Among all the chain restaurants in Addison comes a delightful, new family-owned Italian concept. Hidden at the edge of a small shopping center in Far North Dallas, Speranza Italian Restaurant opened in September, serving hearty Italian food from family recipes.
Speranza is owned by Mario Mala, along with his two daughters Nicole and Gynel. They chose to name the restaurant “Speranza,” which is the Italian word for “hope,” after getting through what Nicole describes as a “crazy year” for the family.
The Mala family has more than 20 years of experience owning restaurants, and Mario has nearly 40 years working in kitchens. He has worked among French and Italian chefs in New Jersey and New York.
Inside Speranza, you'll find a restaurant filled with red and black decor and an environment that's more upscale than some surrounding restaurants.
There is a long bar toward the back of the restaurant, where guests can find wine, Champagne, spirits and cocktail blends. While Speranza doesn’t have a plethora of signature cocktails, the cello mule ($12) is worth a try. It’s Speranza’s version of the Moscow mule, with heavy touches of limoncello.
Speranza is certainly more food-focused than anything, and many of the items come from family recipes that haven’t changed in 35 years.
The lasagna uses a Bolognese sauce (rather than marinara), allowing for a spicier, meatier flavor ($14). Another signature item is the Russia, which is a rigatoni dish with spicy vodka sauce, baby spinach and roasted chicken ($16).
Perhaps one of the most notable items is Mario’s pasta, with pappardelle noodles, veal sausage, portabella mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and Marsala cream ($16).Many of the Malas’ recipes contain wine, brandies and other spirits, and that's really evident in the Marsala cream sauce. It's sweet and bold with an intoxicating Italian flavor.
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As a family-owned business, the Speranza team says it wants every guest who enters the doors to feel at home and comfortable as they are. The restaurant itself is a humble abode, ideal for gathering with family and friends and bonding over wines and Italian cuisine.
“We’re very personal with people,” Nicole says. “We love to make them feel at home and like they’re a part of all of this.”
Speranza Italian Restaurant, 18204 Preston Road, Suite E-1 (Far North Dallas). Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday.