With a tight menu of tantalizing dishes and a chic, non-fussy atmosphere, you would never guess that beppé is Dom Morelli’s first restaurant. The now 23 year-old, says he got the itch to open his own place at an early age.
“So my dad has been a restaurateur, he’s a partner at Crispelli’s,” explains Morelli. “At a young age I saw what it took to have a restaurant, operate a business, and that kind of really just sparked the entrepreneurial sense in me.”
Throughout high school he worked at Crispelli’s making pizzas, dreaming up his own restaurant concepts, before going off to college. Once he graduated, he came across a building in Royal Oak, off of Main Street just north of 11 Mile Road, and saw an opportunity to make his dream a reality.
“We just saw the potential in it,” says Morelli. “It used to be a Coney Island.”
They transformed the old diner into a sophisticated space with rich leather booths, textured white and gold walls with a marble bar. The patio is also a big attraction for guests with a pergola, twinkling Edison bulbs, and surrounded by greenery. Morrelli says they wanted the space to feel welcoming with a bit of an edge. The build-out for the space took about a year, and they opened their doors in January of 2022, when he was just 22 years old.
For the menu, he wanted to keep things simple and sophisticated. Being Italian, he says he is partial to Italian dishes, but he wouldn’t call beppé an Italian restaurant. Instead, he focuses on having a small cohesive menu of thoughtful dishes he believes do very well. One of their most popular entrees is their vodka rigatoni with Italian sausage and a dollop of ricotta cheese, but that is the only pasta dish on the menu. Another excellent choice is their prime New York strip, which is cooked to order, served sliced with a buttery garlic and parsley sauce poured over top, and fontina au gratin potatoes served on the side. They do have some vegetarian and gluten-free options as well, like their seared cauliflower steak that is served over cashew butter, and topped with dates, mint, lemon and a herbed oil.
Morelli works with Chef Michael Batoluzzi, who is the same age as him, to come up with new seasonal dishes every few months, and they just added a few new dishes for Fall. One of which is a steak tartar, which is tossed with shallots, Fresno chilis and capers, served on a toasted brioche bread with a bone marrow vinaigrette and parmesan cheese on top.
Watch the full video above for more details.
beppé is located at 703 North Main Street in Royal Oak.
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