Ari Dreshaj was a 16-year-old when he first asked his mother for cooking lessons.
After moving to the U.S. in 2005, he made cooking a profession, spending the next eight years working in Italian restaurants in Dallas, Oklahoma, New York, Kansas and Missouri,
all to prepare for owning his own Italian restaurant one day.
That day has come.
Dreshaj's new Luigi's Italian Restaurant opened recently at 8 E. Franklin St., in Liberty's historic downtown. Cork Brew formerly occupied the space.
"I love to cook, I love putting fresh ingredients together,” said Dreshaj, who is putting in much longer hours as an owner.
His menu includes appetizers like mussels, sliced Italian sausage and Shrimp Napoleoni, along with entree salads, chicken parmigiana, and spaghetti with meat sauce. Many of the recipes are based on those his mother taught him when he was a teenager.
Customer favorites so far are the lasagna and the Shrimp Diavolo (jumbo shrimp and vegetables sauteed in a spicy, light marinara sauce over pasta).
Luigi's is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
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