Corks & Cleaver Italian Bistro is only days away from opening.
The restaurant, at 111 Main St., will hold its soft opening at 5 p.m. Thursday, chef David Dickensauge said. After that, he and business partners Jim Parish and David Woodward will have the restaurant open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, with Sunday’s hours a bit shorter.
He said specialties include housemade pasta — thanks to a pasta extruder that can make 260 shapes — artisan pizza, and cuisine identified with the Naples and Tuscany regions of Italy. Perhaps the most outstanding feature is the brick oven, the same type found at James Beard Award-winning Shaya in New Orleans.
“We’ll also have eight signature Neopolitan pizzas, creative small plates and unique DOC Italian wines,” Dickensauge said. “We’re also continuing our farm-to-table tradition, working with farmers from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.”
DOC wines are those with Denominazione di Origine Controllata, or “controlled designation of origin,” on the label, a quality assurance modeled after a similar system in France.
Corks & Cleaver’s original location in downtown Gulfport closed in May, but just a few doors up, there’s a family connection at 1310 27th Ave., the former location of Bacchus.
“My dad (David Dickensauge Sr.) and three other retired military veterans are opening Beachcombers there, and my brother, James Paul Dickensauge, is the kitchen manager,” Dickensauge said. “It’ll have a tiki bar that opens out onto Fishbone Alley.” Beachcombers, with a laid back, beachy theme, also is expected to open late next week.
Dickensauge, a Gulfport native, worked with an Italian chef in Chicago and did an eight-month apprenticeship in Italy. His first job was at New Orleans’ Commander’s Palace in the mid-1990s.
Hours for Corks & Cleaver Italian Bistro, starting July 13, will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.