72 GoodLifeFamilyMag.com NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2018 Piada When you hear the words “street food,” you probably think about Vietnamese,Thai,orMexican.Rare- ly,doyouassociatestreetfoodwith Italian, so it’s nice to find a place founded on that very concept. It all starts with Piada’s super thin pizza dough—not quite tortilla, not quite lavash—but wonderfully chewy and light. From there, a plethora of topping options (delectable meatballs, fried chicken, steak, avocado, greens, etc.) turns the dough into your choice of either a folded/layered sandwichknownasaTasca(pocket)oraPiada(wrap).Streetsidesarealso goodandveryfresh,includingOrzoCrunchorRoastedCorn.Piada’sreason- ably-pricedmenumakesitafavoriteforaquickbiteorasit-downdinnerin afast,casualatmosphere. MultiplelocationsthroughoutDFW www.mypiada.com Ruggeri's Ruggeri's has been a favorite destination for authentic Italian cuisine for morethantwenty-fiveyears,whetheryou'relookingforacozyweeknight spot for mouthwatering pasta or somewhere to celebrate a special occa- sion. Soft-Shell Crab Oreganato is a delicious starter, sautéed with lemon, plenty of garlic and oregano. Moving on to pasta, go for Ravioli Fresco del Gioro—tenderdoughpillowsstuffedwithsausageandricottaandtopped with a light tomato basil sauce. But the true menu star just might be the 16-ounce veal chop with wild mushrooms and Marsala wine; it melts in your mouth. Craving veal but can't conquer 16-ounces? Go for Vitello di Scampi—vealandshrimplivinghappilyonthe same plate, inalight and luscious lemony butter sauce. Traditional Italian desserts (Tiramisu, Cap- puccinoPie,Spumone)satisfyyoursweettooth,too. 5950-ARoyalLn.|Dallas (214)750-0111 www.ruggerisrestaurant.com Russo’sCoal-FiredItalianKitchen This Houston-based eatery does offer a well-rounded menu, including Arancini (delectable Sicilian rice balls loaded with herbs and Romano cheese in a rich Bolognese sauce), fantastic Calzones, and standard Italian entrées (Chicken Piccata and the like). That said, the real draw to Russo’s isthepizza,thankstoitsnearly1,000-degreecoal-firedoven,whichgives us that chewy, but crispy, crust we love. Try the Prosciutto and Kale with Mozzarella and Ricotta cheese. Feeling carnivorous?The Paesano Napola- tana will leave you feeling sated. Russo’s is family-friendly, and they cater tobothbigandsmallparties. 700E.CampbellRd.|Richardson (972)235-7992 www.russoscoalfired.com Mediterranean MamaPitaMediterraneanGrill If you’re looking for affordable and delicious Mediterranean food, Mama Pita is waiting for you. Easily customizable plates, salads and pitas allow you to pick and choose whatever sides you crave, from light and crispy falafel and flatbread to creamy hummus and tzatziki. Kafta (beef kabobs) are tender and delicious—perfect for dipping in one of several garlicky sauces(trytheyellowtahini/carrotdip).Counterserviceisfastandfriend- ly,andtheopenandairyatmospheremakesitaniceplacefordining-in.Or, ifyouprefer,orderonlineaheadoftimeandtake‘erhome. 5800LegacyDr.,Ste.C6|Plano (972)403-1609 www.mamapita.com Zoë'sKitchen The name "Zoë's Kitchen" has become synonymous with quick, healthy and delicious Mediterranean food for busy people on the go; it’s also a perfect choice for family takeout, offering something for everyone’s taste buds.Startwithaclassichummustrioappetizer,whichincludestheclassic version, basil pesto and harissa red pepper—served with pita bread, pita chipsandplentyofcrispveggies.Kabobsareflavorfulandfilling,whether you go with skewers of moist chunks of chicken, beef, seafood or veggies. There are loads of options for vegetarians, Paleo eaters and those eating gluten-free, and check out the website for additional information on food sensitivitiesandallergens. MultiplelocationsthroughoutDFW www.zoeskitchen.com Mexican CasaMama Ifyou’relookingforafamily-friendlydininglocationofferingbothauthen- tic Mexican recipes (specifically, from the Santiago Maravatio Guanajuato region) andTex-Mex favorites, Casa Mama is the right place for you.You’ll findallyourfavoriteMexicandisheshereandafewpleasantsurprises,too, includingrichandfillingGuisoPorkStew,homeyTortillaLasagna,Chipotle Enchiladas, and Ribeye or Salmon Tacos. White Queso is one of the best around, served with light, crispy chips—take it up a notch by adding in ground beef, chorizo or brisket. House made salsa is unique and comes withafreekick.Serviceisknownforbeingexceptionallyfriendly,andstaff ishappytoaccommodateanyspecialorders. 19129PrestonRd.|Dallas (469)828-1045 www.casamamas.com Chuys What started in Austin in 1982 as fun/funky Tex-Mex joint—where you could grab a beer and chips or a comforting mix of familiar entrees, has since grown into what you might call a Tex-Mex empire, with locations across Texas and 14 other states. Still, Chuy’s hasn’t lost its charm. And a lotoflovegoesintoChuy’sfood—fromhand-pulledchickeninallentrees, tohand-rolledfreshtortillas,toanyofthe10signaturesaucesmadefresh daily—thoseextrastepsreallymakeadierenceinbothtasteandquality. If your appetite’s cavernous, you’ll de nitely want to try a“Big AsYo’Face” Burrito or famous Elvis Green Chile Fried Chicken bread- ed with Lay’s po- tato chips, deep fried and smothered with green chile sauce and cheese. A small but refreshing selection of signature drinks still makes Chuy’s a perfectplacetokickback—anytime,anyplace. MultiplelocationsthroughoutDFW HulaHut Located on beautiful Lake Lewis- ville, a visit to Hula Hut feels a lot like a mini beach vacation: think tiki torches, bamboo huts, grass- thatched bars and hanging colored lights galore. Mexonisian-style cui- sine (i.e. traditional Tex-Mex with a Polynesian twist) means that there’s something for everyone, should you choose to bring a group.While you and your significant other are kicking back with a fishbowl-sized Hu-La-La signature cocktail made fortwowiththreedifferenttypesofrum(hello,Uber!),noshonsomePalm TreeHuggerNachosloadedwithcheeseandothergoodies.Thereareplen- ty of options for vegetarians, and Fajitas and Tubular Tacos are intensely satisfyingaswell. 210E.EldoradoPkwy.|LittleElm (214)618-4852 www.hulahutlittleelm.comMr.Mesero MesoMaya ChefNicoSanchez’spassionforfood reflects beautifully in his regionally prepareddishes,suchasPescaraVe- racruz and Mexico City-style Pozole Verde. Flavors are both bright and complex; for example, Pollo con Mole with a hand-seared bone-in chicken breast, topped with rich sauce and served with sweet plan- tain. Margaritas are stellar (try the avocado version with fresh pineapple and lime juices), and there’s also an award-winning selection of tequilas forthosein-the-know. MultiplelocationsthroughoutDFW www.mesomayo.com MrMesero Featuring both “American standards and Mexican classics,”this cozy, but popular, McKinney Avenue spot is favored by the in-crowd, making it a wonderful place for a date night or meeting up with friends. During non- peaktimes,it’salsoanicefamilydestination.Whentheweather’snice,the outdoor patio is especially popular to enjoy a Micorita, a house specialty madewithHerraduraJimadortequila.OtherfavoritesincludeBrisketTacos and the flat grilled Mico“12”Strip Steak, served with serrano and grilled cherrytomatoes. 4444McKinneyAve.|Dallas (214)780-1991 www.mrmesero.com UrbanRioCantina&Grill As the younger sister restaurant of downtown Plano’s popular Urban Crust, Urban Rio opened with high expectations—and doesn’t dis- appoint. Tortillas and tamales are made with hand-ground masa, and even the bolillo rolls for the tortas (sandwiches) are made in- house. Start with either Fried Guacamole Bites or a rich bowl of the Rio Quesowithorwithoutchorizo-stylebeef.Quesadillasareasignaturedish, serveddouble-stacked“clubstyle”andstuffedwithhouse-smokedbrisket, Chimichurri grilled chicken or sautéed veggies. Cocktails are refreshingly unique,andtheopen-airbarisagreatplacetoenjoylivemusicandalovely viewofhistoricPlano. 1000E.14thSt.,Ste.100|Plano (972)422-4466 www.urbanrio.com VelvetTaco When it comes toTexas cuisine, ta- cos are tops (along, of course, with barbecue)andinDallas,VelvetTaco is a favorite. “Multi-cultural ingre- dients” allow diners to experience a little bit of Mexico, India, Cuba, Japan and more—all wrapped in a house made tortilla. Start with theRedCurryCoconutQuesowithpickledonion,Thaibasilandcrispyblue tortillachips—it’ssublime.Thengostraightintowhatyoucamefor:tacos. Seriously, they’re all good, but stand-outs include Annatto Shredded Pork with grilled pineapple on a hibiscus tortilla and Fried Paneer with tomato chutneyandtikkasauce. MultiplelocationsthroughoutDFW www.velvettaco.com Seafood Lefty’sLobsterand ChowderHouse Long considered a neighborhood gem, Lefty’s serves the kind of seafoodyou’dexpecttofindsome- where on the East Coast: clam chowder, lobster bisque (Can’t decide between the two? Ask for half and half), whole main lobster (Lefty’s uses cull lobsters that have one claw—hence, the name) and fried shrimp. Hearty salads are made heartier with the addition of chicken, salmon, shrimp or lobster—and if you’re simply not feeling fishy, go for a perfectly cooked filet mignon or burger. Lefty’s numerous accolades speak for themselves, and it gets a lot of regulars, especially on weekends—so be sure to make a reservation online.Openforlunchanddinner,andthebarstaysopenlate. 4021BeltLineRd.|Dallas (972)774-9518 www.leftyslobster.com SeaBreezeFishMarket&Grill FindingtrulyfreshfishinDallascanbechallenging,butSeaBreezemakes it sooo easy. Selections are flown in daily, representing only the freshest seafoodavailable.Partretailfishmarket,partsit-downrestaurantwithfull bar, at Sea Breeze you can purchase fish to prepare in your own home...or let the experts do it for you while enjoying a glass of wine or cocktail. Be suretostartoutwiththeSesameCrustedYellowfinTunaNachoswithavo- cado wasabi, sweetThai chili, and lemon zest—or maybe you're more of aSmokedSalmonDeviledEggperson;youcan'tgowrongwitheitherone. TheLobsterRollisatopseller,itstraditionalsplit-topbunfilledgenerously with buttery lobster salad.There's a nice selection of soups and stews, in- cluding a stellar cioppino, and gumbo that will remind you of your Cajun granny(ifyouhaveone). 4017PrestonRd.,Ste.530|Plano (972)473-2722 www.seabreezefish.com