Johnny Nunn
Johnny Nunn Kimberly Whipps, Barefoot Photography

A little over three years ago, chef Johnny Nunn and his wife Kristina opened Verdigris, a cozy little French-inspired restaurant nestled right next door to the Cajun-inspired Acadia on NE Fremont.

But now Nunn is zeroing in on a new concept—Corzetti—and, as you can probably tell by the name, it’s focusing on a new cuisine as well: Italian, specifically hand-made pastas that will tease out flavors from Italy’s many regions, along with some Italian-American dishes as well.

Nunn, who ran the kitchens at Brasserie Montmartre and RingSide Fish House before branching out on his own with Verdigris, says that Corzetti, which is taking over the old Muscadine space at 1465 NE Prescott, is currently in the design phase. When it opens, it will offer affordable Italian and Italian-American dishes in a town where pastas are presently tiptoeing up to the $30 price range. Nunn says most salads and starters will cost less than $10, while most mains will cost less than $20.

Expect dishes like spaghetti and meatballs, rabbit cacciatore, corzetti stampadi, and squid ink chitarra, alongside daily specials like gigli carbonara on Thursdays and stuffed branzino for two on Fridays. Nunn says he plans on leaving pizza to the pizzaiolos, but admits he's tinkering with a possible happy hour pie built on his homemade focaccia.

The bar program will feature wines from Washington, Oregon, Italy, and Spain, beer from all over the state and world, and craft cocktails. Nunn also says he’s looking for a ringer to run the bar, so if you know someone angling to run their own bar program, share this story.

“It makes me feel good to cook and eat Italian food, and I’m not alone,” Nunn says when asked why Italian and why now. “And I'm looking forward to putting together a menu with several hand-made pastas. Pasta will literally be at the center of our menu.”

When it opens, Nunn says Corzetti will likely keep dinner hours, Wednesday through Sunday, with early and late-night happy hours thrown in the mix.

Expect an opening date around the beginning or middle of April.