For the first time in its near 25-year history The Italian Kitchen in Vernon has a new menu, courtesy of its new head chef.
Chef Rob Dew is bringing his creative flair to the longstanding downtown restaurant. An updated menu was served to around 150 guests on Monday night – a night aptly named “the Dew-Over.”
Dew was also announced as the managing partner of the Italian Kitchen Group, putting him in charge of the Italian Kitchen in Vernon and the one in Lake Country (formerly Ricardo’s Mediterranean Kitchen), which was purchased by the Italian Kitchen Group in December 2018. That deal also saw Dew become part owner of the two restaurants.
“This is the first major change ever,” said Italian Kitchen owner Katie Dahl.
“It’s a little scary,” she admitted shortly after the first round of entrees had been served to a packed dining room.
While there’s pressure that comes with changing a menu that customers have gotten to know for more than two decades, Dahl is excited by the changes and additions Dew has made.
“He’s very creative. He loves a good challenge,” Dahl said.
“We have quite a few new menu items, a lot of the old ones just with a bit of a different spin on them.”
Dew’s specialty dish was a popular pick Monday night: a blackened 10 oz prime rib with pasta and Italian sausage on the side. It’ll be on on the menu every day of the week, says Dahl.
“I don’t think there’s anywhere in Vernon that you can get prime rib seven days a week – or one like that.”
The night consisted of two rounds of dinner service, the first made up of people from the downtown Vernon business core, the second a gathering of friends to the restaurant.
The Italian Kitchen Group is under the umbrella of the Pretium Restaurant Group, which in a Monday announcement lauded Dew and his wife Nicole’s work during their years at the Lake Country restaurant: “they are true rock stars.”