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Princi Italia Plano, authentic Italian cuisine

If you tend to pass by Italian restaurants because their food is too heavy, and you just don't want all the carbs and Alfredo sauce, I challenge (beg) you to read on. Americanized Italian restaurants sort of plant these ideas in our heads, but would you believe, authentic Italian cuisine involves much more variety, and even some dishes that aren't pizza or pasta at all? I'm on an desperate mission to turn the Americanized Italian food lovers into authentic Italian cuisine lovers here. It doesn't have to be all about unlimited breadsticks or store-bought pasta, while even I will admit can be a guilty pleasure for me from time to time.

Executive Chef Dan Drayer showing off some freshly made pasta

Allow me to introduce you to Princi Italia, a restaurant that opened nearly a year ago in Plano, after having their Dallas location achieve great success for five years. You won't find breadsticks or Alfredo sauce on the menu here. What you WILL find are fresh ingredients, house-made pastas, and many refreshingly light menu items that WON'T leave you filled with regret.

The owner and CO of Princi Italia (locations in Plano, Dallas, and Atlanta) is seasoned restaurateur Patrick Colombo. Colombo opened Sfuzzi in Dallas many years ago with his brother Robert. They were bought out years ago, after which Patrick became Food and Beverage Director at The Mansion at the young age of 26. But he missed owning his own company. So he came back to the restaurant business, with Restaurant Works in 2001. Restaurant Works also owns Cru Food and Wine Bar (9 locations), and Victory Tavern City Grille.

Princi Italia was born in Dallas 5 years ago, and added their second location last December in Plano. Kevin Ascolese, their Culinary Director, goes personally to the farmers market three times weekly to select the freshest ingredients possible.

Princi Italia Plano invited us in for a delicious sampling of their menu, and we’re pleased to report that there is a little something to please every palate on this menu. Princi Italia makes all of their pasta in house.

Plano’s Executive Chef Dan Drayer oversees the kitchen, and has decades of experience in the kitchen, cooking in Vegas and Orlando after opening Sfuzzi with the owners of now Princi. He’s been back in Texas for about a year and a half now, and he also recently added a book about restaurant history to his resume’, which he co-authored with the founder of Red Lobster.

Now let’s get down to my favorite part of every restaurant: the menu.
Don’t miss the Tortellini Fonduta to start- freshly made pasta with a show-stopping black truffle butter, and Parmesan cheese. Other appetizers include an assortment of Bruschettes and Flatbreads, like their surprisingly tasty Fava Bean Toast. Traditional Italian Wedding Soup will warm you on a cold blustery day, or choose a salad if you’re eating light.

The pizza is made in their stunning Italian wood-burning pizza oven. Traditionalists will love the Margherita, Pepperoni, or Italian Sausage Pizza (their sausage is made in-house). More adventurous palates might like the Black Fig & Gorgonzola Pie, topped with pancetta, arugula, and fresh mozzarella. There’s also a Pizza Funghi , for all my fellow truffle lovers out there.

I’ve already told you to note that their pasta is all made fresh at Princi. So be sure to order a pasta dish for a traditional Italian plate like their Central Tuscan Bolognese, which the GM told me is “all about the meat sauce.” The Fettucine di Mare with crabmeat, shrimp, asparagus, with basil pesto cream sauce will please seafood aficionados.  Other pastas like a Wild Boar Gnocchi and Orecchiette also caught my eye.

Now, onto those lighter, pasta-free dishes I taunted you with earlier. A number of amazing, fresh seafood and light chicken dishes also stand out on Princi’s menu.

The Grilled Branzino (Mediterranean sea bass) Siciliano served with green beans and red onions is a perfectly prepared fish.  Other fish dishes are the Grilled Red Fish primavera with rock shrimp and brown butter sauce, and a Wild Sockeye Salmon with blood orange fennel basil sauce. So much yes.

A couple of chicken dishes are crowd favorites at Princi. Chicken Piccata comes with fingerling potatoes, broccolini, and a refreshing light lemon-caper sauce. People who swear by “Chicken Parm”, please go try their famous Romano Crusted Chicken, a dish they’ve carried on since their very first concept. The Romano Crusted Chicken is beautifully breaded, fried, and served with tomato basil sauce & linguine

Desserts at Princi are, to put it simply, a delight. Lemon Curd Torte, White Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Molten Lava Cake, Sorbetto, and Gelato are just a handful of their sweet finishing treats.

I haven’t brunched at Princi YET, but I perused the menu and liked what I saw, so count on my visiting soon during brunch hours (Sundays from 11am-3pm).  Things I want to try at brunch: Honey Goat Cheese Beignets, Princi Crab Cake with poached egg, Italian Ranchero, Egg Pizza, Strawberry Cinnamon Flatbread, and so much more! Plus they offer carafes of mimosas or bellinis for $10.

Happy Hour at Princi is Monday-Friday, with half price pizzas and $3 off cocktails, beer, and wine.

Italian Wood-burning Pizza Oven

Fresh hand made pasta in the kitchen

Pasta Machine where the magic happens! 

Pizza Oven and kitchen from afar

Tortellini Fonduta with black truffle butter and parmesan

Fava Bean alla Toscana Bruschette

Beet & Crab Salad with blood orange & watermelon

Italian Sausage Pizza comes topped with roasted peppers, crimini mushrooms, & oregano-basil

Fettuccine di Mare with lump crab, shrimp, asparagus, basil cream 

Spaghetti Bolognese: classic bolognese sauce, reggiano parmesan, basil 

Grilled Branzino Siciliano with green beans, red onions, evo 

Chicken Piccata with fingerling potatoes, broccolini & lemon-caper sauce

Romano Crusted Chicken, a classic with tomato basil sauce & linguine

White Chocolate Mousse with anise biscotti crumble, raspberries, served in a tulip cup

Lemon Curd Torte


Plano - West Plano Village
3300 Dallas Parkway Suite 120
(East Side of Tollway @ Parker Rd.)
Plano, TX 75093

Disclosure: Food described in this blog is occasionally provided free of charge, but that doesn't change my opinions. I only share what I think you'll love.
Princi Italia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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