Between sips of Villa Rubibi Schioppettino, I am holding back from bringing a bowl of crystal clear rabbit brodo to my lips— the light, earthy broth is enriched
with three silky rabbit stuffed tortellini that any Italian nonna would be proud of making.
Owner and executive chef, Nick Strawhecker has an enviable resume— after graduating from Johnson & Wales University, he moved to Piedmont Italy to study at The Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners followed by stints at Michelin restaurant Il Falconerie in Tuscany, and Aria in Spring Chicago. “I have completely adapted an Italian viewpoint to guide our menu and food philosophy: use what is near and what is seasonal as long as it is raised sustainably and without chemicals,” the chef states proudly.
Inside the rustic restaurant, pictures of men playing bocce hang alongside a framed map of Italy while cheeky, winking red devil heads are painted on another wall. An open concept kitchen gives me a front row seat to the masterful cooking, as I nibble on chicken liver crostini infused with red wine braised onion, duck prosciutto and crunchy pine nuts. I watch as cooks drizzle thin dough with golden olive oil and delicately tear fresh Branched Oak Farms hand stretched cow’s milk mozzarella.
Finally, I return to my table and dive into a succulent rabbit roulade with roasted persimmon and fennel salad, and potatoes tossed in mint pesto that has me sinking into my seat.
This article on Dante Pizzeria first appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.