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3.-Radici-Lasagna-Bianca.png Photos by Mia Valdez
Lasagna bianca, Derry’s Modena-style lasagna made with white bolognese.

Chef Tiffany Derry opens Radici Woodfired Grill in Texas

The Italian restaurant in Farmers Branch draws inspiration from Derry’s early career and travels through Italy

Chef Tiffany Derry is a fixture on the Food Network and at food festivals around the country, but national prominence hasn’t kept the James Beard Award finalist from growing her business in her home state of Texas.

On May 1, Derry and Tom Foley — the duo behind T2D Concepts — introduced their latest venture: Radici Woodfired Grill. Radici, which means “roots” in Italian, is located in Farmers Branch, a Dallas suburb, and sits beside the group’s other lauded restaurant, Roots Southern Table.

Derry is famous for her duck-fat fried chicken served at Roots and its casual offshoot, Roots Chicken Shak, but her culinary repertoire goes well beyond Southern fare. Derry has traveled extensively in Italy and Italian is the first cuisine she learned to cook professionally. Radici draws inspiration from Derry’s experience and also pays homage to Foley’s maternal heritage.

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Polpette – meatballs made of pork, beef and veal in a pomodoro sauce.

The restaurant is 3,000 square feet, and the dining room is filled with natural wood and burgundy tones. A six-seat chef’s table looks out into the open kitchen, and the space also houses a semi-private dining room.

Radici’s menu changes based on seasonal availability, but it’s centered around wood-fired meats and vegetables and a selection of fresh pastas made each day.

“You’ll find influences from several of the regions I’ve visited, including Sicily, Rome, Modena, Tuscany, and more,” Derry said. “Tuscany is where I fell in love with the wood-fired grill, which I’ve made the centerpiece of Radici’s kitchen.”

The menu is arranged by categories of antipasti, primi, secondi and contorni. Sample starters include rosemary and garlic confit focaccia, salads, polpette (meatballs in pomodoro sauce), fritto misto and supplì al telefono: a risotto croquette with pork sausage, chicken liver, pomodoro, and smoked mozzarella.

Primi courses highlight housemade pastas, including rigatoni amatriciana (spicy pasta sauce made with pork cheek) and lasagna bianca, which Derry prepares in the Modena style, with white bolognese, sage, spinach pasta, parmesan, and nutmeg. Secondi plates range from chicken parmesan and a whole branzino, to the Texas wagyu ribeye served Fiorentina-style.

On the drinks side of the menu, Radici offers classic cocktails like the negroni, sidecar, Aperol spritz and a chilled martini, plus housemade limoncello and a selection of spirit-free cocktails. The wine list is predominantly focused on Italian varietals.

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Inside Radici Wood-Fired Grill.

Radici’s location next to its sibling restaurant, Roots Southern Table, has its advantages.

“We believe in smart, strategic growth, and the city of Farmers Branch has been an amazing partner in helping us do just that,” Derry said. “Plus, the local community has been so welcoming since we opened Roots Southern Table three years ago.”

Farmers Branch doesn’t have a buzzing dining district like many other Dallas neighborhoods, but it’s centrally located between downtown Dallas and the north Dallas suburbs, so Derry said the location was a natural fit for another culinary concept. Roots has become a destination restaurant that people drive to from all over DFW, and Derry hopes that Radici will be the same.

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A spread of dishes at Radici.

T2D concepts is also working to expand its Roots Chicken Shak footprint. The fast-casual restaurant centered around Derry’s duck fat-fried chicken has locations in Plano and Austin food halls, with another store in development in DeSoto. The brand recently announced a new franchising model that prizes passion and operational experience over net worth. The franchise model is designed to scale the brand while creating economic opportunities for franchisees and bringing chef-driven food to new communities. The first franchisee will be announced soon.

TAGS: Chefs
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