Farina opened over the weekend in the former Paparazzi space in North Raleigh’s Lafayette Village. The new restaurant, like its predecessor in the space, is Italian. But Farina is inspired by a very different sort of Italian restaurant.
“I like the small plates concept of Gocciolina in Durham,” says owner/chef Nunzio Scordo, who also owns Driftwood Southern Kitchen in the same shopping center. “It’s a nice casual feel, and it gives you a lot more affordable options.”
To that end, Scordo has developed a menu of 18 small plates priced at $6 each, or three for $15. The varied offering includes wood oven-roasted mussels, Grandma’s pan-fried meat meatballs with Sunday gravy, as well a healthy selection of vegetarian options. A focus on seasonal local produce is evident in the likes of N.C. polenta with a local mushroom conserve and salsa verde, and an arugula salad with N.C. peaches and goat cheese.
For those who prefer to treat the small plates offering as an appetizer list, the menu also includes wood-fired pizzas, and pasta dishes made with fresh pastas from Melina’s in Durham. The entree offering is small but diverse, covering the spectrum from seafood risotto to sausage-stuffed porchetta.
Scordo has given the dining room a makeover to match the new concept, opening up the space and decorating it with a fusion of traditional and modern elements, from the wall papered in vintage black and white Italian photographs to the black lacquered bar, where all wines are available by the glass.