#61 – Garozzo’s Ristorante
Good for: Overindulging in carbs.
Tip: Try their signature dish, Chicken Spiedini, at lunch. It’s nearly half the price of the dinner portion.
Despite being known primarily for BBQ, Kansas City has many other notable restaurants varying in cuisine types. Garozzo’s Ristorante has been a staple to the Kansas City Italian scene since its opening in 1989 and invention of Chicken Spiedini.
The History of Garozzo’s
Michael Garozzo founded Garozzo’s Ristorante in 1989. Garozzo was born and raised on the “Hill” in St. Louis, famous for its great Italian restaurants. He moved to Kansas City, and opened the restaurant in 1989 in Columbus Park, a historic Italian neighborhood.
Garozzo’s quickly became well-known as the originators of their signature dish, Chicken Spiedini. Their tagline is actually “often imitated, never duplicated”, as Olive Garden and others eventually added the dish to their menu.
Today there are four Garozzo locations – the original location in Downtown Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Overland Park and Olathe. All locations have won multiple awards from Zagat to KC Magazine.
The atmosphere at Garozzo’s is hard to beat. First thing you notice when you walk in is the smell of pasta and warm bread. It’s friendly and cozy, and has ambient lighting. The walls are decorated with black and white portraits of Italian women from Sophia Loren to Gwen Stefani. (The entrance walls are filled with plaques, acknowledging their numerous accolades).
Garozzo’s is known for their signature dish – Chicken Spiedini. Basically, the chicken is marinated, rolled in Italian bread crumbs, skewered & grilled and served with linguine. You can also enjoy the dish with shrimp, beef or veal. There are a few variations of the dish, including:
- Gabriella –Chicken Spiedini served over fettuccine in spicy Diablo sauce.
- Samantha – Chicken Spiedini served over fettuccine with artichoke hearts in alfredo sauce.
- Georgio – Chicken Spiedini served with crushed tomatoes, basil, garlic, spinach & olive oil over angel hair topped with Romano cheese.
In Kansas City, it is known that the dish originated at Garozzo’s. It can now be found nationwide, thanks to its adaptation by Olive Garden.
And don’t forget dessert. From cannolis to tiramisu to Spumoni ice cream (cherry, pistachio and chocolate gelato), it’s too good to pass up.
If you need a break from Kansas City BBQ, head to Garozzo’s for some of the city’s best Italian. xx, Libbie.