Frequent visitors to the Dearborn may have noticed a few changes in the past week: A different name. A fresh, Tuscan-gold paint job on the exterior. A few extra staff members inside.
And an entirely new menu.
The Dearborn arm of the Metro Detroit chain of Italian restaurants was one of three to and be reopened as Joe Vicari's Andiamo Italian Steakhouse.
Inspired by a recent trip to Italy, Andiamo owner Vicari decided that some of his restaurants needed a change.
"He wanted to take the top three premiere properties and upgrade them," explained Dearborn Andiamo manager Tony Gagnon. "It's the best of the best of the best."
For example, the best service–diners will be catered to by more staff members, all of whom have gone through extensive training.
"It's a little more hands-on," Gagnon added. "More people waiting on guests than before."
And the best foods, too. Absent from the new menu are classics like lasagna or chicken parmesan, in favor of prime steer and fresh seafood. They're joined by an expanded wine list–and a recently hired certified sommelier who can help diners pair wines with their meals.
"We'll still stick to our roots of being an Italian restaurant," Gagnon assured. "Everything will be made from scratch."
And, he shared, the restaurant will still accomodate requests for old Andiamo favorite dishes whenever possible.
The Dearborn location opened as a steakhouse Aug. 13, joining the Bloomfield restaurant. The third, in Warren, opened Aug. 20.
The ones chosen for the change, Gagnon said, were "the properties that the partners put the most capital and effort into."
And in Dearborn, the team felt that the steakhouse would fill a need for upscale dining options. The reaction so far has been positive.
Added Gagnon, "People loyal to the Dearborn and Dearborn Heights area need a place like us."