Chef Mike Cordero Going Old School Italian, Opening ‘Carbonara’

Chef Mike Cordero is going OG.

The Northern Virginia Restauranteur, best known for Taco Rock, Rockwood, and Bronson Bier Hall, began his culinary career at the age of 15 making meatballs at a New York Italian restaurant. Now, his upcoming “old-era Italian” concept is bringing his career full circle.

Carbonara: Old School Italian & Wine Bar is set to take over the corner retail space in the Ballston Gateway building (3865 Wilson Boulevard) in July 2023.

An indoor/outdoor restaurant, Carbonara will offer a menu of classic Italian, focusing on the southern region of Italy, with all food made in-house and pasta prepared daily. The ambiance will also be classic — a “film noir experience like a scene out of ‘The Godfather’ — according to a release.

“I’m ecstatic to relive my early years of training as an Italian chef with Carbonara and work with my sons on this project,” said Cordero. “My new concept will offer delicious old-school Italian cuisine with a twist where nothing is store-bought and everything is made from scratch. Cooking fresh Italian food is in the Cordero blood.”

Expect hearty Sicilian pizzas, zesty sandwiches, traditional baked dishes and seafood fare, and decadent desserts as well as a wide selection of wine from the best regions around the country.

We’re especially excited to try Tortellini Di Michael, which is stuffed brisket of need braised slowly with a light sauce, mushrooms, brown butter, and a touch of cream. He named it for himself, so it must be good!

Carbonara will be open daily for lunch and dinner and offers takeout and buyout options for private events. Website and social media platforms have not yet been established for the restaurant.