Since its opening a year and a half ago in Southlake, Taverna Rossa has intended to be the regular spot for the city’s residents, operating partner Kristin Wisniewski said.
“It really needs to feel like it’s everybody’s favorite hangout,” Wisniewski said.
She said the restaurant, which offers a happy hour, live music every weekend and 30 beers on tap, sees customers of many ages.
“[The type of customers we get] really ranges depending on the time of day that you catch,” Wisniewski said. “Obviously lots of adults coming during happy hour as well as late night to enjoy the bar scene, but we have families throughout the day as well as early evening hours … just coming in for family dinner. So we try and tailor our service to create that comfortable environment for any style of group.”
The family-owned eatery is the second of its kind with the first location in Plano. The owners, Preston Lancaster and Tony Smith, wanted to create a Tex-Italian concept.
An example of that idea is the TX Lasagna, which features Temptress Stout slow-braised brisket, marinara sauce, mozzarella, bechamel and locally sourced provolone. The brisket is tender and juicy and gives almost a barbecue feel to the pasta.
Wisniewski’s personal favorite menu item is the Bee’s Knees, which is a 13-inch stone-fired pizza that has a thin, crispy crust topped with a spicy red sauce, hot soppressata, fresh mozzarella, and basil and is drizzled with Texas honey.
Salad lovers can also find options at Taverna Rossa, including The Nutty Grape. This salad has a base of mixed greens topped with pistachios, prosciutto, red grapes, goat cheese and a pistachio-white balsamic dressing.
Customers can order any of the pizzas on a 10-inch gluten-free crust.
The bar features 30 craft beers on tap, roughly 10-12 of which are “staple beers,” Wisniewski said.
“The rest of the taps constantly rotate in and out,” she said. “We’re typically going through anywhere from 28-30 kegs a week, so chances are if it’s on, it might not be on tomorrow, just depending on how popular it is and what people are drinking.”
Revolver High Brass Ale and Peticolas Golden Opportunity were popular enough that they became staple beers, she said.
Also featured at the bar are hand-selected spirits, such as Weller Antique 107.
Wisniewski said the liquor selection has changed since opening.
“It’s become tailored to what our regulars have asked for, and that’s a really, really cool process to be part of.”
1151 E. Southlake Blvd., Ste. 300, Southlake • 817-809-4533
Hours: Sun. 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri. 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sat. 10:30 a.m.-1 a.m.