Good news: It's going to be easier to snag a seat at new Oak Cliff restaurant Macellaio than it might be at the owners' beloved Italian restaurant Lucia. Those two restaurants are some of the most sought-after seats in town.
Macellaio opens Tuesday, June 5, and foodies are already calling dibs on seats.
Owners David Uygur and Jennifer Uygur changed Dallas diners' perception of Italian food when they opened Lucia in the Bishop Arts District in 2010. It's often tough to get a table in the tiny space, which has 32 reserved seats and just four walk-in seats at the bar. At Macellaio, there's more opportunity if you didn't plan ahead: It has 38 reserved seats and 19 walk-in seats at the bar.
While Macellaio's menu has plenty of Italian influences, it isn't a second Lucia. "We'd be crazy to put Lucia No. 2 a block away," Jennifer says. "It had to be different."
The menu allows executive chef David and his team to "stretch out," Jennifer says, reaching beyond Italy to Spain, France and other countries.
And, note: There's no handmade pasta at Macellaio. An entire section on the menu of house-made bread will suffice, though, won't it?
"Folks have always been excited about our breads," Jennifer says. Lucia's country rustic loaf will continue to be the staple there. But at Macellaio, their "daily breads" include oat sourdough, focaccia and multigrain sourdough. Another mouth-watering option is the grilled tomato rubbed bread with sobrassada (sausage) and honeycomb.
While diners can choose to order more traditionally at Macellaio -- a starter, a bread, a large plate, for instance -- it will probably be more common for customers to pick items a la carte and share. The restaurant has an entire salumi menu with 20+ dishes, which include chicken liver mousse, mortadella, prosciutto and more.
"I don't think there's anybody in town with the range of salumi we have to offer," Jennifer says, noting that the ability to order salumi one-by-one will be especially fun for food lovers.
A few of the items on the main menu are duck confit with white onion dip; white-bean aligot; and fig-leaf-wrapped whole branzino with raw zucchini salad. Or, diners who trust the chef (and they should) can order family-style dinner, chosen by David and his team, for $55 per person.
Part of the fun of Macellaio is that its chefs get to cook what they love to eat. "It's what tickles your taste buds," Jennifer says.
How to get in to Macellaio
The best way to get a table at Macellaio is to go to the restaurant website and click on the R for reservations via the online tool Resy. The system also has a "notify me" feature, so that diners who don't snag a seat can ask to be notified if anyone cancels a reservation.
(Pro tip: If you're serious about getting in and can't find an opening, you could set up notifications for several days in a row.)
Diners can also, of course, just walk up and try their luck for a table or bar spot. If you have to wait, do as the Italians do: Order wine or a cocktail and hang out.
How to say Macellaio
Press play, below.
Macellaio is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Lunch may come later. 287 N. Bishop Ave., Dallas. macellaiodallas.com.