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Tarantelli's Ristorante Italiano Sets Opening Date For Downtown Location

By Jessica Maurer, posted Oct 26, 2016
Tarantelli's Ristorante Italiano is expected to open Nov. 11 at 102 S. Second St. in downtown Wilmington. (Photo by Jessica Maurer)
Tarantelli’s Ristorante Italiano is in the final stages of preparation for opening night, set for Nov. 11.

The restaurant is an homage to Anthony Tarantelli, the grandfather of Ryan Morabito and Erika Morabito-Henderson, who are owners along with their spouses. They selected Nov. 11, Veterans Day, for the grand opening because it also happens to have been WWII veteran Anthony Tarantellli’s birthday.  
 
“It’s really incredible how everything has aligned for us to have our grand opening on our grandfather’s birthday,” Morabito said.
 
Tarantelli’s, located at the Hotel Tarrymore, will be a family-run operation with a menu dedicated to the cultural diversity of Italy. Zach Comis, formerly of Siena Trattoria, will serve as executive chef, preparing traditional family recipes with specialty ingredients imported from Italy and local meats and seafood.
 
Developer and commercial real estate broker Terry Espy of the MoMentum Group said that Tarantelli’s fills a much-needed void in the downtown dining scene.
 
“We had a very specific type of restaurant in mind for this location,” Espy said. “And after meeting with the Morabito family, we knew without a doubt that they were the right fit.”
 
The restaurant is designed with an osteria and a main dining room, as well as three patio areas. The osteria contains a large bar and high top seating for 50. It also contains a take-out counter; the only items available for take-out, however, will be the wood-fired pizzas and meatballs and marinara sauce dish. This area will also contain a variety of specialty items and Italian wines that can be used to make custom gift and picnic baskets.
 
The main dining area is adorned with brick and wood salvaged from a Catholic church in Kinston. It is rustic yet elegant; oil lamps and vintage Edison bulb chandeliers giving it a welcoming glow.
 
“We really wanted this room to have the feeling of an old Tuscan alleyway,” Morabito-Henderson said. “We want diners to feel as though they’ve been transported to Italy.”
 
Each section of the restaurant can be sectioned off for private events while allowing the remaining areas to be open to the public. The owners say they are already receiving bookings for private parties well into 2017.
 
“This space has really turned into exactly what we hoped it would be, and we’re very excited to share it with the community,” said Morabito-Henderson.
 
Tarantelli’s is now accepting reservations for Nov. 11 and beyond. The full menu can be viewed on the restaurant's website.
 
Tarantelli’s Ristorante Italiano will be open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily and is located at 102 S. Second St.
 
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