People who stopped in to test out Alex & Teresa’s within the first few months after its beginning had been greeted by way of Sinatra tunes and ground-to-ceiling work of art of the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. If they took these cues to intend that that they had simply entered a New York Italian pizza-pasta joint, they have been in for a surprise after they opened the menu.

Instead of a catalog of Italian-American favorites, they located offerings like cuoppo di Gennarino, polpettine alla diavola and trofie salsiccia e friarelli. Instead of any other strip mall Italian-American eatery, these lucky gastronomic explorers had stumbled across a restaurant that specializes in actual Italian delicacies.
Neapolitan, to be particular, is the local delicacies of the restaurant’s owners, Teresa Russo (whose circle of relatives owned a restaurant in Naples) and her husband, Alex Greco, an experienced pizzaiolo who also helps out inside the dining room. The couple, who come to Cary via way of New York, opened Alex & Teresa’s in January. Their enthusiasm for the meals of their adolescence is plain as they answer your questions and describe dishes, some of which you could in no way have heard of.

They give an explanation for that cuoppo di Gennarino is an appetizer sampler stimulated by using snacks which can be served in a paper cone (“cuoppo”) at the streets of Naples. I’ll add that it’s a first-rate way to begin your exploration. A current sampler included creamy-targeted potato croquettes, triangles of fried pizza dough, and a saffron-tinged rice ball as big as a baseball, full of molten mozzarella, bolognese sauce, and green peas — all organized round a small dish of San Marzano tomato dipping sauce.
Polpettini alla diavola, miniature red meat meatballs simmered in a spicy tomato sauce, is some other winning starter. So is selfmade burrata with speck— a herbal accomplice for the crusty house-baked bread you’ll be served hot out of the oven. Fried calamari (Alex proudly informs you that the squid is clean, no longer frozen) wanted a little salt once I ordered it, but have been otherwise exemplary.
Fresh pasta is a house distinctiveness, with alternatives starting from classically easy spaghetti cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) to trofie salsiccia e friarelli (a quick, twisted pasta with Italian sausage and broccoli rabe). Ravioli, whose ricotta filling can be tinged with orange or lemon (chef’s desire), is a pleasing change of tempo, regardless which citrus is featured.
The ravioli is one in every of a handful of vegetarian alternatives, in conjunction with gnocchi alla Sorrentina (fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil), trofie al pesto, and tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms (which additionally happens to be gluten-free).
If you definitely ought to get your Italian-American restore, you’ll find a completely saucy spaghetti with meatballs among the half of-dozen or so listings underneath the Dry Pasta heading. Other alternatives cover a extensive spectrum from penne alla Siciliana (some other departure from Neapolitan domestic turf, presenting eggplant, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil) to linguine al scolio (seafood and cherry tomatoes in white wine, olive oil and garlic).

The essential course presenting meanders throughout Italy, from pollo alla romana (Roman-fashion fowl with mixed bell peppers) to cioppino Siciliano. And if you idea cioppino originated in the San Francisco Italian fisherman network (I did), Teresa Russo is glad to dispute that starting place tale. It’s safe to say that nobody in San Francisco could recognize the version served at Alex & Teresa’s as cioppino (it comes off greater like zuppa di pesce), however there’s no denying that it’s a tasty, tomatoey seafood stew.
Chef Alberto Di Somma, who has cooked all over the global from Naples to Brazil, does his place of birth of Milan proud with worth dishes: ossobucco alla Milanese (with risotto), and cotoletta alla Milanese con melanzane a funghetto: gently breaded veal cutlets served with a medley of eggplant and tomatoes cooked “mushroom fashion.”
New York-fashion pizzas are some other prevailing choice. The emphasis on genuine Neapolitan fare notwithstanding, Alex & Teresa’s doesn’t invoice their pies as “los angeles vera Napoletana.” More than two dozen toppings are available, in addition to residence specialty pies including eggplant parmesan and prosciutto San Daniele — on a thin, nicely-browned crust.
Alex & Teresa’s continues to be a piece in development, though the progress within the kitchen has been specially surprising considering my first go to in February, while beneath-salting became a habitual issue. Other than a Caesar salad marred via hard, dense croutons, the entirety I’ve had on subsequent visits has been right to very good.

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