Grand Ticino: A look inside 280’s new Italian eatery, market

Published 2:48 pm Monday, February 14, 2022

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NORTH SHELBY – An Italian eatery and market on U.S. 280 is giving locals a new lunch spot—and a place to buy dry goods and refrigerated meals for later.

Grand Ticino serves lunch in its dining room from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and sells freshly refrigerated take-away meals, dried pasta, charcuterie and more in the adjoining marketplace until 6 p.m.

Those familiar with Amore Ristorante Italiano, Grand Ticino’s sister restaurant across the road, might find similarities between certain dishes at the two restaurants, but they can expect to find plenty of originality in Grand Ticino’s collection of sandwiches, soups, salads and entrees.

“Nothing is exactly the same,” part-owner Frank Roncadori said. “Everything is a little bit different. A lot of sauces, base ingredients and concepts go back and forth, but its’s uniquely different. We’ll always keep it that way.”

At Grand Ticino, diners may order a Greek, beet root or freekeh salad and add chicken or salmon, or they may choose an entrée—braised short rib with tagliatelle and chicken rollatini, for example—or a sandwich, which could be a meatball sub, a muffaletta or an Italian hoagie, just to name a few.

“Everything is made to order,” Roncadori said.

Over in the marketplace, refrigerated meals such as lasagna and baked ziti are ready to take home, along with a wide range of specialty items, including cured meats, imported cheeses, sauces, olives, spreads, crackers, jams, jellies, honeys and other items, many of which can be used for a charcuterie board.

“There are so many different things you can get,” Roncadori said. “All of that is stocked in our market.”

Roncadori’s involvement with Grand Ticino stems from his friendship with Jared Thornton, who co-owns Amore with his brother-in-law and Amore’s executive chef, Dino Drakos.

Roncadori teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Gracie Barra Greystone, located in the same shopping center as Amore. Thornton is one of Roncadori’s students, and as he told Roncadori about the plans for Grand Ticino, Roncadori wanted to help.

As someone who had previous restaurant experience but followed a different career path after college, Roncadori was excited for the opportunity to work in the industry again.

“Dino is the brains behind this,” Roncadori said of Grand Ticino. “My job is to execute his vision; he makes it easy. All I have to do is execute what he says.”

Roncadori said they chose not to publicize Grand Ticino’s early January opening, instead opting for a more organic debut.

“We don’t want to ruin the good name across the street,” he added. “We have a reputation to live up to. We’ll move nice and slow and steady.”

The dining room has been full or nearly full every day since then, and the market has also stayed busy.

Grand Ticino is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for lunch and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in the market. It is located at 5511 U.S. 280 Suite 109.

For more information, visit or follow the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram.