Culaccino, the culinary brainchild of chef Frank Pullara, officially threw open its doors in early January with plenty of al dente pasta and outdoor drinking on its mind. The 1,500-square-foot space, which features an expansive alfresco patio, boasts cozy space heaters and a generous fire pit for warming up hungry winter wanderers.
Helping take the chill off the season: hearty, belly-warming plates of authentic homespun Italian fare from chef Pullara, who previously manned the kitchens of the acclaimed Campagna Hospitality Group (Osteria Tulia, Bar Tulia, The French) in Naples, Florida. Pullara also assisted chef Vincenzo Betulia at the James Beard House back in 2016. Culaccino is his first solo concept.
“There’s something to be said about Southern hospitality, and Tennessee just does it right. I’m honored to bring a part of me and my family to this community through Culaccino, and I know that our guests will leave just as big of a mark on us as we hope to leave on them,” says Pullard.
Standouts dishes include the scratch-made veal shoulder-stuffed ravioli marinating in bone marrow, robiola cheese, and butter sauce; “Nonna’s lentil soup” simmering with aromatic vegetables, San Marzano tomato and pecorino; and 72-hour fermented wood-fired pizzas like the “L’Arrosto” with slow-roasted pork, taleggio, arugula, and fennel pollen. “Many of our dishes are my takes on recipes I grew up with that have special meaning to me,” shared Pullara. “I’m looking forward to sharing those with friends both old and new.”
The menu is rounded out by an inventive cocktail and wine menu that highlights the flavors in Pullara’s dishes. Curated by General Manager Josh Rosa, the wine list features over 100 bottles from all around the globe, with a strong focus on Italy. The ABV-leaning drinks — like the “Bevanda Viola” with gin, creme de violette, basil, lemon, and egg white — rotate seasonally and can be sipped with a side of people watching on the restaurant’s outdoor patio.
Located in the heart of Downtown Franklin’s Harpeth Square, the indoor space seats up to 90 people and features handsome woods, sleek dark lines, and midcentury modern-style lighting that lend themselves to homey family dinners in the early evening and intimate late-night dates.
Culaccino is open in Harpeth Square in downtown Franklin Monday through Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Stay tuned for future lunch and brunch hours. Reservations can be made using Resy.