Chris Bianco Opens Full-Blown Pizzeria Bianco at Town & Country; Italian Restaurant Moves to Back Dining Room and Morphs to Trattoria Bianco

Categories: Buchanan

Pizzeria Bianco --new sign T&C.jpg
Buchanan
New (but old) sign at Town & Country
It may have gotten off to a rocky start, but Chris Bianco's Italian Restaurant has been earning rave reviews from local foodists for many months now. Problem was: Only hardcore food folks made the connection between the generic name and the famous pizza guy behind it.

See also:
-- Chris Bianco To Open Pizzeria Bianco in Tucson This Fall

So Bianco, an inveterate tweak-till-you-get-it-right kind of person, is changing Italian Restaurant's name to Trattoria Bianco, moving that piece of the operation to the dining room at the back of the Italian Restaurant space. But there's more.

Pizzeria Bianco -- sign in window.jpg
Buchanan
Essentially, Italian Restaurant is being split into two restaurants. The front part, where most of us have been dining for the past year, will become Pizzeria Bianco, offering the same six pizzas found at the downtown location plus antipasti, a market salad, and what Bianco calls "a slightly different wrinkle," a phrase that gives him the freedom to add things at whim -- whether his or Chef John Hall's.

Meanwhile, the lovely back dining room -- which actually looks a bit like an old-fashioned living room -- will become Trattoria Bianco, bringing Italian Restaurant's menu with it. Bianco explains that it's "always a work in progress," adding that he plans to soundproof the high-ceiling room and plans, down the line, to offer a relaxed Sunday lunch, offering the sorts of dishes Bianco remembers eating at home on Sundays: something braised long and slow, something with gravy, maybe some macaroni in a bowl. All very homey.

For now, the trattoria will be open only in the evening, but if demand for lunch is high, that could change over time. The patio that wraps around the restaurant will be split in two, half to the pizzeria, the other half to the trattoria.

Bianco says his landlord had urged him to open a pizzeria at Town & Country from the get-go, but at the time, he was more interested in creating a chef-driven place using family recipes. After settling into the space, he realized he wanted to re-connect with old customers (Bianco got his start in this very mall when he took over the space vacated by Rancho Pinot, who moved to Scottsdale in 1994). He says he's always been frustrated that people had to wait so long at the original Pizzeria Bianco location. Now, they won't have to.

As for Italian Restaurant's name, he says, "It was a great story, how I arrived at that name, and it had deep meaning for me, but none of that matters if you have to explain it. If you name your dog Fido, a lot of dogs come running."

And by the way, Pizzeria Bianco T&C will get some of Pane Bianco's sandwiches, as will the original location. "It's all very incestuous, " Bianco says.

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Trattoria Bianco

4743 N. 20th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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11 comments
Melissa Backstrom
Melissa Backstrom

I'm very excited about this development. I have always been a fan of town & country and am happy to see the space is being utilized by a local business! Also I'm walking distance - so even better! :)

bmcphx
bmcphx

The biggest reason Italian Restaurant was a bad name, for me, is because when I type in Google "Italian Restaurant Phoenix" it does not come up as one of the first 20+ matches.

rwegner4
rwegner4

We need gluten free Pizza Bianco!

Nicole Bleu Soultaire
Nicole Bleu Soultaire

Shh.... This has been my secret for over a year! Don't tell the masses;-) SERIOUSLY!

JDIII
JDIII

No we don't! REAL pizza had gluten, period! No legit pizza chef is going to make a gluten free pizza and completely bastardize the art of pizza. Why are GF people so entitled to think everyone should cater to them? Only 3% of the population actually has celiac. Get over it and make your own crappy GF pizza at home along with all your other GF foods full of sugar, chemicals & synthetic ingredients

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