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Eats beat: Albanese family opens new Red Door restaurant

Posted 9:14am on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012

The new year brings a new Albanese family restaurant.

The family that opened Ruffino's and Piola is adding a casual wine cafe: Red Door Bistro near Hulen Mall.

Piola owner Bobby Albanese is the chef at Red Door, but his wife, Donna, is the owner.

Why the South Hulen Street area?

"Customers told us they'd like someplace besides chain restaurants and fast food," Bobby Albanese said.

" Jon Bonnell does a great job [at Bonnell's], but there's not much else. We want to do a simple, nice restaurant."

The Red Door will serve a new American menu with entrees such as honey-chipotle quail, herb-steamed tilapia, pasta with grilled chicken in a walnut-cream sauce and black bean-chicken crepes, plus soups and salads.

It will be open two or three days this week starting Wednesday, then reopen Jan. 2 on a regular schedule.

Red Door is in a former pita sandwich shop -- earlier, a sushi restaurant -- at 4938 Overton Ridge Blvd.

New in Arlington: a pho shop with pizza.

We've already reviewed Vietalia Kitchen in these pages, but there's something else to tell: The chefs came from the kitchen at Birraporetti's.

That means Vietalia serves first-rate pizzas and pastas -- and for as little as $5 at lunch.

Vietalia Kitchen also serves pho, clay pot rice dishes and even burgers.

It's open daily for lunch and dinner at 1220 S. Cooper St.; 817-460-1945, vietaliakitchen.webs.com.

Now that mother Virgie Martinez feels up to running her tiny backyard Mi Cocinita cafe, she takes over the cooking again next month

Daughter Adrena Martinez Orr and cook-husband Terry came in a year ago to help Martinez restore her family's legacy Tex-Mex cafe, bringing back the tradition of the late Betty Mendez and the fabled cafe in a south-side back yard.

The Orrs promoted the cafe at nearby schools and on social media, drawing new diners to a 50-plus-year landmark. (It started as a take-out tamale stand and was "grandmothered in" as a restaurant in the middle of the Worth Heights neighborhood.)

This is the Orrs' last week helping Martinez. Mi Cocinita will be open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for lunch this week, then reopen Jan. 16; 3509 Bryan Ave. (north of Ripy Street west of Interstate 35W), 817-923-0033.

The phone number for Iron Spurs Bar and Grill in Sansom Park is 817-230-4279. It was wrong in a recent Eats Beat.

Bud Kennedy's Eats Beat appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com Weekend. 817-390-7538

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Twitter: @eatsbeat

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