The Highland Park location of Patrizio's, which closed earlier this year after 25 years of service, reopened quietly in Uptown earlier this month. The restaurant will host a grand opening party Thursday, and then make an attempt to create 25 years of additional memories in the space that held Private Social before it held Barter.
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Both of the restaurants that preceded Patrizio's in the same space on McKinney Avenue had issues. They billed themselves as restaurants but greeted customers with a scene that felt more like a boisterous bar. The only thing consistent in their kitchens was the lack of execution. But Patrizio's potentially solves both of these issues as it's set up now, which could give the restaurant a solid chance at a lengthy tenure in Uptown.
While there is a sizable bar, Italian restaurants just aren't the sort of place you go and throw back seven shots of fireball. I'm sure they would pour them for you, but it would just seem weird. Instead, Patrizio's is the sort of restaurant where you take a casual date for a glass or two of wine and too much pasta. Prom kids will swarm to this place, and the regulars who so loved the original location will almost certainly check out the new location.
As for execution, owner Ed Bailey has assigned chef Ryan Carbery to the kitchen. The last time we checked in on Carbery, he was making the transition from Nosh to Bailey's Prime Plus. Since Patrizio's is such an institution with an army of customers who want their lasagna just so, Carbery is saddled with some legacy recipes he can't change. He says some techniques will be refined, but it sounds like those old dishes will change little, for better or worse. New recipes, though, are fair game. Look to those to get a sense of Carbery's cooking, and maybe a glimpse into Patrizio's future.