Dominic’s Ristorante Italiano, the family owned and operated Italian restaurant that opened at 150-152 Bridge Street this month, is the product of good luck and better timing, father-daughter team Dominic Tammaro and Liz Tihansky admit.
"We'd always talked about opening a restaurant, but this just fell in our lap," Tihansky explained.
According to Tihansky, Vecchia owner and friend of the family Frank Nattle called one day and said, “We have a restaurant for you."
An agreement for the former home of Daddy Mims came together fast.
(So fast, in fact, that some confusion about the restaurant's owners emerged. Former Daddy Mims owner John Mims, despite reports to the contrary in Phoenixville Patch and the Philadelphia Inquirer, has no role with Dominic's. "I want to clarify this myself: I have nothing to do with this guy," Tammaro said.)
"Within a weekend we had a restaurant," Tihansky said.
"It was the right time. Everything hit just the way I wanted it to hit. It was like a perfect storm," her father added.
After a whirlwind five week remodel of the space—with new stonework, lighting, and freshly painted walls, Daddy Mims patrons will scarcely recognize the place—Dominic's opened on April 3.
It looks to be a welcome addition to the borough. The 91-seat BYOB boasts a tasty and diverse menu, inspired by traditional Northern Italian cuisine. Entrees range in price from $18 to $27 and, according to Dominic’s website, include Pollo Sorentina (chicken cutlet topped with eggplant, basil, and mozzarella), Bistecca alla Fiorentina (T-bone steak), Tilapia Calabrese (broiled tilapia with roasted tomato and spices) and much more. While Dominic's is only open for dinner now, in May the restaurant will launch a lunch menu.
All the dishes are prepared by Chef Gionfranco, a Florence-born culinarian who's opened restaurants in Italy, San Francisco, Kingston, NY, and now Phoenixville.
Dominic's is simultaneously rooted in two distant places: Phoenixville and Italy. But for the Tammaro clan, this isn't a contradiction. Tammaro's parents immigrated to Phoenixville from Caserta, Italy, where his father found work in the old steel mill. Today, Liz is raising her children in the home her grandparents once lived in.
"I have my mother and father's photographs all over the place. Without them, this place wouldn't be here," Tammaro said, gesturing to a black and white wedding photo on the dining room’s wall.
"It's really a tribute to them."