It might come as a surprise that there are still restaurants that managed to open during the pandemic where not a single customer has ever taken a seat indoors.
Montelupo Italian Market is among that group, but not for much longer. The restaurant at 344 NE 28th Ave. has announced it is opening its dining room Friday, Nov. 5, for the first time since the business began operating in the summer of 2020.
That means you can finally enjoy bowls piled high with sauced-up noodles from the plush green leather banquets you may have spotted from the adjacent market (or while darting inside to use the restroom). Designed by Matt Lynch, co-owner of retro burger and sandwich joints Super Deluxe and Snappy’s, the soaring white walls are adorned with vintage Italian posters along with images of wolves—a nod to the Italian village the restaurant is named after that was once inhabited by the carnivorous mammals, according to local lore.
The opening of the dining room coincides with the introduction of new dishes from chef Sedona Kusler. Additions to the starter menu include arancini with a spreadable fermented pork salume and ricotta as well as a roasted half acorn squash stuffed with sheep’s cheese. You’ll also now find pappardelle with braised pork ragu, spaghetti and mussels, and fusilli studded with chanterelles in a cream sauce as part of the lineup of the fresh, housemade pastas.
The day after Montelupo’s dining room opens, the restaurant is launching a daily coffee and pastry service. Monty’s Caffè will serve espresso-based drinks made using an Italian-designed Prestige machine as well as scones, muffins and more from Jen’s Bagels & Pastries.
To eat indoors, you must make reservations online, and proof of vaccination is required for entry.
And if you’re wondering about the patio that has served Montelupo well since its pandemic start, well, it’s not going anywhere. The outdoor tables are now covered and surrounded by heaters to make dining comfortable as the temperatures continue to cool.