Trattoria Fanny, a casual Italian restaurant at 3 Deering Ave. in Portland, has closed.

Chef/owner David Levi, who also owns Vinland on Congress Street, announced the closure on the restaurant’s Facebook page Wednesday afternoon: “Friends, we will miss serving you. … For a brief moment, we had something beautiful here. We will miss it dearly.”

Trattoria Fanny opened a year ago as Rossobianco, but closed in November so owner David Levi could make changes in its format, staff and menu. It re-opened in February as Trattoria Fanny. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Trattoria Fanny had somewhat rocky beginnings. It opened a year ago as Rossobianco, but closed in November so Levi could make changes in the format, staff and menu. It re-opened in February as Trattoria Fanny.

The restaurant was named after Levi’s grandmother, Fanny Levi, who was born in Milan in 1908. It served traditional Italian food at affordable prices. Dinner entrees all cost under $20.

“It’s not food as art, or food as idea,” Levi told the Maine Sunday Telegram’s restaurant critic in May. “It’s food as food, and food as culture. A trattoria is supposed to be a place with no pretension, no frills, like an Italian version of a diner.”

Reached by phone Wednesday at Vinland, Levi said he got “fantastic feedback” on the food, and called the restaurant’s natural wines program “exciting.” But Trattoria Fanny couldn’t overcome issues of timing and location.

“At the end of the day we were a very small, very bootstrap operation, and we had a hard time getting the word out,” Levi said. “I think a lot of people just didn’t know that we were there. There are a lot of options in town, and there’s not a whole lot of foot traffic over there.”

Levi said he still thinks the Bramhall neighborhood is a promising one for restaurants, but he got there a little too early.

“It was starting to happen,” he said. “It just didn’t happen fast enough.”

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

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