Updated: Oct 6
Driving down J. Turner Butler/202 you might catch a glimpse of this tall rectangle of a building. (If you'll remember, I have a penchant for restaurants with cunning architectural details). This location was new and old. It was the same chef, but with different cuisine and concept.
Tom Gray and Sarah Johnson
RIP to Moxie which used to be there and sang her rectangular siren song to Westward JTB drivers. Tom Gray and Sarah Marie Johnston, owned Moxie and later, in early 2020, opened Prati Italia. When I saw that the location was becoming an Italian place, it was kismet. I, too, met my husband and became Italian.
My favorite of all cuisines was now in a mod Town Center package. I started thinking about pasta, basil pesto, garlic bread and big bright tomatoes (the kind my sad tomato plant was supposed to harvest). Just thinking of Italian dining put the taste of a deep Burgundy in my pallet.
Then, thanks for the JAX Chamber, I finally got to try this place.
Campanelle Pasta Teaser
I devoured a to-go dinner from Prati at the JAX Chamber Longest Table event. Geography demanded that I trekk half a mile down Independent Drive to section 6 where they were serving food from Prati: Campenelle Pasta, Roasted Cauliflower, and Garlic Bread. I chose a folding chair, met some new people, then dug into a hot and hearty dinner sampling. It was a spicy sausage pasta. I was in the right seat.
JAX Chamber Longest Table Event
Then I went to the restaurant with the Salussolia side of the family. Just like when it was Moxie, the vibe is upbeat and chic. All of our appetizers were phenomenal - even the bread was remarkable. My orzo had a simple flavor and was not as heavy as some of the ones I've had before. I had the scallops, which were large, fresh, and perfectly succulent. Chef Tom Gray outdid himself.
Salussolias, Scallops, Pizza
My husband got the Roman-Style pizza which had really interesting seasoning and lots of yummy Asiago cheese. It was a huge dish, but still took some convincing for him to share. This was way fancier than your average pizza expectation.
Our server was friendly, helpful and so patient with my two year old's craziness. If was a full weekend night, but the crowd was managed with elegance.
We had just enough room to share some gelato, which transported me right back to steps of the duomo in Milan. The Affogato style, with a shot of espresso poured on top, took me right back to my Starbucks days.
When I originally wrote about the restaurant on Yelp, Sarah, one of the owners sent her personal thanks.
Thank you, Donna Salussolia, for sharing some of your date night photos! Definitely want to go again soon. I think my date night goals are now tied with bb's and Prati.