Open for a little more than a year, Raduno Brick Oven and Barroom has dealt with a lot of changes in its short lifetime. The restaurant changed its name to avoid confusion with a Memphis pizza chain, added a brunch service and is working on plans to add a front patio to its Main Street location. However, in the middle of all the constant updates, owner Bart Barlogie has never lost sight of keeping the menu fresh and the atmosphere fun.
The most recent changes to the menu come during the lunch hour, where Raduno has added several new items to better cater to the fast-moving business crowd. Raduno has served lunch since opening day, but as of late has streamlined its menu to provide quicker service and a more reliable product.
Diners watching their waistline will be happy with the new Big Italian Chopped Salad, a dish made from Romaine and radicchio and pretty much every Italian garnish you can imagine. Red onions, roasted red bell peppers, garbanzo beans, grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives and several other ingredients all bring a ton of vibrance and flavor to a dish that won’t taste as healthy as it actually is. Those wanting some protein to go with their salad can add skewers of Italian meat on the side.
Raduno also is featuring a couple of new sandwiches that stay firmly in line with its Italian heritage. A Margherita Grilled Cheese sandwich gets oven-roasted tomatoes, softened fresh mozzarella, basil and a spinach pesto grilled between two slices of focaccia made by Arkansas Fresh. Of course, you’ll want to order Raduno’s new Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with this one. Grilled cheese and soup is a natural pairing, and that holds true for this non-traditional sandwich as well. Or if you’re not in a vegetarian mood, you can get the generously stacked Italian Meats sandwich. Mortadella, soprasetta, pepperoni and ham are layered thickly and garnished with red onions, pepperoncinis, arugula and provolone cheese on an Arkansas Fresh baguette.
Of course, you can’t have a lunch men at Raduno without involving the brick oven. The restaurant’s latest pizza is a Ham, Pineapple and Jalapeno pie that is served with melted mozzarella and goat cheese. The jalapenos are only a bit spicy, as the sweetness from the pineapple and the creaminess of the cheese prevent the heat from taking over. All Raduno’s lunchtime pizzas are available in six- or 12-inch pies. Also from the oven is Raduno’s new calzone of the day feature. Every lunch service, Raduno will feature a unique calzone that is only served on that day. I got to try the muffuletta calzone while I was there and was impressed. The olive salad and Italian meats worked really well with Raduno’s excellent red sauce.
Of course, the meal isn’t complete without dessert, and you shouldn’t pass up on Raduno’s new options. The restaurant is making a new cannoli called “Pistachio Mustachio,” a fun little treat with crushed pistachios and a small chocolate mustache for decoration. Also on the menu: a new cake from popular pastry chef Zara Abbasi. Her Lemon Italian Cream Cake is a massive slice of delicate cake and a beautifully made lemon curd that is utterly delightful. If you’ve had any of Abbasi’s desserts in the past, you can already imagine how good this one is.
In addition to Raduno’s new lunch offerings, the restaurant has a new happy hour menu of snacks to enjoy at the bar. Included on the new menu is an item simply called “Bacon,” which features slice of thick-cut, sweet and spicy candied bacon that is sure to be a hit. With these new updates, Raduno is making sure it can offer a quality lunch that gets you in and out the door fast enough to make your boss happy. Stop in this week and try out some of these new dishes.