Dallas’ Western Heritage with a Touch of Gourmet Experience
A western-style Dallas tour on the Vespa Sprint Limited Speed from North Dallas to historic Downtown to discover Italian food and some big-time Texas fun.
Duration: Two days of pure enjoyment, from grand architecture to history and great cuisine, of course.
Itinerary: From North Dallas through Highland Park and University Park to Downtown Dallas and its nightlife. Around 10 miles
Equipment: sunglasses, smartly packed backpack and “cowboy boots”
Here we are, sitting comfortably in a Texan bar, sipping our pomegranate mojito mocktails. Waiting for us is our super stylish Vespa Sprint Limited Speed, now rideable in Texas without the motorcycle license! We’re ready to roll! The warm breeze invites us to put on our Vespa helmets and start our journey through Dallas, American history and classic Italian culinary tradition. Our trusty travel companion is the perfect means of transportation for getting the most out of the Big D.
North Dallas, University Park
We start our day in the University Park neighborhood. This picturesque area is a sort of getaway to the exciting experiences Dallas offers, like luxury shopping and fine dining. Beautiful homes line the streets, and the atmosphere inspires a sense of comfort and luxury. We drive by Penne Pomodoro, a casual Italian restaurant serving fresh dishes in a sunny setting. The space is cozy, and the open kitchen allows the guests to interact with the staff. If you want, you can be creative and mix and match homemade pasta with your favorite sauce or order some Italian-style starters from the menu. We enjoy our relaxing tour on our Vespa and relish the soothing atmosphere around us.
North Dallas, Highland Park
We continue our journey toward Highland Park, a popular spot for filming: it’s the setting of the hit 1980s show Dallas as well as the newly minted Real Housewives of Dallas. Once there, we find a suitable parking space for our Vespa Sprint and run our fingers through our hair to untousle it. We head toward Fachini for an early dinner to tame our rumbling stomachs. This highly anticipated new restaurant by Dallas Italian food connoisseur Julian Barsotti is the perfect addition to a vibrant neighborhood. Classic old-school Italian-American dishes are served in a softly lit dining room. Barsotti is known for his pasta dishes that betray his roots in New Orleans and Sicily. After a look at the menu, we decide to go for the house specialties: veal chop Marsala and snapper piccata with spicy broccolini and a beet-gorgonzola salad. After finishing the meal with an espresso, we head back to our stylish travel companion and turn on the engine. Music to our ears, which bodes well for the evening ahead. We drive a couple of miles south and reach the Uptown district.
Central Dallas, Deep Ellum
Uptown is known for its mix of high-end fashion boutiques and vintage-chic, western-style shops. Its eclectic bar and restaurant scene, made of posh bistros and hip rooftop bars, makes it the right place for a fabulous end of the day. After a quick spin on our Vespa, we decide to have a light meal before heading back to our hotel. Cane Rosso is perfect. Located in the Deep Ellum neighborhood, a hub for live country music, this casual restaurant serves the most authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas in town. High-quality ingredients, homemade sourdough, fresh mozzarella, and unique takes on both traditional and modern Italian dishes are the key offerings on the menu. We share a caprese salad prepared with buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, arugula, and red onions in balsamic vinegar, and a delicious Cane Rosso pizza, topped with Luscher’s sausage, roasted peppers, and onions. And why not? We each order a frozen margarita. Time to check into the Hotel Crescent Court where a night of calm and sophistication will pamper us. Good morning Dallas! Look who’s waiting for us, our Vespa,the faithful companion, ready to take us on a new adventure.
Just a few miles away is Downtown Dallas, a bustling area for business during the day that gives way to a nightlife hub after dark. It includes the Art District and Farmer’s Market and is a top destination when visiting the city. We say goodbye for now to our Vespa and park it, then we decide to do some sightseeing and discover some of Dallas’ history. We still have a little time before getting back to our two-wheel friend, so we head to JFK Memorial Plaza with the memorial to the former president. It’s an astonishing monument designed by renowned American architect Philip Johnson, which symbolizes the freedom of John F. Kennedy’s spirit. When we start getting hungry, we stop at Campisi’s. This family-managed little eatery has a welcoming atmosphere and offers delicious Italian-inspired dishes. Lots of classics to choose from, but we go for the lasagne with red sauce and Campisi’s grilled chicken, served with lemon butter and Marsala sauce over angel hair pasta. We then decide to indulge our palate with their homemade tiramisù. After such a fantastic treat, we hop on our Vespa Sprint again and ride away at full throttle in search of a new experience, happy to have had a taste of the city’s Italian cuisine along with its history.