You can go home again — if you’re a fan of the late Ronnie Grisanti and his uncle Big John Grisanti.
But you’ll have to wait until September 28th. That’s when Ronnie Grisanti’s, the new restaurant owned by chef Judd Grisanti, son of Ronnie Grisanti, is slated to open at 6150 Poplar in the Regalia shopping center.
Ronnie Grisanti’s is reminiscent of the restaurant owned by Ronnie on Poplar and the one owned by Big John on Airways. The new 4,700 square-foot restaurant, in shades of burgundy wine and gold, features seating for 132 inside and 26 outside on the patio. It evokes the past but it also is contemporary.
The menu includes Grisanti favorites, but it also will include some high-tech dishes made with kitchen equipment that wasn’t around when Judd’s grandfather, Elfo Grisanti, had a restaurant on South Main.
“It’s all the old Grisanti’s traditional stuff like the stuffed raviolis, lasagna, Italian sauce — stuff we’re known for — manicotti and those things. Toasted raviolis. But then putting a little bit of new world to it.”
Judd now will be using sous vide, liquid nitrogen, and a smoke gun. “I’m going to the future here. I had to re-educate myself on all those in the past year.”
He’ll use liquid nitrogen to make cocktail sauce for his oysters. “To make it more like a sorbet. The sorbet keeps the Northeast coast oysters cold while they’re eating them. I put a little bit of the sorbet on each oyster.”
Judd also bought an oven from Italy. “This is an electric oven that goes up to 1,400 degrees and cooks the most perfect pizza you ever had.”
As for the restaurant’s traditional/modern decor, Judd says, “I wanted something new and old. In Italy, they have all these old buildings, but they have a little modern twist to them inside. It’s amazing how they do the new and the old together. And I wanted something like that.”
Booths and a mural — both integral parts of Ronnie Grisanti restaurants — are included in the new Ronnie Grisanti’s. Bill Turri painted the massive mural of Lucca on the North wall that includes “all the hot spots,” Judd says.”That’s our home town.”
The new Ronnie Grisanti’s restaurant is a tribute “to my grandfather, to my uncle, and to my dad,” Judd says. “They paved the road for me. I played in the kitchen at Airways as a child. That was my playground. I literally grew up in the kitchen with my dad and my uncles.”