The menu at North Italia Gilbert consists of wood-fired pizzas, pasta, sandwiches, small plates, salads, and Italian specialties like a chicken parmesan sandwich, grilled branzino, Tuscan chicken, and wagyu skirt steak tagliata. Pasta is crafted from scratch daily.
North Italia Gilbert will be headed by Executive Chef Robert Villasenor, who earned his stripes at the Tucson location. He has been with the North Italia team since 2013. Villasenor has overseen 11 restaurant openings across the country, and his expertise and extensive brand knowledge will continue to flourish in his new role.
Villasenor is joined at the new establishment by general manager Ryhan Cowan. Cowan started at the Cherry Creek location in Denver and has been with the team since 2013, quickly rising through the company ranks to land the GM role at North Italia Gilbert.
The 8,377-square-foot Gilbert location features an exhibition kitchen that overlooks the dining room, along with indoor and outdoor seating options. There is an expansive covered patio, perfect for enjoying a relaxed weekend brunch or social dinner.
North Italia was conceived by Fox Restaurant Concepts founder Sam Fox in 2002. The Gilbert site is the fourth North Italia restaurant in Arizona and the first in the south Valley. Today, there are 28 locations across the U.S. The other Arizona North Italias are located in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson.
The Gilbert location will be open Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 a.m.
A second restaurant, Flower Child, is scheduled to open next door to North Italia Gilbert on Tuesday, September 28, according to Ashley Miles at Bread & Butter, the marketing agency for Fox Restaurant Concepts.
The restaurant has a healthy menu of farm-fresh, fast-casual food like salads, bowls, wraps, and small plates like simple hummus and crushed avocado toast. There are vegan, paleo, gluten-free and vegetarian options on the menu. Kombucha or organic wine and beer are also available.
The opening in Gilbert marks store number five in the Valley for Flower Child, following storefronts in Arcadia, Desert Ridge, Scottsdale, and Uptown Plaza.