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European-style ‘small plates,’ and authentic Italian pizza and gelato are menu centerpieces at two new downtown restaurants.

With a nod to the cafés and brasseries of Europe, (200 N. Poindexter St.) plans its opening in mid-August in a portion of a historic building, circa 1890s. The bistro will serve tapas, crepes, flatbreads, and salads with wine and craft beer. Chef Mike Mills, a Johnson and Wales graduate who has cooked in restaurants from Kansas City to Charlotte, and co-owners wife Kelly Mills, Scott Mills and Janne Mills, look forward to joining the active corridor that is home to Hoppin’ Johnz New South Cuisine, Ghost Harbor Brewing Company, Toyama Japanese Restaurant, and Island Breeze Grill. And like their neighbors, the bistro is adjacent to the historic Pailin’s Alley where live music can often be enjoyed on the weekends and on “Wailin’ Wednesdays”—midweek jam sessions that are planned from time to time in the festive alleyway.

On nearby East Main Street, the downtown district will have its own authentic Italian gourmet pizza and ice cream shop in early autumn. The Elizabeth City Pizza Company (507 E. Main St.), located in the Virginia Dare Arcade, will offer pizza made with imported flour, San Marzano tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella, according to owner Laura Edwards, along with 12 flavors of gelato, an uber-creamy Italian ice cream. And be sure to visit www.ecpizzaco.com to win a free ‘Dinner for Ten’ by helping the owners select a great logo for their new business. Divertiti!

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is a publicist and branding specialist who is also a mid-century modern fanatic. When she’s not assisting clients with messaging, you can find her hunting for furniture and housewares from the 1960s.

This content was originally published here.