Up a long driveway on the grounds of The Mandola Estate & Vineyard is Trattoria Lisina, a Tuscan-inspired Italian restaurant that opened in the summer of 2007.

About the owners

The restaurant is owned by Texas natives Damian Mandola and his wife, Trina Mandola, who have frequented Italy over the years.

“When we go, we are constantly trying new wines, trying new food—trying to bring something back that we think our guests would love,” Trina Mandola said.

Damian Mandola is also Sicilian American, and many of the restaurant’s recipes—which were passed down from his grandmother, to his mother and then to him—originated from Italy.

Must-try menu items

Trattoria Lisina serves a seasonal menu of Italian classics, such as gnocchi gratinati, which is one of Trina Mandola's favorites.

“The reason we have that on the menu is because it’s one of my favorite dishes that I would eat in Florence,” Trina Mandola said.

Trattoria Lisina also serves costata di maiale, which is a grilled Berkshire pork chop with cherry mostarda served with a creamy polenta and sauteed broccolini, seafood risotto and lasagne alla Bolognese.

“It’s very authentic food,” Damian Mandola added.

The restaurant also serves an assortment of savory and sweet desserts, including torta cioccolato con caramello, which is a Sicilian sea salted caramel between layers of chocolate cake.

What special about it?

All dishes are made with fresh ingredients in-house, from their salad dressing and pizza dough to their gelato and mozzarella.