Good news for Belle Islanders, Edgewoodies, and Pine, um, Castilians: Tartini Pizzeria & Spaghetteria has reopened. The restaurant, which specializes in pizzas baked in a special oven with a rotating platform that also rises and lowers to cook the dough fast and thoroughly, closed abruptly in July.
Owner David Kosmerlj told me that he started a soft relaunch on Friday and will officially reopen Thursday. When I asked him why he had closed in July he said that he had to return to his native Slovenia to attend to some family matters and didn’t want to leave the restaurant unattended. He expressed a little surprise that people assumed that Tartini had gone out of business.
I suggested that a disconnected telephone and a website landing page that had a banner proclaiming WE ARE CLOSED might have led some people to that conclusion.
Nevertheless, the restaurant is back with a few minor changes, such as tablecloths and cloth napkins and a refocusing on food presentation. His hometown, Piran, is across the border from Trieste, Italy, and across the bay from Venice. So he spent some of the last few months reacquainting himself with Italian food and plans to introduce some new items based on his research.
Kosmerlj said he learned a lot about food from his father, who brought his family, including his 15-year-old, non-English speaking son David, to the United States when he was hired as chef to South Carolina governor Richard Wilson Riley. (Kosmerlj said that when his father was 18 he worked for the Venetian chef who is credited with inventing tiramisu.) During his time cooking at the governor’s mansion, during the 1980s, the elder Kosmerlj was known for his stuffed mushrooms, which, of course, were very ‘80s. (Just as tiramisu became very ‘90s.)
Tartini will serve lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. The new phone number is 407-704-8011. The website has not been updated as yet.