Page 31

Standout Dishes

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Pizza

Susan’s Salmon

Chicken Mogia Rotisserie

Mamma mia! What could be more Italian than this menu mainstay? This quintessential Sicilian recipe is straight from Grandma Salerno. Two ginormous meatballs perch atop suga-soused pasta. It’s what dreams are made of.

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, it’s time to order Salerno’s oven-baked version. Dine in or take out — make it special with the housemade Italian sausage — a family recipe à la Grandma. Now that’s amore!

Mike’s sister is the namesake of this menu favorite — a light, flaky salmon fillet from the Bay of Fundy baked with Romano and seated on a bed of angel hair pasta with sautéed mushrooms, spinach and mogia.

Chef Morris’ latest fascination is his new rotisserie! For this dish, a half-chicken is marinated for 12 hours in mogia and served with a house salad, side of pasta and slice of pie for the affordable price of $16.50.

in San Antonio and has handled the business operations at Salerno’s since the beginning. Morris is a celebrated chef with a competitive streak. He’s a two-time winner of Texas Chef Association’s “Dallas Chef of the Year,” a gold-medal winner in the 2014 Expogast Culinary Competition in Luxembourg and one of The Lone Star Chefs of Texas, which provides philanthropic outreach. He launched his culinary career at age 17 at the Tanglewood Resort on Lake Texoma and further developed his skills at the Hilton Atlanta Hotel, Dallas’ Fairmont Hotel and as head of banquets at Lowes Anatole. The Flower Mound Years In 1985, Morris and Mike made good on their plan. Rather than competing with Dallas’ established Italian restaurants, “we wanted to go somewhere and grow,” Morris says. “When we opened up in Flower Mound, there were a little over 3,000 people. We were the only restaurant in town with a bar.” They requested a variance to serve liquor and met with the town councilmen. One of them asked, “Are you sure you want to open a restaurant around here?” Morris laughs. “That was our introduction to Flower Mound.” “When you say Flower Mound, most of the time, people will think ‘Salerno’s,’ since [we’ve] been here since

customer for life,” Morris explains. “And tell 10 other friends about us!” Mike quips. The move demonstrated to them how successful they’d become after years of hard work. “It’s a big following. And then we have all the new people coming in who have never been with us before,” Morris says.

Cousins Morris and Mike Salerno under a portrait of their paternal grandparents

the beginning,” Morris says. The cousins/ business owners became involved with the school district and contributed to many charities, earning a solid community standing. Mike says, “We took care of everybody else first.” “When someone walks through the door, our goal is to make them a

Creating a Legacy The new Salerno’s in Highland Village is just across the street from Bistecca, a fine-dining Italian steakhouse originally called The Grotto, which opened in 1994. It’s part of Salerno Pizza Company, the umbrella corporation that includes Salerno’s. Morris’ son Nick is a manager-in-training at Bistecca, and Mike expects that his son Mike Jr., who is currently a food and beverage manager at the Omni Frisco Hotel, will eventually rejoin the family business. Salerno’s also provides catering and meals to go with plans to sell packaged product someday. Morris reflects, “We’re making it where people can take over when we’re gone, and keep it going and expand. We want to create something that will last for eternity. Forever.” Salerno’s Restaurant and Bar 2250 FM407 Suite 130, Highland Village, salernositalian.com Reservations: 972-539-9534, OpenTable.com Price point: $8 to $25 for entrées M AY/J U N E 2 0 1 9 D E N T O N CO U N T Y

29

Profile for Larry McBride

Denton County Magazine May-June 2019  

Denton County Magazine May-June 2019  

Profile for lmcbride