Fall River native runs new Italian restaurant at Don Carlos

FALL RIVER – A Fall River resident’s last ditch effort is to serve Italian food in the Don Carlos Club.

“So far everything has been fine. It’s slow, but steady,” said Brendan O’Neil.

O’Neil, who previously owned Il Piatto, an Italian restaurant in the current location of Mesa 21, and a brick oven pizzeria in North Kingston, now runs The Italian Kitchen.

The restaurant currently offers sit-down meals for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday and take out Friday through Sunday, when the club rents its banquet hall. From the end of the month, they plan to start serving restaurant customers on weekends as well, O’Neil said.

The pandemic has created an uncertain environment for the restaurant industry, but O’Neil said he liked the club’s kitchen layout. And while like many, he has been baffled by the current wave of COVID, he is hoping it will pass relatively quickly so they can go into business as usual.

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“It was just too good an opportunity to pass up. And my hope and intention for the future is to grow reasonably, ”he said.

Chicken pamesan and chicken picatta are two classic Italian dishes from Don Carlos Club's Italian cuisine.

O’Neil said his aim was to serve traditional Italian dishes, nothing too extravagant, but well done; their veal parmesan and chicken parmesan are “significantly better than what you get at the big chains”.

Some of the other Italian classics on the menu include spaghetti and meatballs; shrimp picatta, bolognese pasta and clam pasta in a white wine sauce. The menu offers a few choices of soups and salads as well as an assortment of starters and pizzas. To top it off, you’ll find O’Neil’s homemade tiramisu and cheesecake.

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“Our attention to detail is really there, from the waiters to the guy and the girl working in the kitchen with me,” he said.

Chef Brendan O'Neil prepares Italian cuisine at Don Carlos Club in Fall River.

Most of the guests comment on the restaurant’s bread, which they also serve wholemeal breads. The bread is made fresh and always kneaded by hand.

The inspiration behind this choice? O’Neil can’t find his commercial grade electric mixer anywhere.

Italian cuisine is located in the Don Carlos Club at 245 Plain St., Fall River.

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“It’s in the garage of a friend of mine. I move around a lot, ”he laughed.

The Don Carlos Club is located at 245 Plain Street. Parking is behind the building on Varley Street.

Audrey Cooney can be reached at [email protected]. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Herald News today.

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