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local flavor
Story by Shaila Creekmore, Photos By Dero Sanford

Piero’s Restaurant and Club is the spot in Jonesboro for fine dining with an international flair, satisfying even the most discriminating palate.

One of the original eateries downtown, the family-owned restaurant prides itself on fine dining with prices comparable to the large chains, but with what the family describes as better atmosphere, better ingredients and more selection.
Boasting an eclectic menu drawn from influences throughout the world, chef Marco Trimarchi said he wants his guests’ dining experience to be an encounter in tastes and textures for all the senses.

The softly lit dining room provides an intimate atmosphere perfect for a romantic evening, a celebration dinner with friends or lunch with colleagues. Contrasting the traditional downtown rustic atmosphere are the vibrant paintings of owner Piero Trimarchi, some of which are available for purchase. Along the back of the dining room is an exhibition kitchen where guests can watch Marco and the rest of his kitchen staff prepare each meal in the open kitchen.

“We are entertainers. That’s why we have the open kitchen,” said Marco. “Food is more than just about eating. It’s about experiencing the meal. A good meal will go a long way in making you have a good day.”

With a base drawn from his father Piero’s Italian heritage, Marco’s flavor reflects tastes from around the world to create a global cuisine for the restaurant.

“I like sampling from all over the world,” said Marco. Cooking since he was seven years old, he has taken the traditional Italian dishes he grew up with and added influences learned throughout his years as a chef. His southern heritage also plays a big part in his cooking style.

“I grew up with a southern grandmother and cooking with her. My family has really influenced my cooking,” said Marco.

Among the restaurant’s traditional classic spaghetti, penne with shrimp or chicken and spinach ravioli are dishes like a pork chop grilled with rosemary and garlic and tilapia lightly battered and pan fried with a honey butter almond sauce. Handcut beef filets are also on the regular menu and can be topped with Gorgonzola cheese sauce or wild exotic mushrooms in Bourbon sauce.

Each week, Marco creates a list of specials to be featured on the restaurant’s menu. Examples of such selections are seabass with a chipotle guacamole, tuna with a mandarin orange salsa, a pork chop with Hoisin lime sauce and lobster and shrimp in a sweet chile sauce over linguini. Marco said his weekly specials are dependent on what ingredients are the freshest available to him.

For lunch, Piero’s features an affordable menu with sandwiches and wraps, spaghetti, chicken spaghetti, linguini and cheese stuffed tortellini. Dinner salads are also offered on the lunch menu, as are bruschetta and stuffed mushrooms for appetizers.

Originally opened in the basement of the current Triple FM building on Union, Piero’s opened in its presemt location in 2001. Since that time, several downtown restaurants have opened their doors and the Trimarchis say they welcome the company.

“It’s great. We’ve seen a great increase in foot traffic and a lot of people walking up and down Main Street at night,” said Mario Trimarchi, Marco’s brother. “We would love for this to become an entertainment district downtown.”

Adding to the nightlife is the restaurant’s upstairs location known as The Spot. Patterned after a Manhattan-style bar, guests enjoy live music, along with appetizers and beverages in a relaxed atmosphere. The upstairs location opens onto the largest balcony along Main Street.

“It’s the perfect place to start your night,” said Sara Trimarchi, mother of Marco and Mario and co-owner. “Friends can meet up here, enjoy their conversation and then move on to dinner or whatever it is they’re going to do.”

A future dining event Marco is working to add to the restaurant is a chef club. The reservation-only dinner will include a five-course meal of Marco’s selections. The unique element of this dinner will be what Marco calls a growing table.
“Everyone will sit and eat together. Part of the experience will be meeting and eating with new people, sharing a meal together while sharing ideas and experiences.” Marco said more information on the chef club will be coming soon.
Piero’s also offers all levels of catering from large receptions to private cooking in the home, including catering for drug representatives, hospitals and other businesses.

“I can come in and cook and make it look like you did it if that’s what you want. I help get a lot of guys out of trouble,” said Marco laughing. “We can accommodate just about anything you ask for.”

Piero’s Restaurant and Club, 320 S. Main St., is open for lunch Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and dinner 5 p.m. until close Mon.-Sat. For more information, call 802-3636.