Source, The Times Herald, Gary Puleo
UPPER MERION — Nestled between Neiman Marcus and Macy’s, the just-opened North Italia has quickly settled into its big-as-life presence at the heart of King of Prussia Mall’s Savor connector.
Being surrounded by dozens of the dining hotspots that make up a huge part of the still booming King of Prussia dining scene doesn’t intimidate the folks behind the restaurant that is part of Fox Restaurant Concepts, noted manager Desmond Carr, who hails from another concept in the Fox family, a gastropub chain called Culinary Dropout in Las Vegas.
“I don’t really look at it as a competition thing, because we’ve had our own restaurants open literally next door to each other and we trust that one of those restaurants will be able to accommodate customers and it’ll be great. So it doesn’t really take away sales from the other restaurants, it just creates a hub where people can just come and find a great place to eat. Maybe one night someone will be on a wait at (nearby) J. Alexander’s and they’ll decide to check out North because they’re not as busy right now. If the restaurants are all doing well in the area, it’s not so much about competition … people just know they can come here and get a good meal anywhere.”
With its own outside entrance on the lower level, North Italia sports a bright, modern motif favored by many newer King of Prussia eateries and seats 244 indoors, 80 on the patio.
“Shoppers stop in to grab a bite to eat and we already have some regulars that keep coming back for lunch and dinner. Everyone just loves the food here,” said Carr, who is looking forward to the valet parking to be furnished by the mall that starts around Black Friday.
“That will probably help us out quite a bit here,” he said.
The menu at North Italia ranges from pasta, sandwiches, salads and pizza to small plates, braised short ribs and even weekend brunch. Everything is made fresh on site daily, a press release noted.
Standout dishes, according to Carr, include Spaghetti and Meatballs, Bolognese, Chicken Parmesan and Margherita Pizza.
Surprisingly, the name North Italia doesn’t necessarily reflect the cuisine, he noted.
“The ‘north’ in the name comes from the fact that we started in North Tuscon, Arizona,” Carr said. “When you look at our dinner menu, it definitely has a northern Italian presence … our white wine glazed short rib dish has polenta in it that is rich and creamy, which would be more from the Northern side, and a scalloped risotto dish, which is something you might think of that would be more Northern Italian. We also have dishes with red sauces that would be more from Southern Italy,” he added.”
North Italia is located at 350 Mall Boulevard, King of Prussia. Phone is 484-751-9000. For more information, visit northitaliarestaurant.com/KOP.