Hi friends! Today under my "Favorites" I want to share with you the best little Italian Restaurant that I found last weekend! It's a little family - owned place called Dal Testardo. My dad and I went this past weekend to meet some Memphis friends who now live in the area and love this place so much they go almost weekly. One thing to know about me and my family is that we LOVE Italian food. I'm going to say that it has something to do with being born and raised in Memphis, where small but exceptional Italian restaurants are pretty plentiful. When I came to Dallas, I was surprised at the limited Italian options that this city holds. I know that Dallas has some high - end Italian, but what I love the most are the small, quaint and comfy spots, where you get to know the owners and the servers and it feels like you're stepping into a good friend's home at every visit. Anyone else know this feeling?
THE FEEL: cozy, family friendly and date-night worthy
There is nothing fancy about the outside appearance of this eatery. It's a simple place with a simple sign in a very simple shopping center off of Arapaho road. On pulling up to the restaurant, you may get the idea that this place is fairly plain. While I was acutely aware of the simplistic exterior, I, at the same time, had a feeling that this was really a hidden gem. My feelings were confirmed as soon as I walked in the door. We were greeted with the warmest smile and shown to our table. The company was a mix of couples on date nights and families eating with their children sporting soccer jerseys and cleats. It was the perfect kind of quiet - the kind where the soft buzz of surrounding conversations makes you feel like you're not dining alone; yet, you can still hear those sitting at your table with no yelling or raised voices required.
THE FOOd: Classic yet unique
Everyone's food was absolutely delicious! I ordered one of their specials, the mushroom ravioli with bolognese sauce. My dad got one of their other specials, which actually was like a beef stroganoff and one of our friends got the salmon. Everyone at the table was giving everyone else a bite of their meal as if trying to convince them that their meal was the best. Each dish was so different and deliciously satisfying. Each menu item is prepared fresh each day and you can tell. I can't wait to come back here with my husband. We are always looking for fun new date spots!
Oh! And it's BYOB. So, grab your date or your friends or your family and your favorite bottle of wine and stop in for dinner. Whether you order a special, a regular item, fish or pasta, I'm sure you're going to leave happy.
THE SERVICE: friendly & efficient
A restaurant can have delicious food, but if the service or the attitude of those helping you is bad, you can bet I will not return. The service here was wonderful. We were greeted warmly and taken to our table. Our waiter was so fun and friendly and didn't make any comments about having to repeat the specials to my dad like four times (At that point I probably wouldn't have been offended if he had, ha). By the end of the night we were joking and laughing with him and it was so much fun. Our friends knew the owner, Tammy, and so we got to meet her and talk with her a bit. She was super friendly, accommodating and professional. I watched her walk around and personally talk with many of the tables to see how everything was going, if the diners were comfortable, how the food was, etc. I liked getting to talk with Tammy. She and her husband opened this restaurant about a year and a half ago. He is from Italy and is actually the chef.
The crazy thing is that I posted about this place on my Instagram Stories that night and got a handful of DMs from friends saying how much they loved this spot and that it's their favorite date night place. So, half of you reading this may already know all about this place! I can't believe I'm just discovering it. I'm certainly going back and I hope you make a trip as well!
To sum it up...
- Dress up or go casual - either way works!
- Bring your date or bring you kids; everyone seems to have a place.
- BYOB - they don't serve alcohol but you can bring your own!
- They have delicious pasta.
- But for you non-pasta eaters, their salmon was also fantastic.
- Make reservations if it's a weekend. I heard they get really full on Fridays & Saturdays.