Nick Strawhecker | Dante Pizzeria Omaha

By Shivana Maharaj
March 13, 2015

Executive Chef and owner Nick Strawhecker, and a rabbit and persimmion dish.

Executive Chef and owner Nick Strawhecker, and a rabbit and persimmion dish. /K&S Media

Nick Strawhecker Dante Pizzeria Omaha.  The owner and executive chef has an enviable resume and delivers delicious plates of food.

Between sips of Villa Rubibi Schioppettino, I am holding back from bringing a bowl of crystal clear rabbit brodo to my lips— the light, earthy broth is enriched
with three silky rabbit stuffed tortellini that any Italian nonna would be proud of making.

Rabbit brodo at Dante pizzeria

Rabbit brodo at Dante. /K&S Media

Owner and executive chef, Nick Strawhecker has an enviable resume— after graduating from Johnson & Wales University, he moved to Piedmont Italy to study at The Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners followed by stints at Michelin restaurant Il Falconerie in Tuscany, and Aria in Spring Chicago. “I have completely adapted an Italian viewpoint to guide our menu and food philosophy: use what is near and what is seasonal as long as it is raised sustainably and without chemicals,” the chef states proudly.

In the kitchen at Dante.

In the kitchen at Dante. /K&S Media

Inside the rustic restaurant, pictures of men playing bocce hang alongside a framed map of Italy while cheeky, winking red devil heads are painted on another wall. An open concept kitchen gives me a front row seat to the masterful cooking, as I nibble on chicken liver crostini infused with red wine braised onion, duck prosciutto and crunchy pine nuts. I watch as cooks drizzle thin dough with golden olive oil and delicately tear fresh Branched Oak Farms hand stretched cow’s milk mozzarella.

A beef stew and mint pesto roasted potatoes.

A beef stew and mint pesto roasted potatoes. /K&S Media

Finally, I return to my table and dive into a succulent rabbit roulade with roasted persimmon and fennel salad, and potatoes tossed in mint pesto that has me sinking into my seat.

This article on Dante Pizzeria first appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.