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What should Dallas restaurant Carbone’s change its name to in 2023?

On Jan. 1, 2023, Dallas Italian restaurant Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine will close. When it reopens a few months later, it’ll have a new name and new look. And owner Julian Barsotti wants to let Dallas Morning News readers pick the restaurant name.

You read that right.

This is a lot of power!

Barsotti has had a busy year: He launched a trademark lawsuit against new Dallas restaurant Carbone, one of the highest-profile restaurants that opened in Dallas in 2022. Barsotti said the similarly-named eateries were creating confusion for his 10-year-old business, Carbone’s. The lawsuit — dubbed “the great Texas red sauce wars” — was settled in November 2022, and Barsotti has chosen to close Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine after service on New Year’s Eve 2022.

Julian Barsotti’s Oak Lawn Avenue restaurant Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine will serve its last dinner on Dec. 31, 2022. It closes Jan. 1, 2023 for approximately three months, Barsotti says. When it reopens, it’ll have a new restaurant named picked by you.(Liesbeth Powers / Staff Photographer)

When it re-emerges a few months later, the most popular restaurant name in this vote will be on the exterior of the building.

“It’s kind of a greater metaphor of what we’ve always tried to do,” Barsotti says. “This really is a community, neighborhood, family-style joint.”

The vote was Barsotti’s idea. He’s felt a lot of love from customers in the past few weeks after The Dallas Morning News reported that his restaurant would close and change.

“People care about Carbone’s as a local institution — and I feel like they’re just as much a part of it,” Barsotti says.

The five potential restaurant names were dreamed up by Barsotti alone. Some are straightforward. One is silly.

“I do have a favorite,” he says, but he won’t give it away.

And he confirms: “We’ll use the name that wins.”

Voting options:

  • Barsotti’s Fine Foods & Liqueurs, named for owner Julian Barsotti
  • Capo Giacomo, named for Barsotti’s great-grandfather’s Italian first name + a reference to a Mafia family
  • Nuovo Angelo, named for Barsotti’s great-grandfather’s middle name + a “Sopranos” reference
  • Meatballs Global Unlimited Worldwide, a Step Brothers movie riff
  • Paesan, a word that can refer to an Italian-American person, and chosen because Barsotti says his restaurant is “all about the famiglia”

A few important notes about the new restaurant that opens in 2023: The existing Carbone’s menu will remain, though Barsotti will add some new dishes. Anyone concerned about their favorite dishes getting left off during the restaurant reboot shouldn’t fret.

The terms of the deal between Carbone’s and Carbone are not public, but Barsotti and his attorney shared publicly that their new name will not sound or look like the old name.

When Carbone's Fine Food and Wine reopens in 2023, its owner Julian Barsotti says he is...
When Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine reopens in 2023, its owner Julian Barsotti says he is legally allowed to keep family portraits on the walls, showing the people who inspired the original restaurant.(Shafkat Anowar / Staff Photographer)

One colleague suggested that if Kim Kardashian is a fan of Carbone in New York City, the smaller, family-owned Dallas restaurant could be renamed Karbone’s. It’s funny, but that won’t work.

Another amusing idea was to turn Carbone’s into Carbtwo’s. But that, too, probably wouldn’t slide.

The restaurant was originally created in honor of Barsotti’s family members who owned a grocery store in New Jersey for decades. Thus, the first three ideas for the new restaurant honor other family names: Barsotti’s, Capo Giacomo and Nuovo Angelo.

The fourth option, Meatballs Global Unlimited Worldwide, is mostly a joke. It’s a riff on a scene from the movie Step Brothers featuring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. But if you like it, it’s an option.

The fifth, Paesan, is a word that refers to Italian countrymen. It can mean buddy or pal. I’m a lover,” Barsotti says. “I have so many friends, and paesan is how I greet almost everyone.”

It’s up to you now. Vote above.

Carbone's Fine Food & Wine in Dallas will be open until Dec. 31, 2022. Then, it'll close and...
Carbone’s Fine Food & Wine in Dallas will be open until Dec. 31, 2022. Then, it’ll close and reopen under a new name.(Nathan Hunsinger / Staff Photographer)

Vote one time between Dec. 19, 2022 and Dec. 31, 2022. We’ll share the winning name in January 2023.

Your vote means you’ve become a part of Dallas food history.

Carbone’s Fine Food and Wine (as you know it today) is at 4208 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas. The new restaurant will be at that same address.

For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.


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