By Kevin Collison
Laura Norris knew it would be easier to serve a second Ragazza when she decided to open a new restaurant in the City Market, but felt deep inside it wouldn’t be the recipe for what may be her last culinary outing.
“It was a personal decision for me,” she said. “Thinking it would be the last project I do, I wanted to do food I love to eat.
“We’re going a little out of our comfort zone..I wanted to remain interested, for our own sanity and I love Mediterranean food.”
And so the owner one of the city’s most popular Italian restaurants plans to open Enzo in mid-April in the former Bo Ling space at 20 E. Fifth St. along with her brother, Grant Norris.
It will continue exploring the cuisine of Southern Europe, according to a release from the City Market.
“The idea for Enzo comes from visits to their favorite restaurant in Trastevere, Rome, and it promises to deliver a diverse Mediterranean experience – leaning heavily on Sicilian and Greek dishes including shared and small plates as well as full entrée portions,” according to the release.
“Market fresh seasonal salads along with tender roasted lamb and house-made tzatziki will be menu mainstays as well as a meatball reminiscent of the one made famous at Ragazza.”
Norris had been interested in opening a place in the River Market for several years, even close to signing a lease that would have combined three smaller spaces just before the pandemic derailed her plans.
She said the area has the kind of neighborhood feeling she enjoyed at the original Ragazza at 301 Westport Rd.
“We’re excited about that part of town because there is so much residential in that area,” Norris said. “Being downtown, in the Market and being part of a community is so refreshing.
“We’ll be in a cool neighborhood with lots of little businesses. The City Market is like an incubator for small businesses.”
The new place will be about the same size as the Ragazza on Main. Norris said Enzo should be a place where people can sit, relax with wine and enjoy an affordable meal.
“We’re very purposeful in how we operate our business,” Norris said. “We want to make it accessible and a place for regulars.
It plans to serve lunch and dinner, and brunch on weekends. In addition to serving her favorite foods, Norris wants Enzo to have a “robust” Happy Hour.
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