A new casual restaurant offering authentic homemade Italian cuisine has set up shop in Mayfaire.
Billing itself as fast yet fresh, Positalia Italian Eatery opened last week at 6800 Parker Farm Drive, in the new Dick’s Sporting Goods shopping center.
The family owned and operated dining establishment is the first venture of its kind for Raleigh-based owners Clif and Rachelle Bullard, who also have amassed 53 Burger King, Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q and Moe’s Southwest Grill locations in North Carolina, Ohio and New York.
“We are well versed in the fast, casual atmosphere,” Rachelle Bullard said. “And we are very fortunate to have had good timing with a local Raleigh chef. She was interested in moving from fine dining more into the fast casual…so we started brainstorming together and coming up with how this could work.”
That chef is Sicily-born Nina Psarros, who, together with the Bullards, developed a create-your-own concept for Positalia’s affordable menu.
“She is an amazing chef. She has known Italian food her whole life. You hear people talk about cooking from the soul–she really does cook from her soul, and for her soul too,” Rachelle Bullard said.
Among Positalia’s selections are salad and pasta bowls, which diners can customize by picking their proteins–chicken, steak, meatballs and salmon, among them–and their choice of vegetables and homemade sauces. A gluten-free pasta is available.
A feature of the restaurant is an adapted Piadina, a traditional Italian flat bread that has been served in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy for centuries.
“We modified it to a less carb-y, more crispy bread that is strong enough to support ingredients in wraps,” Rachelle Bullard said.
The Piadina is used in a kid favorite on the children’s menu–a pizza stick that includes cheese, Psarros’ signature marinara and pepperoni, if desired.
“Once you try her marinara you’ll know why I keep bringing it up,” Rachelle Bullard said, laughing.
And for kids and grown-ups alike, Positalia offers up cannolis–with cream separate–so customers can learn how to roll their own.
The restaurant will also soon begin serving beer and wine, which Rachelle Bullard said patrons might enjoy while sitting on the restaurant’s awning-covered patio.
In their first week, Rachelle Bullard said she and Clif–along with two of his sons, who will help run the restaurant–have been listening to feedback from customers. They plan to start offering Piadina on the side of salad and pasta bowls, for one, to accommodate diners’ desire to try the flatbread with their dishes.
“It has been an incredible process,” she said. “We’re excited to be in Wilmington. We love the community here.”
Positalia is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Dine-in and take-out, as well as catering, is available.
Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at (910) 772-6341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.