One of the few things I have lamented about Dallas is the lack of international/ethnic neighborhoods found in other cities; Little Italy, Chinatown, Greektown. You get the idea. It’s a stretch, I know, but maybe we can squint our eyes a little and envision a  Little Italy thing working here in East Dallas. There are actually a number of  locally owned, solid Italian restaurants around here.

A new one for me that comes highly recommended by friends in-the-know is Andrea’s Italian Restaurant at 4816 Gaston.  That’s, uhh, not a section of Gaston where you would expect to find fine dining. Chef/Owner Alfonso Carmona summed it up perfectly when he noted that people will come to the restaurant, look at the dollar store and check cashing establishement on either side and just keep going. Their loss. It reminds me so much of some of the little, family owned Italian restaurants I have seen elsewhere, especially in northeastern cities, except I thought the food was better at Andrea’s. Alphonso told me he’s been there 8 years and has another location in Richardson. We won’t hold the chain-thing against him with just one.  It just can’t be in Addison. 

The menu is solid and traditional; plenty of pasta, plenty of parmagiana, no pizza, no fusion. We had salmon in pesto cream sauce. Oh yea. Portions were generous, but not lethal. No take home boxes this time. Wine was very reasonably priced, but I otherwise defer all wine commentary to Jeff. We liked our California cabernet just fine.

It’s small, dark and very intimate. Only about 40 seats and Alphonso came out and spoke to everyone. Soprano’s fans, if you ever wanted your own Artie Bucco, Alphonso may be your shot. I now expect lots of comments and emails that ask me "Andrea’s? Of course! Where have you been?" But if you’re like me and this is all news to you, it’s worth a visit. Love those locally-owned restaurants.   

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