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That's Italian!
Ahhh ... custom sausages at Leoci's Trattoria

Fans of authentic Italian cuisine will be delighted with changes at Leoci’s Trattoria. Chef Roberto is already preparing custom sausages — and has secured space to allow him to expand the house–cured meats on his menu.

Many of the recipes are handed down from Chef Roberto’s family — and my Italian friends fondly remember their own family’s cranking out small batches of custom sausages.

I recently sampled Chef’s Barese sausage, which he makes with bits of Provolone cheese. As with all Italian cuisine, the recipe varies wildly from region to region — with changes in meat, spices and cheeses insuring that any sample in Italy will vary from place to place.

Server Giovanni Venetico came by as my dish arrived, and he reminisced about his mother making Barese in their Montreal kitchen — with a hand–cranked meat grinder. “I had to do the cranking,” Giovanni recalled. “I hated it, but knew I was going to get to eat the sausages.”

Chef Roberto’s version of the finger–sized  sausage is mildly spicy and served coiled and grilled on a bed of lightly dressed arugula with sauteed mushrooms and cherry tomato halves. The right–sized portion was light, a beautifully balanced array of flavors and decidedly different dish than you will find anywhere else in Savannah.

For the main course, I chose classic carbonara and Ms. TJ selected a special — gnocchi seasoned with crispy pancetta and topped with a tender, flavor–filled chunk of wood oven roasted suckling pig.

I can’t wait until there is a full selection of locally cured meats on the menu — that’s the kind of charcuterie plate this city has been waiting for in its culinary evolution.

Over easy

Congrats to Hayndry “Henry” Prasetio on the opening of his new breakfast and lunch diner named “Henry’s.”

Regulars at Sunrise Restaurant on Wilmington Island will likely remember Henry. He worked there eight years — first as server and ultimately as manager of the bustling breakfast destination.

Henry’s is a spiffy build–out of the space at Congress and Drayton streets that, ten years ago, was a restaurant. The space has seen many tenants since then, and the return of Henry’s is a welcome addition.

Breakfast downtown is often tough to find, especially when tourism counts rise. The option of an economically–priced (two eggs, grits and toast for $3.45), made–to–order breakfast just suits area office workers and busy business people.

The 90–seat restaurant will have a soup and salad bar, available from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. on weekdays, and a breakfast buffet, offered from 6:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

28 Drayton St./6:30 a.m.–3 p.m.