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Side Dishes: New Eateries to Serve It Up ?With Molto Brio

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Junior's Downtown, a Burlington-area extension of Colchester's highly successful Italian restaurant, pizzeria and bakery, is slated to open this week in the old Dunkin' Donuts location on Main Street. Reached on his cellphone, enthusiastic owner Franke Salese Jr. was too busy to chat, but did have this to say: "Real New York-style pizza is coming to downtown, Long Island-style, the real McCoy." They'll deliver, too.

The eatery - with late-night hours on Friday and Saturday - will offer sandwiches and slices in many of Junior's popular flavors, along with a few baked pasta dishes. Fans of the company's baked goods, which are also sold at nearby City Market, will be able to pick up cookies and loaves to go after the co-op has closed. Bravissimo!

People seeking primo pasta outside Chittenden County will soon have a new option: Doria's Restaurant in Middlebury. The eatery will open May 1 in the space formerly occupied by Amigos Cantina: The Mexican joint closed its doors last week after more than 20 years of dishing up fajitas, fried ice cream and lots of not-so-Mexican chicken wings.

Doria's is named for its owners, Jim and Sharon Doria, who intend to offer a selection of steak and seafood dishes in addition to freshly made cuisine from "the boot." Think lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs in a simple yet elegant marinara sauce. Jim notes that they plan to supply "quality product at an affordable price," while putting "emphasis on the use of Vermont and locally grown products."

According to Jim, who has been a chef for 30 years - including a stint at Middlebury College and a 13-year run at a Reno, Nevada, casino - "We basically got tired of working for somebody else, and this opened up." The couple's also paving the way for the next generation: Their son, a NECI graduate who has worked as kitchen manager at nearby Tully & Marie's, will be the resto's head chef.

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