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Dining Out: Old World Italian dishes at Rice’s Market

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Many local residents have fond memories of Mamma D’s, the Pipersville restaurant that closed in 2013 after 17 years in business.

A passion for Italian food and wine inspired Louie Desiato, who owned the restaurant with his wife, Liz. Filled with mementoes from the couple’s life together, and with a menu of Desiato’s Old World Italian dishes, it had a large local following. It received national attention when it was featured on the TV program, “Restaurant Impossible” in 2011.

Now, Desiato’s fans can once again taste the cuisine they loved for so many years. Semi-retired, Desiato has found a new home at Rice’s Market in Solebury with his restaurant and food stand, Louie’s Place.

Each Tuesday and Saturday and some holidays, Desiato is once again crafting his farm-to-table cuisine, ranging from flatbread pizzas to warm sandwiches and desserts. He also fills catering orders – special requests include his eggplant balls and olive soup – and makes jarred sauces, pickles, olives and vinegars for sale.

“This is a fully licensed kitchen,” Desiato said, gesturing around his stand, which is decorated with some of the memorabilia from Mamma D’s.

On a recent visit he had an assortment of artisanal flatbread pizzas, Italian pork sliders on rosemary rolls with provolone, pepper pot soup, blondies and cannoli in a cup. For breakfast he makes a different frittata each day, while jumbo croissant sandwiches with a variety of fillings are on his lunch menu. He also sells a long list of beverages including espressos, cappuccinos, mocha lattes, homemade lemonade and ice tea, matcha tea and Nutella hot chocolate.

Whatever he is making, Desiato said he always has a good time.
 
“It’s fun here,” he said of Rice’s Market. “I enjoy it.”

Desiato said he came to the market last fall to help out a friend and liked it so much that he decided to open his own stand when the market reopened in March after its winter hiatus.

In addition to his work at the market, he can be found each Sunday working at the omelet station during brunch at the Dublin Diner in Dublin.

Desiato’s stand at Rice’s is located inside one of the buildings in a mini food court that includes Crabby Jean’s and Bagel Bums.

Rice’s is a sprawling 30-acre market tucked away on a back road in Solebury near New Hope. It has indoor and outdoor vendors and is open rain or shine. For more information on the market see ricesmarket.com.

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