Situated in the historic Magnolia district, this Italian restaurant is easily recognizable by its black-and-white-striped awning and the long line of patrons waiting for a seat in the six-table dining room. The adjacent patio has a few extra tables, but the interior has a cozier vibe, with pale-yellow walls, large windows, and wooden furniture decorated with flowers and photographs. In the kitchen, Italian chef-owner Donatella Trotti (who named the restaurant after her grandmother) uses family recipes to create authentic dishes like pesto gnocchi, and eggplant tortelli with pistachio butter. The restaurant also has a BYO policy with no corkage fee.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.