The Dallas food blogosphere practically imploded on itself when it was announced back in April that beloved chef Brian Luscher of The Grape was collaborating on a pizzeria menu. Originally slated for a June opening, that project will finally come to fruition early next month when Taverna Rossa opens its doors in a ritzy West Plano shopping center on Preston Road (adjacent to existing restaurants Mignon and Mi Cocina).
Owner Preston Lancaster and his partners Jimmy Cannon and Tony Smith hope to capitalize on the smashing success they've had at Cadillac Pizza Pub in McKinney by replicating many of the same features at Taverna Rossa. Here are five reasons why Taverna Rossa will likely become West Plano's newest hot spot when it opens next month:
1.) The food. As Lancaster puts it, "We're not reinventing the wheel" — they plan to stick to the same stone-fired, thin-crust pizza "with some really unique toppings" that has won them legions of loyal fans (and often, two-hour waits on the weekend) at Cadillac Pizza Pub. Besides that, the Luscher-designed menu will also include unique starters like a quartet of housemade dips (pimiento cheese, spicy cannellini bean, blue cheese mousse with pepper jelly, and local goat cheese with smoked almonds and basil) served with flatbread, and inventive sandwiches like the "Fork and Knife Ugly Tomato Melt" with tomato marmalade, roasted pepper vinaigrette, olive relish and fontina on housemade focaccia.
2.) The beer. Expect 24 beers on tap, like selections from locals Peticolas, Community Brewing, Revolver (including their High Brass), Lakewood Brewing, and McKinney's Franconia, plus a selection of national craft brews. Says Lancaster, "We think we've got a really nice variety for everybody, from the beer connoisseur to the person that we're going to try and convince, 'Hey, maybe instead of that Bud Light you can try this Peticolas Golden Opportunity.' We've chosen beers that we like and that we think people in the area will enjoy."
3.) The cocktails. A list of ten or so handcrafted cocktails will include a variation on the popular Bloody Mary served at Cadillac, and a Moscow Mule variation called the Rossa Mule that will be made with strawberry-infused bourbon, fresh lime and Fever Tree ginger beer. (Wine drinkers certainly won't be left out in the cold, either — Lancaster says they have a "pretty extensive wine list" in the works.)
4.) The locally sourced ingredients. They plan to utilize meats from Hamm's Meat Market and Local Yocal in McKinney, bread from Village Bakery, tomatoes and peaches from Dallas Farmers Market staple J.T. Lemley, and cheeses from Latte Da Dairy and the Mozzarella Company.
5.) The scene. According to Lancaster, there will be "garage doors and sliding windows along the whole perimeter of the patio," giving them the ability to open it up wide on nice breezy days or shut out the heat when it's sweltering outside. It's also situated right next to the shopping center's fancy water feature, and will feature an outdoor bar and its very own photo booth (because if there's one thing Dallas people like more than patio drinking, it's taking pictures of themselves patio drinking). The restaurant will also feature live music two nights a week.