Go HERE to read Greg's review.
This outpost of a Chicago chain opened a few days after I left on maternity leave so I feel like I should mention it: Mia Francesca Trattoria opened Oct. 21 at North Hills mall on the first floor of the Renaissance Hotel.
The chain started by chef Scott Harris in Chicago in 1992 has about 20 locations from Scottsdale to San Diego, Madison, WI to the greater Chicago area.
General manager Adam Moore says they hope to add four to five more locations in the Triangle in the coming years.
The restaurant serves rustic northern Italian fare and its menu changes monthly. The 8,000-square-feet space can seat 280 people inside and on its patio.
The chef is Adam Smith, who has worked at Carolina Country Club, Firebirds and Restaurant Eden in Durham. (N&O restaurant critic Greg Cox gave 2-1/2 stars to Restaurant Eden, which was owned by Smith. It has since closed.)