A new Italian restaurant for downtown

Bravos opened late last week at 217 E. Douglas.

Downtown workers and dwellers can now partake in Italian feasts with relative ease.

Bravos opened Thursday in the space at 217 E. Douglas, which has been occupied in recent years by a long string of restaurants, including Holy land Mediterranean Grill, Onyx Bistro and DK Kitchen.

Owner Kas Zendeli recently closed his Bravo’s Italiani in Valley Center. He previously owned Italian Bistro, which was open for just a few months last year at Market Centre, First and Market downtown.

The menu includes pastas, pizzas, hot subs, chicken dishes and more. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Zendeli is working on getting a liquor license but it could take several weeks. Once he gets it, Bravos will offer wine and beer. Daily lunch specials will be offered soon, too.

For more information, call 316-440-3359.

Now open: Ciao Italian Kitchen

I’m getting a lot of questions about Ciao Italian Kitchen, the new restaurant that opened a couple of weeks ago in the space at 1720 N. Webb Road left vacant by Press. (And Sabor before that. And Piztro’s before that.)

I spoke yesterday with owner Guillermo Perez-Munoz,who told me that the restaurant opened on Sept. 29. Ciao is still waiting on its liquor license but in the meantime is serving a menu filled with Italian comfort food dishes such as lasagna, chicken Marsala, gnocchi, pizza and more. You can see the full menu here. Warning: It’s huge.

Perez-Munoz has remodeled the interior a bit, he said, moving the bar and adding booths. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. You can reach the restaurant by calling 316-613-2426.

Can I be honest with you? With the opening of Bocconcini, Luca Italian Kitchen, Italian Bistro and now Ciao, I’m getting a little concerned about all the Italian food eating on my horizon, calorically speaking. It’s a tough job…

Now open: Italian Bistro

Often, restaurant owners like to open new places quietly so that they have time to make sure the waiters know the menu and the salt and pepper won’t run out before the masses descend.

Kas Zendeli is one of those restaurant owners. I’ve been stalking him for weeks, ever since I wrote my story about the Italian restaurant renaissance in Wichita. And I was only able to pin him down by showing up this afternoon at his new Italian Bistro, which he quietly opened Aug. 1 in the old Restaurant 155 space at Market Centre, First and Market downtown.

He was very nice, even offering me a slice of his heavenly homemade limoncello cake, which I highly recommend.

His menu features many of the same dishes made popular at his Valley Center restaurant, Bravo’s Italiani, but he’s added a fewer higher end dishes, including veal. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Zendeli doesn’t have his liquor license yet but is working on it. He does the cooking himself at the new restaurant, and his 28-year-old son is keeping things afloat in Valley Center.

You can take a look at the menu here, which includes in interesting mix of traditional Italian dishes such as gnocchi, chicken Marslala, eggplant Parmigiana, lasagna, baked ravioli and more. He also has a large selection of seafood dishes made with mussels, clams and shrimp.

The restaurant accepts reservations and can be reached by calling 316-201-6128.

The stalking was worth it. Can’t wait to try it.

Question of the week: Best WichItalian dish

Mickey Afsharpour with Capellini De Angelo at Marchello's.

This week, I’ve written my dining story about the Italian food renaissance that’s underway in Wichita. After a long period of losing our lasagna purveyors, we’re making a comeback. Luca Italian Eatery opened two weeks ago, and by the end of the summer, we’ll have Italian Bistro and Bocconcini as well.

It got me thinking about the delicious Italian dishes served now in Wichita in places such as Luciano’s, Sweet Basil, DeFazio’s, Marchello’s and more.

Which local Italian dish is your favorite? Tell me the specific dish and which restaurant it comes from.

Also, throw my nomination in the hat for Marchello’s melty, amazing lasagna.

Make your nomination in the comments section below.