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The focaccia was complex and delicious. Courtesy of Facebook

For a brand-new restaurant, Tre Mogli has the welcoming, homey feel of a place that’s been around forever. The space is cozy, thoughtfully lit, and free of excessively loud music. I perched at the bar, near the open kitchen. My conversation with the bartender turned into a lengthy discussion — me learning, the bartender explaining — about an Italian cordial called amaro. The rich and varied liqueur is not commonly known in the states, although it’s the basis for many cocktails in Italy.

Amaro adds a rich complexity to any cocktail.
Photo by Edward Brown

I sprung for the Liberator, a rather generous pour of Wild Turkey and Rucolino Amaro served with a single large ice cube and topped with two pieces of chopped fig. The amaro imbued a rich herbaceous flavor with hints of blood orange. Chewing the bits of figs between sips complemented the libation nicely by adding a subtle sweetness to the boozy drinking experience.

My first appetizer, the calamari, came with warm pepperoncini, fried olives and lemons, and fennel. The squid was lightly battered and crispy. A creamy pesto sauce was both zesty and rich in basil. The meat was soft, supple, and delicious. Never having bit into a fried slice of lemon before, I was hesitant at first but found the citrus mildly sweet and fork-tender. The fried green olives were similarly mild in flavor and devoid of the brininess typically associated with the fruit.

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The focaccia was an equally heavenly experience. The pillowy soft bread had a hearty crust and flakes of salt that livened up each bite. The appetizer arrived next to a large smattering of truffle-kissed ricotta cheese that the bartender said is made in-house. A rich and thick honey, infused with Calabrian chile oil, added a kick that sent my palate into sensory overload.

Tre Mogli offers several pastas via individual or family portions. The bartender said pasta is a point of pride at the new restaurant. I could tell that a lot of thought went into the Bolognese option I ordered. Bolognese often calls for three simple ingredients: tomatoes, beef, and onions. The entree was largely devoid of tomatoes and onions. Instead, a rich meat sauce clung to dense and perfectly cooked spiral pasta. The meaty richness of the mix of veal, pork, and beef was brought to the fore, each bite benefiting from the pungent sprinkling of Pecorino Romano and the sturdy underpinnings of al dente pasta.

Chicken, veal, and pork entrees come in several varieties. I sprung for the chicken piccata. The lightly battered poultry was juicy throughout and had a nice golden crust. The light, lemony sauce and toppings of capers made the dish a delight, although it could have benefited from a side of pasta.

The deconstructed cannoli was a fresh take on the popular Italian dessert. A small mound of sweet, creamy cheese was garnished with two golden-fried squares of cannoli dough. Freshly grated dark chocolate rounded out the treat that was rich without being overly sweet.

The service that evening was impeccable. David, the bar manager, heard that I was interested in amaro and came down to chat about the minutiae of the underappreciated cordial. I didn’t make it upstairs, but David said the upstairs bar is slowly expanding with collections of hard-to-find Italian liquors that will be the base of Tre Mogli’s bar offerings. Tre Mogli is well on its way to being a top destination for connoisseurs of authentic pasta and crafty cocktails.

 

Tre Mogli
401 S Main St, FW. 817-382-2185. 5pm-10pm Tue-Thu, 5pm-11pm Sat-Sun. All major credit cards accepted.

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