Slinging Pies on the City Line
For nearly two years, Coal Vines in CityLine has been delivering a little slice of New York to Plano and Richardson eaters. Specializing in pizza, vino and traditional Italian favorites, the locally founded restaurant has managed to attract a steady stream of lunchtime regulars and family diners looking for great food in a relaxed atmosphere.
“I think what makes us different is the passion behind the food, the commitment to the quality of our pizza and the quality of our product,” general manager Cristian Incio said. “That’s something that I think is imperative. The best way to make pizza dough is with love.”
Coal Vines was the brainchild of Joseph Palladino, probably best known as the co-owner of iconic Dallas steakhouse Nick & Sam’s. He wanted to create a restaurant with a vibe similar to the bustling neighborhood pizza joints in his native New York.
Together with business partner Phil Romano, he opened the Uptown Dallas Coal Vines location in 2006. That restaurant’s success prompted the duo to license out the concept. Franchised locations soon popped up in Texas locales and beyond. Today the Richardson outpost at CityLine is the only location other than Uptown still overseen by Palladino.
“The food is the same and consistent with Uptown, but it’s tailored to our location and customers,” Cristian said. He also explains that for the nearby large office buildings, “We have a really great lunch menu with lots of personal-sized pizzas.” Free parking is conveniently located along State Street and on the ground floor of each parking garage.
The CityLine Coal Vines is split into two sections to accommodate the needs of different clientele. One half features walk-up counter service designed for the lunch crowd with speed in mind. This area doubles as a special event space in the evenings.
On the other side is the familiar full service restaurant that guests have come to expect. Palladino’s vision included creating an impressive wine list with recognizable names at affordable prices. Coal Vines’ core list remains consistent, but new bottles are added on a regular basis.
Unlike the Uptown restaurant, Coal Vines in Richardson features a full service bar. Many of the drinks are Italian-inspired with a unique twist. Specials include the signature Negroni, a red velvet pomegranate mule with honey syrup and the Cloud 9 made with champagne and St. Germain.
Coal Vines hosts happy hour every weeknight from 4-7 p.m. Specials include $8 well cocktails, $6 wines by the glass and $2 off beers. Those who want a snack with their beverages can also enjoy $10 cheese pizza.
Overseeing the kitchen is executive chef Samir Dhurandhar, who was the founding chef at Nick & Sam’s. Chef Walter Aguilar handles day-to-day responsibilities in Richardson, with occasional help from Chef Abel Rodriguez.
“If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing,” Cristian said. “I’m very grateful for what they do.”
And what they are doing these days is cranking out a vast array of pizza ranging from the simple pepperoni to perennial favorites like the spicy meatball or sausage with roasted peppers. The menu also includes multiple gluten-free options.
Food specials are updated weekly and typically include an off-menu pizza, a pasta and a seafood dish. Wednesday nights also feature half-price bottles of wine.
Going forward, Cristian said his goal is to maintain consistency. He wants people to know that when they come to Coal Vines, they can expect great food, excellent service and an overall fun dining experience in a non-pretentious environment.
“I think this is the best quality food you can get as far as this style goes,” he said. “We like to have fun, and I think that comes through the whole vibe of the restaurant.”Coal Vines Richardson >
Coal Vines is one of the ten participating CityLine restaurants at Plano Magazine Bite Nite at CityLine on September 6. Purchase tickets here:Plano Magazine Bite Nite at CityLine >
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