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Heeeee's baaaaaack! Last night, Salt Lake City's larger-than-life food personality, Valter Nassi, was welcoming guests into his new restaurant, Valter's Osteria.

The official opening for this much anticipated Italian eatery at 173 W. 300 South (the old Metropolitan) is Friday, Nov. 16, according to the blog at

"But we silently opened last night," said Nassi during a telephone interview with The Tribune on Thursday. Of course, it wasn't much of a secret as Nassi served about 130 diners. "Mama Mia," said Nassi clearly overwhelmed by the love. "I'm happy to be back."

For many years, Nassi was the personality and face behind Cucina Toscana. He left last July under strange circumstances and immediately purchased the building at 300 South. Since then, the building has been completely remodeled — except for the wooden ceiling — and Nassi has designed a menu.

Valter's Osteria — which means tavern or inn — seats about 75 and features a Tuscan menu with many favorites from Cucina Toscana including homemade ravioli, timballo (refined lasagna) gnocchi, risotto, vegetables in season and grilled meats. Prices range from $9 to $34.

The bar is open Monday-Saturday at 4:30 p.m.; dinner service begins at 5:30 p.m. Closed Sunday. For reservation call, 801-521-4563.