Famed restaurateur teams with local
business owner to create ‘totally new concept’
Chef Ronnie Grisanti, right, will open his newest restaurant Wednesday inside Sheffield Antiques Mall in Collierville. Sheffield owner Trip Trezevant, left, said he has waited 17 years for the opportunity to partner with a restaurateur of Grisanti’s caliber.
By Graham Sweeney
With 40-plus years of experience in restaurant ownership to his credit, one wouldn’t expect that Mid-South fine dining fixture Ronnie Grisanti would be eager to pursue a “whole new concept.”
However, Grisanti is downright ebullient when asked to explain the evolution of his newest, and most unique, restaurant to date.
Slated to officially open for lunch on July 25, Ronnie Grisanti’s Italian Restaurant is housed inside of Collierville’s Sheffield Antique Mall, a location that Grisanti admits had never crossed his mind until recently.
“I’ve never done anything like this,” Grisanti noted. “This is a new concept.”
Grisanti credits Sheffield owner Trip Trezevant with recruiting the restaurant veteran to set up shop in the 115-seat space toward the rear of the 385-vendor antique mall.
“Trip wanted a top-notch business out here,” Grisanti said. “He reached out to me and invited me to come into an atmosphere that I have never experienced.”
Noting that he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to create a fine dining restaurant inside “one of the prettiest antique malls in the south,” Grisanti began developing a plan for his latest restaurant two months ago.
“When Trip told me about the idea, I ran and jumped in his arms like he was my mama,” he laughed. “It’s a goofy-proof idea.”
Grisanti, who previously owned and operated Ronnie Grisanti & Sons Restaurant in Memphis for 28 years, said he envisions an “upbeat and light” lunch menu that will feature fresh fish, more pasta and salads, and lighter cuts of beef.
“We’ll also have a lot of variety,” Grisanti said. “The menu will change weekly. I’ve always had a pretty loaded menu. We are going to break away from that.”
However, Grisanti said customers interested in ordering classic dishes from his original menu won’t be disappointed.
“If a customer asks for something off the old menu,” he said, “we’ll do everything we can to make it.”
Noting that he will be assisted by four experienced chefs, Grisanti said he will still “bless” every dish before it leaves the kitchen.
“Nothing leaves until I say, ‘Amen,’” he said.
Trezevant said the opening of Grisanti’s restaurant comes at a “great time” for the business.
“We recently expanded 8,000 square feet,” he noted. “And business was up 25 percent last year. This will bring even more clientele. It’s a win-win.”
“We’ll work hand-in-hand,” he said. “It’s a brand new market out here. I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to come.”
Ronnie Grisanti’s Italian Restaurant will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Monday through Saturday and dinner from 5-10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. The restaurant has a wine and beer permit.