I've Said It Before and I'll Say It Again, I Love Italian Food!
No two ways about it, you put a plate of pasta anything in front of me and look out; you better pull your hand back quickly! I was very excited to try Caruso’s Italian Restaurant, especially after hearing about the breadsticks that are made locally (as in next door) at the Heavenly Breads & Sweets bakery. I was not disappointed in my visit. The ambiance is great, either inside or outside on the patio. The wine list which is extensive and featuring locally produced wines from Satek Winery. Also, to meet many needs of their diners, they have a great gluten free menu with almost a dozen items listed.
According to the family history the family got started on the path to Caruso’s back in 1962 and through the early 1970’s Joe Caruso not only worked at a steel mill he also was one of the main cooks at the famous Hobby House Restaurants. It was while working that he met Barb, his future wife, who was a waitress. Joe’s parents were fantastic cooks and his Italian heritage made him passionate about family and food. In 1976 Barb and Joe cashed in their life’s savings and bought a pizzeria and moved their family to Angola. Over the next few years the kids grew up in the restaurant and learned all the jobs that came along with being in the business. Presently Liat, Lisa, and Dan make owning and operating Caruso’s their careers. Liat and Lisa recently earned their degrees in Culinary Arts and won a culinary competition which took them to France in May. The passion this family brings to the food, family recipes, and welcoming every guest as family makes for a wonderful dining experience.
I was gifted with several menu items to sample and completely enjoyed the culinary delights placed before me. I started with breadsticks with are locally made, fresh each day, followed by Caruso’s Caesar Salad. The salad was a classic blend of romaine, parmesan cheese and in house made creamy Caesar dressing. A fantastic meatball was next. The meatballs, using mama’s recipe, are all made in house along with all the sauces. I found the meatball to be dense and smooth in flavor while the sauce didn’t overpower the flavors of the meat.Calamari, a long standing favorite of mine is always a delight to try and I have to say, hands down the calamari at Caruso’s is in the top three of my all-time greats! The hand cut, lightly breaded, toasted with lemon zest has a tender but still fleshy taste to it. I like when you can tell what you are eating without the seasoning overpowering the meat. They have achieved a great blend here while starting with quality squid.
The Chicken Marsala is lightly breaded and perfectly seasoned breast of chicken, fresh chicken, not frozen, served with sweet Marsala wine and fresh mushrooms is made to order and it shows in the tender chicken, flavorful mushrooms and sauce.
Pasta Alfredo is made using imported parmesan cheese, heavy cream and butter, what more do you need. A well made and presented fettuccine with this freshly made sauce is simple yet glorious in its simplicity of taste. Rich and filling you will not be disappointed.
The House Special Pizza with the Sicilian Crust, made just the way Grandpa Caruso is what started the business and for 30 years the recipe remains the same. Featuring pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions and cheese this classic with the fresh ingredients and distinctive crust is a must try, even if you just get one to go. You have to try the pizza!
I look forward to a return trip to Caruso’s when I am in the area again and encourage you to drop in, experience with family and tradition have created. Enjoy the atmosphere, don’t rush, and sample with diverse menu.