The owners of Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar and Quanto Basta Italian Eatery & Wine Bar, both located in Winston-Salem, are opening the doors to their new restaurant, Quanto Basta Wilmington, this week.
Located at 107 N. Second St., the restaurant is housed in a former law office building that dates back to the 1800’s.
Owners Lynette Matthews-Murphy, Lynn Murphy and Vance Matthews set out to find an older building to bring back to life.
After purchasing a second home in Wrightsville Beach, the family said the more time they spent in downtown Wilmington, the more they knew it was the right fit for another Quanto Basta location.
They closed on the Second Street space just two weeks after Hurricane Florence had a devastating effect on the Cape Fear region, and it took until March 2019 just to complete the demolition.
Now fully restored by Parker Construction Group, with interiors by Lucie Matthews Patton of Winston-Salem, the building houses a brand new kitchen, a private event space, a 17-seat bar, a 130-seat dining area and a courtyard.
The horseshoe-shaped building has retractable doors facing the courtyard and fountain to create an indoor-outdoor feel, reminiscent of an Italian piazza.
“We’re thrilled with the way it turned out,” Lynette Matthews-Murphy said. “It has a mix of urban and coastal elements and is sophisticated but very comfortable.”
Quanto Basta’s menu highlights curated artisanal provisions from Italy, with a dedication to Italian traditions. Many of the recipes come from chef Timothy Grandinetti’s family, including a variety of fresh salads and antipasto, freshly prepared pasta with long-simmered sauces, rotisserie fire-roasted meats and poultry and hand-crafted pizzette.
Grandinetti also plans to serve nightly specials featuring local seafood.
“This concept is really driven by the menu, along with a strong beverage program,” Matthews-Murphy said. “It’s all very well thought out and value-priced for both food and beverage. I really think people will find it to be a fantastic experience at a really great price.”
The bar at Quanto Basta includes a comprehensive wine list of old and new world offerings, along with wine flights that allow guests to experiment with new varietals. There are also seasonal craft cocktails, top-shelf liquors and espresso drinks.
Matthews-Murphy said that when restaurants closed for in-house dining in March, it gave the partners the opportunity to really put their full attention on the new Wilmington location.
“In that way it was serendipitous," Matthews-Murphy said. “But it was painful for the staff we had to temporarily let go in Winston-Salem.”
Matthews-Murphy said the partners knew there was no way to do a big launch during a pandemic, but eventually decided that it was time to start working toward opening in a very careful way.
“We’re taking things very slow and our staff is well versed in all that needs to be done to keep everyone safe,” Matthews-Murphy said. “Last week did a two-night friends and family soft opening last week and we are very pleased with our team so far. Every day we wake up to a very strange reality and we just are learning new and different ways to figure this all out.”
Quanto Basta opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with a classic Italian aperitivo – drinks and snacks – from 4 to 5:30. Dinner is served until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Curbside pickup will also be available.
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