Della's After Dark limits restaurant to private events

When chef Debbie Frangipane ends her time at After Dark, private events will only be offered.

click to enlarge An After Dark flatbread with prosciutto and arugula. - Chip Weiner
Chip Weiner
An After Dark flatbread with prosciutto and arugula.

Beginning Sunday, March 8, Della's After Dark, a fine dining and live jazz destination in Brandon, will only be open for private events.

Owner Beverly DellaGrotta doesn't want to operate the nighttime eatery without "someone with the same passion and artistry" as chef Debbie Frangipane, who decided to end her time there, according to an announcement on the restaurant's Facebook page.

With industry experience at Armani's in Tampa and Orlando's Grand Floridian, as well as training from the Culinary Institute of America, Frangipane joined the After Dark team two years after chef Alex DellaGrotta, Beverly's son, left in 2011. 

Frangipane, known as "Dolce Debbie" on TV, blended French, Italian and Southern influences on the restaurant's menu, and in 2013, CL food critic Jon Palmer Claridge dubbed her a "culinary Wonder Woman."

Though After Dark is set to change, the 26-year-old Della's Delectables, housed in the same space as After Dark, will continue to offer its catering services and breakfast, lunch and dessert items Monday through Friday.