Michael Salerno celebrates the rich flavors of Italian food with recipes culled from the books of his beloved grandmother, Carmela, using never-frozen ingredients to create delicious steaks, seafood dishes, pastas, and salads. His restaurant’s softly lit dining space recalls a family dining room, replete with flowery wallpaper, old framed photographs, and relatives who don’t remember how old you are. Diners gather at the main rooms’ tables or in high-backed booths for generous helpings of pasta, which bear ladlefuls of thick, savory sauce and juicy house-made meatballs, or break bread in the spacious banquet hall.
CiCi's Pizza combines the variety of a buffet with the thrill of bottomless pizza. Each pie is crafted with dough that’s made from scratch daily and then showered with marinara and toppings, from classic pepperoni and italian sausage to more creative buffalo chicken and mac 'n' cheese. The buffet is also stocked with a plethora of fresh pastas, signature salads, and independent salad ingredients. After feasting on savory options, diners can revisit the buffet for desserts including freshly baked brownies, slices of apple pizza, and cinnamon rolls drizzled with icing—or they can eat dessert first, thereby tearing an irreparable hole in the space-time continuum.
Though Hamid Parivash has progressively moved farther and farther away from his native Italy, he refuses to stray from the country’s iconic culinary traditions. In 1987, he opened his first Italian restaurant in Austria with his mother and father before eventually moving the eatery to Spain for four years. He then ventured out even further, jumping the Atlantic Ocean to found a new Don Camillo in Texas. Even with this westward momentum, the menu remains firmly grounded in Old World flavors—fresh buffalo mozzarella, hand-rolled manicotti, and homemade meat and pesto sauces remain staple ingredients on the menu. Chef Parivash even still relies on an old-fashioned wood-burning oven to roast hearty entrees and bake pizzas laden with everything from grilled chicken and red onions to diced pancetta and garlic.
The restaurant’s open kitchen allows diners full-on glimpses of the cooks as they use this brick-encased oven to bake meals to order. With its neutral-toned walls, chandelier-like lighting fixtures, and assorted pieces of artwork, the dining room embraces a classical, understated aesthetic. Leafy green potted plants sit atop the room’s half walls of exposed brickwork, adding a verdant splash of color and replenishing the restaurant’s oxygen supply on a weekly basis.