Mamma DiSalvo’s Ristorante
1375 E. Stroop Rd.
Kettering, OH 45440
|Hours:||Sun: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Tues-Thurs: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sat: 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.
|Price Range:||Appetizers, Salads and desserts: $10-$15
We were desperate for food as we were driving down 75 on our way home from the desolate region of northern Ohio, so I pulled out my phone and began looking for restaurants in the Dayton area. Urbanspoon for Dayton is really lacking, and isn’t near as nice or as easy to use as Urbanspoon for Cincinnati is, and finding choices was a bit of a challenge.
We were hesitant to visit Mamma DiSalvo’s as it had only two unfortunately brief reviews, and we’ve heard a little bit about them before, so we decided to take the risk and give it a go.
The restaurant is easy to miss if you don’t already know where it is – it’s snuck in a very small strip mall where the parking is extremely limited. We got there around 5 p.m.and the parking lot was packed, forcing us to park a little walk away. When we walked in the restaurant was packed and there was a half hour to hour long wait. We were hungry, but the smell inside there made us decide not to walk out and go elsewhere.
The decor at Mamma DiSalvo’s is nothing really that spectacular – in fact I dare say it’s a bit cheesy. In the front room (waiting area and bar) there’s a fountain that kids pestered their parents to throw coins into (I’ll never understand this fascination) along with several plants.
A packed restaurant is generally a sign they’re doing it right – and woah is Mamma DiSalvo’s doing it right.
We were seated after about a 20 min wait, and were given bread and salads. The bread comes dripping in butter – Paula Deen Style – which I absolutely loved. I hated how messy they were, but their flavor and the butter was fantastic. The salad was average – the ranch and caesar dressings were average and nothing particularly spectacular about them.
As we waited for our dishes I was able to get a look at the main dining area – which wasn’t too far off from the main room. Lots of wood paneling on the walls and the white strip lights decorating the walls and plants.
Finally our order came – Adam had the Chicken Parmigiano Al Forno, I had the Homemade Lasagna Al Forno, and since I had a headache Adam ordered a bottle of the DiSalvo’s Chardonnay.
The Chicken Parmigiano was in a wonderfully seasoned tomato sauce with mozzarella on it and spaghetti on the side. The spaghetti was average, but it wasn’t really supposed to be a main feature anyways. The Chicken Parmigiano itself was delightful. The mix of herbs they used with the mozzarella really made it a good eat. The only downside about the chicken was that it was a bit dry – but not excessively. Adam really enjoyed the spaghetti and Chicken Parmesean – more than I did.
The Lasagna Al Forno was, in my opinion, better than the Chicken Parmigiano. The lasagna with the herbed tomato sauce, ground beef and cheese was a really really tasty combo. I’m all too used to the boring, flavorless Italian food they give you at fake Italian restaurants, but thankfully all the foods at Mamma DiSalvo’s are packed with wonderful flavors – primarily the herbs they use in generous portions.
The Chardonnay is a toss up – Adam enjoyed it, but I didn’t really care for it. To me, it had a kind of unpleasant burnt flavor – kind of like burnt popcorn. Unless you know someone with similar tastes who has tried, and enjoyed the Chardonnay, I’d advise against trying it.
To finish, we split an order of the tiramisu. It came with a nice splash of chocolate on top. The tiramisu was good, but it wasn’t really fantastic and I’ve had much better tiramisu elsewhere. It was a nice crisp ending to the carb-packed meal we just had.
Mamma DiSalvo’s is a great family Italian restaurant. The food is not the fanciest Italian you’ll ever have – but they make no attempt to be that kind of restaurant. At Mamma DiSalvo’s it’s all about having a lot of yummy, homestyle food and hanging out with your friends and family, being loud and having a good time.
Where is your favorite place for Italian? Have you ever been to Mamma DiSalvo’s? Let us know in the comments below! Also, check out more pictures from our visit on Facebook.
Verdict: If You’re Near – It’s Worth A Shot.
Mamma DiSalvo’s is not a place you go to for the ambiance or decor. It’s always packed because they serve really good food and all the staff are friendly. The restaurant is geared more toward families and people who like lots and lots of Italian food. I’m not sure it’s worth a long drive to try out, but if you live in Dayton or happen to be in Dayton it’s definitely worth a visit.