Dallas is not known for fabulous Italian food. We are a city full of marinara-sauce-based specials. When Jane and Francesco Secchi opened this cozy spot on Midway Road in 1983, they were intent on selling authentic Italian cuisine based on 100-year-old family recipes. There are still touches of the Secchis’ homeland of Sardinia on the menu, but over the years, the list has been tweaked to reflect what their regular customers prefer. You’ll find lasagna, but it’s not overrun with tomato sauce. A thick brick of layered noodles, meat, and Parmesan cheese is baked with cream. There is also a “safe” basic veal scallopine covered with melted mozzarella cheese. If I lived in the neighborhood, I’d frequent Ferrari’s for these two dishes, but I now drive there once a year for the 2-inch veal chop stuffed with a mixture of prosciutto and mozzarella cheese and cooked over a wood fire. The atmosphere is friendly, the service is hit-or-miss, and some Ferrari’s signature dishes are old school. But I’m a sucker for Francesco’s shrimp tossed tableside with olive oil, garlic, and brandy and poured over a pile of linguini. It might not be authentic Italian, but it’s a great show.

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