Nunzio Ristorante Rustico, an upmarket Italian that helped transform downtown Collingswood into a restaurant row nearly 18 years ago, will reopen in mid-November under a new owner.
Chef Michael DeLone, who worked for Nunzio Patruno for five years at his long-ago destination Monte Carlo Living Room at Second and South Streets in Philadelphia, and his wife, Lisa Santacroce, cinched a long-in-the-works deal with Patruno last week for the handsome, sky-lit BYOB, which opened at 706 Haddon Ave. in early 2004.
Nunzio closed in spring 2020 at the outset of the pandemic.
DeLone said he agreed to keep Nunzio’s name on the shingle for two years as he gradually converts the restaurant to his style. The Roxborough-raised DeLone, 40, was the longtime chef at Center City’s now-closed Le Castagne.
The Puglia-raised Patruno, 65, owns and runs Nunzio Restaurant & Bar in Hilton Head, S.C. Besides Monte Carlo Living Room, Patruno also was a partner in the several Ristorante Primavera restaurants in the Philadelphia region.
DeLone said he would retain the white-tablecloth airs and will offer a chef’s table in the kitchen that can seat eight to 12 people.
A peek at a draft menu shows house-made pastas including bucatini with pork gravy and whipped ricotta ($22); lobster ravioli ($24) with peas, lobster, and lemon butter; and rabbit pappardelle ($22) in hunter ragu, and entrées including a pan-roasted pork chop with stewed pepper, smoked pancetta, broccoli rabe, and pickled long hots ($23); veal chop Parmigiana ($38); and shrimp and beans with escarole, roasted garlic, and pesto.