Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Alex Grisanti to Open Elfo Grisanti's Northern Italian Cuisine in Southaven

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 8:33 PM

Alex Grisanti is slated to open a new restaurant, Elfo Grisanti’s Northern Italian Cuisine, during the second week of September in Southaven.

It’s a first for the Grisanti restaurants, says Grisanti, the chef/owner of the new restaurant. “The first time we’ve been in Mississippi.”

click to enlarge Alex Grisanti
  • Alex Grisanti

The restaurant at 5627 Getwell Road was named after his grandfather as well as Grisanti’s 25-year-old son, Elfo.

The restaurant will have two sides. Grisante describes the side that will open first as a “plain, simple pizzeria” featuring a brick pizza oven as well as bistro tables on an outdoor patio.

The fine-dining side will have white tablecloths and large black-and-white photographs of family members, including his father, the late Ronnie Grisanti. The look will be reminiscent of Alex Grisanti’s former Elfo’s Restaurant in Germantown. “The dining room is going to be cozy, casual,” Grisanti says, and will include “three little private dining rooms.” 

As for the food, Grisanti says, “We are doing what my dad did in 1979 at Union and Marshall. I am going to serve true Grisanti Italian comfort food.” Which also is what his grandfather and great-grandfather Pietro “Mr. Willy” Grisanti and his wife, Mary, served at their Memphis restaurants, he says. 

“My grandfather Elfo told my dad,’If you cook my Elfo Special, my spinach, and my manicotti, you can make a living for yourself for the rest of your life.’ That’s what my dad did and what I did.

“I’m cooking like the Grisantis have cooked since 1909: Cold, chilled salad bowls. My dad was always big on salad bowls, and his had to be cold. The lettuce had to be cold with Miss Mary’s dressing on it. I am going to give Memphis and Southaven what we did at Union and Marshall and on Poplar.

click to enlarge elfo_grisanti_s_logo.png

“On weekends I’m going to run fish specials, beef specials, but I’m also going to have our original manicotti, the spinach, Elfo Special, the lasagna.”

Customers also will find chicken cacciatore, eggplant parmigiana, and other traditional Grisanti favorites, Grisanti says, and the “big hand-toasted ravioli.”

“I’m going back to the basics. The big loaves of garlic French bread with butter and parmesan cheese. Just all the old-school comfort food. Family friendly price points where you can bring the family in. I want to be just the old simple, Italian restaurant that my family started out with. That’s what we did.”

In addition to his son Elfo, the restaurant will involve his entire family, including his wife, Kim, and their other children, Francesca, Alexis, and Luccabella.

He’s excited to open the new restaurant. "Southaven has been nothing but warm and welcoming. We’re as happy as we can be.”

Grisanti will continue to operate his food truck, "9 Dough 1."

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