Alban “Al” Berisha said he and his brother, Adrian Berisha, grew up watching their dad, John Berisha, own and operate Italian restaurants in Texas and Arkansas. Eventually, they started lending a hand at the family business, and when they were 18 years old, they each ran their own location. The Berisha family moved to America from Kosovo, Al said.

“All of my family moved here in 1999 as refugees during the war,” Al said. “[My dad] worked in an Italian restaurant for a few years until he got the experience, then he got the opportunity to get his own Italian restaurant.”

Prior to opening Bella Italia Bistro in 2021, Al and Adrian opened Giovanni’s Pizza in Argyle in 2015. Al describes Giovanni’s as a casual pizzeria, while their newest eatery is more elegant.

“It’s a ‘date night’ and family place,” he said. “It’s a bit of everything, which works well for special events and for everyday outings.”

The decision on how to divide restaurant ownership responsibilities between the two brothers came naturally, Al said.“His specialty has been more of the back, and I’ve always been more front of the house,” Al said. “He’s a people person as well, but when it comes to cooking, he has a better touch than I do.”The menu consists of traditional Italian fare, such as lasagna, fettuccine, pizza and more. There is, however, a recipe John created that strays from the expected options.

“One of our customer favorites is Chicken Murphy,” Al said. “That one is chicken breast sauteed with garlic, onions, mushrooms and jalapenos in a pink vodka sauce. It’s unusual in an Italian restaurant to have a dish with jalapenos in it. People love it.”

The family atmosphere is apparent, as there is always a family member working at the restaurant, including Al and Adrian’s wives.

“We know what customers want when they come in,” he said.

Bella Italia Bistro

101 Plaza Place, Ste. 500, Northlake


Hours: Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., closed Mon.