Home Food Dish Glasshalfull’s Swiss Chard and Ricotta Zeppole

Glasshalfull’s Swiss Chard and Ricotta Zeppole

One of many delicious Mediterranean-style dishes concocted by head chef Tony Del Sarto.

Photo by Sarah Arneson

Glasshalfull’s owner Jim Wald has weathered a lot since he, along with partner Mickey Maloney, opened the doors in March 2007. “Our timing wasn’t good with the recession,” he says. “[But] we had a little more patience.” Thankfully, early items like the French fries and Brussels sprouts took off and in came the regulars. Glasshalfull started out calling their dishes small plates but reluctantly got labeled as a tapas spot, misleading in terms of portion size and cuisine. “It’s taken a long time to get that word out of the lexicon of being described that way,” Jim says. “Our plates on even what you’d call the appetizer side of the menu are still a little bit composed.” Take for example, the savory Swiss chard and ricotta zeppole ($10). Five on their own are a hearty enough start to any dinner, but served with lemon-and-olive-oil-dressed greens, a tomato-and-onion chutney and basil aioli, it’s enough to make you want to skip ahead to dessert. One element of the restaurant that hasn’t changed is Tony Del Sarto in the kitchen. He started out 10 years ago as sous chef and last September was made part owner and head chef. “He’s been a real consistent factor,” Jim says. “The quality has been influenced by him from the beginning.”

Jessica is the Executive Editor for Chapel Hill Magazine. As a 2010 grad of UNC, she's happy to be back in town writing, editing and eating around the Triangle.