You don’t have to travel all the way to Rome to satisfy an emperor’s appetite. Roma Café Ristorante is Italian done right in the heart of Mesa.
Owners Antonio and Anna Magliozzi treat their customers like family. The couple, along with son, Marco, greet patrons — whether they are return visitors or new diners — warmly with a handshake and, sometimes, even a hug. They chit-chat with their visitors either at the table or the hostess stands about their families, absorbing every little piece of information given to them.
That kind of warmth extends to the dishes at the Mesa mainstay, located on Main Street in East Mesa, between Power and Sossaman roads. The Magliozzis take great care in creating, preparing and serving each dish, from which freshness abounds. For example, pasta is made in-house, and Antonio cooks with fresh garlic and extra virgin olive oil using recipes that were created by his mother and father in the late ‘20s.
The menu, which has been handed down in Antonio’s family since 1929, features fresh seafood, pasta specialties and veal dishes — all made to order.
Appetizers include Caprese, consisting of imported buffalo mozzarella cheese with tomato and sweet basil. Main courses such as the gnocchi and veal are served piping hot. Dessert options, meantime, include the Limoncello Marscapone Cake.
Born in Gaeta, Italy, Antonio Magliozzi began cooking and experimenting in the kitchen as a teen in his family-owned restaurant. According to his bio, Antonio’s passion took him to some of the finest kitchens throughout the world. His 40-year career has seen Antonio cook in luxury cruise ships, five-star hotels and neighborhood restaurants.
Get another taste of Italy in the Valley. Roma Café Ristorante is seating guests at 7210 E. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85207. Phone (480) 654-0558 for hours and more information.
– Christina Fuoco-Karasinski / Edited for Phoenix.org