MidiCi, a fast-casual Italian eatery, started slinging Neapolitan pizzas in Preston Hollow in January. Now, the location has expanded its menu to include freshly-made pasta, sandwiches, flatbreads, and more.
Owner Michelle Martin said customer feedback was the driving force behind the refurbished menu, that people wanted more than just pizza.
With fresh ingredients, gluten-free pasta options, in-house bread, and staff that aren’t just employees but “team friends,” MidiCi has much to offer, said Zeke, MidiCi’s bar and service manager, “We really just wanted to round out our portfolio for the product offering.”
With a fresh menu and revamped space to welcome a more extensive clientele (psst, they’ve installed large screen TVs perfect for Monday night football), we wanted to get in early and see everything in person. Well, we wanted to taste everything in person.
And did we mention, the vegan cheese, kosher, and gluten-free options? Also, their double zero dough is baked with no animal by-products.
One of the most exciting parts of MidiCi’s Preston Hollow location is the staff. Even during a midday slump when most employees want to relax before a dinner rush, every server welcomed us when we walked in the door with bright smiles and a playful attitude. You can tell that everyone really is a “team friend.”
That idea is something Cash, MidiCi’s front of the house service manager, wants to bring to every customer who walks in the door. “When you go out to eat, you want to be spoiled,” he said. “We want you to feel like you’re at home but not have to do anything. I want to take care of you.”
Though the outdoor patio was tempting, the Texas sun offers no mercy, so we sat inside, not far from the full-service bar. Whether you’re having beer and pizza while watching football or wine and appetizers when catching up with old friends, MidiCi offers options for every occasion. The space is open and not crowded with useless things, directing focus exactly where it should go: the food.
The best way to start a meal is with a great drink, and that’s exactly what we got.
Zeke served us a Peach Bellini, homemade peach purée (they refuse to use a syrup), Babe Rosé, and Peach Schnapps; and the MidiCi Margarita. Wait, a margarita at an Italian place?
Well, it is Texas, after all, and the MidiCi Margarita seems to improve upon the classic recipe to ensure each ingredient works together, and prevent that sickly sweet taste that often accompanies badly-made margs. No unnecessary lumps of sugar on the back of your tongue here!
To show off the restaurant’s Italian inspiration, the Peach Bellini has little pieces of the fruit floating along the bottom of the glass, adding texture and a fresh taste to the classic Italian drink.
Non-alcoholic options include several flavors of Italian soda, because what is an Italian restaurant without Italian soda?
A Blue Raspberry Cream Italian Soda, with it’s light, refreshing, and the fruity flavor was a favorite for us. Not heavy at all, if that’s what you associate with cream. But if that isn’t for you, a Watermelon Soda maybe; sparkling, of course, and with a hint of watermelon and a subtly sweet flavor, this soda is the perfect escape on a hot Texas day.
MidiCi is excited to highlight its new pasta dishes, featuring dough that is freshly prepared and delivered to the restaurant each week. Their new menu draws directly from Italy to show American customers how pasta is supposed to taste. “Al Dente means ‘to the tooth,'” said Zeke. “If you go to Italy and think the pasta is undercooked, they’ll tell you no, what you’ve been eating is overcooked.”
As a lifelong fan and maker of pasta, with a Sicilian mother to boot, I know what Zeke means, which is why tasting the Cheese Tortellini in a garlic cream sauce made my tastebuds soar. In my opinion, piping-hot food is under-appreciated, most likely because of our acceptance of lukewarm dishes when we go out to eat. At MidiCi, though, steam rose from the heaping pile of tortellini as I dug into the garlic cream sauce. Another thing you can never have too much of? Garlic.
The Ragu Alla Bolognese was just as exciting, featuring the restaurant’s chicken and beef meatballs found on their Small Plates menu in its “gravy” (that’s what red sauce is called in Italy. The more you know!). This one blew me away, as someone who doesn’t eat red sauce that often, I sure slurped it down fast. The red sauce is cooked more savory than sweet, unlike many other American-Italian places. The quality of the pasta and gravy allow you to feel satisfied without getting stuffed.
Flatbreads and pizza
Remembering that dough is, in fact, MidiCi’s specialty, seeing a place for their fans’ favorites on the new menu was a real treat. Flatbreads take on the flavor of your favorite pies in a smaller, lighter form, catering to those who want to enjoy the taste of pizza without committing to a heavier dish. Our Chicken Pesto flatbread came perfectly browned, with a little bit of every flavor; the grape tomatoes are tangy, the house-made pesto and chicken add something savory, and a balsamic reduction is found on the side in case you want a hint of sweetness.
The Truffle pizza was similar, with a truffle purée and fresh arugula supplying something for everyone at your table to enjoy. The earthy flavor just enough but not too much, and the mushrooms were melting in your mouth. By this point, we were pretty full but couldn’t stop picking up slice after slice. Only when the word dessert was mentioned, did we ask to box our pizza…
A bite of the Lemon Berry Italian Cake is all you need to taste every ingredient that went into its creation. The seasonal berry compote, the cream-filled Italian cake, the fresh lemon. For two people who aren’t the biggest lemon-flavor enthusiasts, we were happy to go all in, and the not-too-sweet or overpowering cream perfectly cut through the cake and berries to bring the dish together. Light and creamy, it’s the perfect end to a summer dinner.
MidiCi’s menu isn’t seasonal or temporary– it’s here to stay. As part of their revamp and refresh, MidiCi will soon be offering a brunch menu, complete with a specialized cocktail menu and Italian dishes to enjoy on the weekends. They will also be adding to their themed restaurant nights, such as with Wine Down Wednesdays featuring half-priced bottles of wine. For now, you can start by enjoying MidiCi’s new menu in Preston Hollow, just don’t forget the stretchy pants.
Jaxx Artz contributed to this review