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A look inside Alimentari Don Luigi in the Mills District

Alimentari Don Luigi is the new Italian market and bottle shop from Bar Gran Sasso co-owners Joe Cardinale and former Terra chef, Joby Wetzel.

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The sauces are a family recipe from co-owner Joe Cardinale.

Photo by COLAtoday

“I’m not one to leave reviews, but this charming Italian spot is what Columbia has been missing!” reads the top Yelp review from Caren M. for Bar Gran Sasso in Five Points.

When it closed for renovations earlier this year, it left a hole in the Columbia dining scene. Co-owners Joe Cardinale and Joby Wetzel now have their solution.

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Alimentari Don Luigi is located in The Mills District in the former White Duck Taco location.

Photo by COLAtoday

Enter Alimentari Don Luigi: Italian Specialties and Bottle Shop, a new market from the Bar Gran Sasso owners located at 612 Whaley St. Unit C in the Mills District, formerly occupied by Granby Grill.

Named after Cardinale’s great-great-grandfather, Don Luigi offers some favorite dishes from Bar Gran Sasso and its sibling sandwich shop, Enzo’s. Enzo’s has also moved to The Mills District and is now located across the street.

What you’ll find in the new Italian market

“The sauces and meatballs are my grandmother’s recipes,” Cardinale said . The take-out cooler offers a variety of sauces, meatballs from Enzo’s subs, marinated olives, pimento cheese, and take-and-bake lasagnas.

Many wines have tags like “This is what I drank on my 40th birthday” and “I <3 Steak” to help you choose. Two slushie machines churn out “frosato” and “Frozen in Venice,” a frozen version of Bar Gran Sasso’s popular cocktail made with cold brewed espresso, sugar, and amaro, all bottled to-go. Pro tip — sip on one while you shop.

Other items include housemade sausage pinwheels for grilling, seasonal tomato pies with tomatoes from Chef Wetzel’s garden, freshly made blueberry and peach cobblers, and 14-month aged Benton’s Country Ham sliced on-demand.

The market also offers a variety of specialty items that may be hard to find elsewhere in town. It’s now open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12-5 p.m. Get there early to snag a tomato pie.

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