Scenes From An Italian Pop-up Restaurant (Tim Love’s Ufficio)
Chef Tim Love is going back to the river.
With successful restaurants on the Clear Fork of the Trinity River (Woodshed Smokehouse) and Marine Creek (Lonesome Dove Western Bistro and Love Shack Burgers), Love is now expanding his 20-year-old dining empire to a new Italian garden-patio restaurant, Gemelle, in the River District.
The word means “twins.” The restaurant, 4400 White Settlement Road, is a celebration of Emilie and Tim’s daughters, Anna and Ella. (It was announced on their 16th birthday.)
Officially, Love said only that the restaurant will feature Detroit-style pizzas — rectangular, deep-dish and crisp — and housemade pastas.
But in an interview with 360 West Magazine, Love also promised smoked brisket pizzas, simple dishes like lamb or linguine with cheese and pepper (bavette cacio e pepe), and a bok choy Caesar made from the garden vegetables.
Gemelle’s will include a 10,000-square-foot vegetable garden, he said.
There’s history behind that garden. Before the levees went up to limit Trinity flooding, the riverbank off White Settlement Road near Isbell Road was where Greek immigrant families farmed vegetables to sell at produce markets and a nearby grocery.
The building itself, in the river bottom north of White Settlement Road, opened in 1946 as the W.C. Dunn grocery and laundromat serving a postwar residential neighborhood.
The building survived the 1949 flood and has continued as a series of taverns and bars for more than 60 years. In the 1960s, it was the Swamp Angel Lounge.
It’s about nine blocks east of the new Heim Barbecue, also opening soon in the River District. (A Salsa Limon already operates there in a chrome diner moved from the Cultural District.)
Love has promised more news soon. Till then, watch the remodeling and check cheftimlove.com.