Italian cuisine, fine wines featured at upscale DiPaolo’s

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Italian cuisine, fine wines featured at upscale DiPaolo’s

DiPaolo’s Thanksgiving Day buffet

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 25

Cost: $13.95 per person for carved roasted turkey, honey baked ham, and all the trimmings

RSVP: Reservations are suggested. Call (513) 523-1541

OXFORD — In the back corner of the Holiday Inn, DiPaolo’s and Three Trees are obscured from the average passer-by. But for those who know where to look, this Italian restaurant and upscale bar combo is quite the treasure trove.

“If you want to impress a guest you bring to town, you go to DiPaolo’s,” said Rakan Shteiwi, known as Rick, the owner of the restaurant and head of the corporation.

Located at 77 S. Main St., DiPaolo’s, and the adjacent bar Three Trees, are both part of the business owned by Shteiwi, and the two work together to provide the area with a casual bar and fine dining experience.

Traditionally, honored guest speakers at Miami University are taken to DiPaolo’s. Some of the most famous faces to grace Oxford have casually perused the extensive wine menu here, enjoying an evening of Della Casa.

“We had (Mikhail) Gorbachev for lunch and then we had James Carville for an early dinner,” Shteiwi said. “There’s been handfuls of doctors, and guest speakers. Any time Ben Roethlisberger is in town he stops by.”

Braheam Shteiwi, son of Rakan Shteiwi, is the food and beverage director, who plans to take over the business after his father retires.

“All the menus come from me, and it goes from there,” said Braheam Shteiwi, a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati.

Rakan Shteiwi said the restaurant is a popular place for students to go with their parents or other relatives while they are in town. He also has noticed it is a popular place for anniversaries and birthdays.

Rakan Shteiwi has more than 40 years of experience in the upscale restaurant business and currently owns a handful of other family run establishments in the area, such as Spinning Fork in Fairfield and three Gold Star Chili restaurants in the Hamilton and Fairfield area.

He was given the opportunity to acquire DiPaolo’s in 2005 and says that business has been good. Even in the summer, during the traditional slump for Oxford businesses when the coeds go home and the season for university speakers ends, the business caters to weddings and events in its 300-, 50- or 20-seat rooms.

“It’s been doing well,” he said. “It has a great reputation.”

DiPaolo’s boasts an impressive list of top-quality wines. On the Three Trees side, the elaborate bar is stocked with 18 flavors of vodka and a full variety of scotch and bourbon.

DiPaolo’s has an elegant atmosphere with low lighting and quiet dinner music in the background. It’s the kind of restaurant with a fork for all occasions and water in a wine glass.

Braheam Shteiwi said that though the restaurant has a reputation for high class, he feels the menu is competitively priced. Typical meals range from around $16 to $25.

While Braheam Shteiwi said that all restaurants could be labeled as competition, he does not think there is a eating experience in town that compares.

“We’re always the biggest and the baddest,” he said.

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