Sorry, if you want a reservation to the first night of dinner service at Pandolfi's Deli in historic Columbus Park, it's already too late. Soon after Pandolfi's owner Jake Hendershot and chef Grant Cansler announced that the restaurant would kick off dinner service on Saturday, December 3, all the reservations for that night were taken in a matter of hours. But Hendershot says beginning next week, Pandolfi's will serve evening meals on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 10 p.m.
And, yes, it's full table service at night, and there's a full bar.
In 15 months, the little Italian deli in the old Italian funeral home at 538 Campbell has built a devoted clientele of fans who love owner Jake Hendershot's sandwiches and salads (he recently began serving breakfast frittata dishes on Friday mornings). Because his family is in the process of expanding the restaurant into the northern half of the building, in the former Lapetina Funeral Home side — the current dining room was originally a florist shop — Hendershot felt the timing was right to experiment, at least, with dinner service.
The little vintage store on the first floor of 538 Campbell — Jake's grandfather purchased the building several years ago — closed in October, and rather than rent it out again, the Pandolfis decided to renovate the space for banquet space and overflow seating. The current dining room at Pandolfi's seats only 36 people.
Chef Cansler, a former project manager at Cerner who left the corporate world to follow his dream of a culinary career (including a stint cooking with Celina Tio at the American), has created a menu that incorporates a few Pandolfi family recipes — "My grandmother's manicotti," says Jake's mother, Linda, "is incredible" — and many of his own. The December menu, Cansler says, features stuffed squid, an antipasto platter, a charcuterie plate, braised beef short ribs, mushroom risotto, stuffed pasta, and spaghetti and meatballs. "There will always be a vegetarian option, too," Cansler says.
Dinner prices, Hendershot says, will range between $20 and $25. Reservations can be made by calling 816-569-3663.