

After much delay, Howard Wang’s China Grill is finally open in The Star in Frisco.

Every Howard Wang’s restaurant embodies over 30 years of family recipes, tradition, and experience. Howard Wang’s is a family-owned business that has been passed down across generations. The new Frisco location will be run by Jowin Wang, son of founder Howard Wang. Jowin has also served as the Director of Operations in Howard Wang’s Uptown and Southlake locations.

“We heard a lot of good things about The Star,” Jowin says. “[Dallas Cowboys Owner] Jerry Jones has been to our other locations and wanted us to open in The Star. We had a good opportunity and we couldn’t pass it up.”

Howard Wang’s specializes mainly in Chinese cuisine, offering traditional Chinese dishes like broccoli stir fry and orange chicken, as well as signature dishes, like Wang’s Bulgogi and Ginger Beef Tenderloin. The new Frisco location will also be offering Dim Sum.

Howard Wang’s will offer both traditional and signature Chinese dishes | Photo credit: Tammany Stern

“All of our food is fresh and made to order,” Jowin says, “We use fresh vegetables, a lot of which are sourced from various parts of Asia.”

Howard Wang’s is open for lunch and dinner in The Star. This holiday season, the will be open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as well as New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Howard Wang’s, 6740 Winning Dr #1000, Frisco | (469) 213-2002



Restaurant Reviews DFW

Scotch & Soda opens in Northpark Center

Courtesy of Scotch & Soda

Scotch & Soda celebrated their Dallas opening with an in-store party hosted by lifestyle and fashion bloggers Alex Young (Eat Style Dallas) and Jane Aldridge (Sea of Shoes). Tunes were spun throughout the evening by DJ Blake Ward and cocktails were mixed at an open-bar, sponsored by Damrak Gin.

“We’re thrilled to be here,” Scotch & Soda CEO Ari Hoffman says. “This is our first entry into the Texas market, with our Houston store opening next spring, and our Austin store opening next fall.”

Courtesy of Scotch & Soda

Although Scotch & Soda is labeled as Amsterdam couture, Hoffman believes the store offers a diverse collection.

“We’re far from couture, we just have a great sense of humor,”  Hoffman says. “We travel the world and we blend all of the world’s flavors to create this eclectic mix.”

While Scotch & Soda’s clothes may be a bit pricey, they are comfortable, fitting, and stylish, giving each wearer an artsy, cultured, bohemian look. Amsterdam couture will soon be the next trend to sweep the metroplex.

Restaurant Reviews DFW

QC Stone on finding your purpose and giving back

Since 2010, QC Stone has used her privilege and good fortune to help others in DFW. She is the president of The Source of Hope, an organization to provide vocational support and meals to low-income individuals. By reinforcing their skills, Stone believes The Source of Hope helps people get on their feet and rebound from adversity.

“We offer advanced education in the beauty industry,” Stone says. “We also have a clinic, where we treat skin and beauty conditions at a reduced cost. We have another program where we feed our community with home cooked meals. Any time we have extra ingredients from our restaurant sponsors, we make meals out of it.”

The Source of Hope helps put together meals for homeless people | Photo courtesy of QC Stone

Stone believes that the skills the students learn at The Source of Hope will stay with them for a lifetime.

“Our goal is to teach people how to fish, rather than give people fish to eat,” Stone says. “Because of the struggles I’ve endured, it’s very easy for me to bounce back.”

Throughout her life, Stone has faced multiple hardships, however, she has used what she has learned from her adversities to help others.

“I grew up in the orphanages in Vietnam,” Stone says. “My mother was struck by lightning, and she was unable to care for me. She gave me to an elderly couple and said she’d come back to get me. 12 years later, my family sought out for me. We built a fishing boat and went to this country. We went 13 days with no food or water.”

Upon arriving to the United States, Stone hit the ground running, however, the path to success wasn’t smooth or clear of any roadblocks.

“My success has been 31 years in the making,” Stone says. “I’ve failed twice. The first time was when my oldest daughter had a brain tumor. It wasn’t expected that she’d survive, but now, she’s a successful model and blogger in DFW. The second time was here, in Plano, where I became homeless for a short period of time.”

No matter how successful she becomes, Stone emphasizes the importance of gratitude and humility. Stone wants each of her Source of Hope students to feed homeless people and help others find their God-given purpose.

The Source of Hope is looking for volunteers this holiday season | Photo courtesy of QC Stone

“God allows people to go through some things so they learn how to survive,” Stone says. “Before you inspire somebody, you need to be of service. At some point, we all struggle, but you always have to remember where you were and how you got to where you are today.”