Eating it up, Coppell-style

Love can make even the toughest guys do crazy things, like when Arnold leaves the police force to become a wimpy teacher at the end of Kindergarten Cop, all because it was Penelope Ann Miller time. Fatten up on a real-life tough guy's amore-struck journey, at Maurizio's

In the depths of Coppell, Maurizio's Southern-Italian staples are whipped up by a Naples native who, during a 14-year stint as a cop in Rome, met his American future wife, who he followed back to Texas in '04; he managed at Patrizio's & Cafe Brazil before opening his new resto, which sports earthy stone/wood trappings picked by his interior-decorator wife, a glittery black bar, and a custom oak-burning pizza oven (in a pinch, they will burn generic oak). Based on old family recipes from back home (lone exception: chicken Parmesan), the menu starts with apps like sauteed shrimp in lemon/butter wine sauce and a signature frittura Italiana plate (chicken/mozzarella/croquette/gouda balls/fried risotto); pastas include Parm Reggiano-topped onion/bacon/white pepper spaghetti carbonara, anchovy-walnut pesto ravioli, and Bolognese-sauced mozzarella, ham, and egg lasagna (Garfield's gotta start his day somehow). Entrees run from 'shroomed chicken scaloppini over fettuccine alfredo, "Mamma's Recipe Meatballs", and cod cacciatore; Neapolitan pies cover standbys (margherita/quattro formaggi...), traditional numbers like the anchovy/caper "Romana", and gut-busters like the meatball/salami "Nonna" -- like "Nona", Nikki Sixx's instrumental ode to his grandmother, except you're more likely to finish the pizza.

Maurizio will eventually have a full bar, plus 25-30 wines and beers from Heineken/Stella to Peroni; however, they'll be BYOB until at least mid-March, so if you get impatient, just pull up this email to remind yourself IT'S NOT A RUMOR.

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