OSWEGO – Some might think of the Corleone family at the very mention of “The Godfather.” The name association takes on another meaning when it comes to dining at one Oswego restaurant.
Pizza Cucina has been making homemade Italian food since 2001 between its two locations, 40W450 Route 64 in Wasco and 12 E. Merchants Drive in Oswego. For the purpose of this review, we will focus on the Oswego location, where my guest and I dined inside.
After quietly chuckling at the Italian chef statue inside the restaurant – because honestly, what kind of Italian restaurant doesn’t have a chef statue somewhere? – we started our dining experience with appetizers of fried cheese ravioli and garlic bread with cheese, both served with marinara sauce.
The fried cheese ravioli came highly recommended from our server after we couldn’t decide beyond the cheesy garlic bread from the other more than 20 side order options. The fried ravioli definitely did not disappoint. It was crunchy on the outside, yet soft and cheesy inside.
The cheesy garlic bread was light enough to eat before a meal and not too heavy, which also made for a good appetizer in our opinion. The amount of garlic on the bread wasn’t overwhelming, and it was delicious overall.
For those with allergen concerns, the frying oil that Pizza Cucina uses is soybean-based, which was important to know with certain appetizer items on the menu, including mozzarella sticks and the fried ravioli. Our server also was accommodating when it came to getting answers for allergy-related questions for the restaurant’s food preparation.
We also ordered two meatballs with our spaghetti with marinara sauce, which came with a sizable side salad and more garlic bread. The meatballs were tender and delicious and the portion of the pasta dish itself was easily big enough to share between the two of us alone, if we so chose. The pasta, meatballs and sauce complemented each other nicely.
For the finisher, my guest and I also ordered a specialty pizza called “The Godfather,” which included sausage, onions, Italian beef, tomatoes and hot giardiniera, along with some additional Italian seasoning. My guest described this pizza as being as Italian as Italian gets and, as someone with some Italian heritage to back it up, I couldn’t agree more.
For those who might not be used to spicy, proceed with caution, but for us, it was just the right amount of a kick to perfectly complement the rest of the pie’s ingredients. This pizza was easily my favorite part of the whole experience and I’d recommend this restaurant based on that alone.
Also, a bonus worth mentioning: This pizza somehow tastes better as leftovers and it was great hot or cold.
I can say this about Pizza Cucina: You will never leave the place hungry with the amount of food you get for what you pay.
Ultimately, I would recommend the food from Pizza Cucina and I can’t wait to enjoy it carryout in the comfort of my own home next time.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Record Newspapers. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. The Mystery Diner is not intended to be a restaurant critic but does highlight the parts of a dining experience that he/she can recommend.