Third time's a charm

The saying “third time’s a charm” certainly applies to Mama LaScola’s Italian Kitchen. It is the latest venture of Gus Nicolaidis and his partner Moussa Salloukh. The duo also own LaScola Italian Grill in Toledo and LaScola Tuscan Grill in Findlay. Having spent time studying-and especially eating-and more eating-in Italy, I looked forward to the opportunity to see if Mama LaScola’s offerings could hold their own against those of my host mom, Mama Corsetti.

I had heard that LaScola had a “homey” feel. For me, the objective of going out is to get as far away from home as possible. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised with the atmosphere. LaScola’s offers a relaxed dining experience, yet the black and white checkered tablecloths, Tiffany lights and vintage photos are a positive addition. There is a nice bar area that is off to the side that provided adequate space between parents with little ones and older guests wanting an adult beverage.

I found the service to be one of the most positive aspects of the evening. Of course, I get excited as a mom when anyone asks what they can get for me (instead of the other way around). LaScola’s also has an extensive wine selection that I hope to explore at another time.

We ate during the dinner hour but LaScola’s also offers lunch Monday through Friday. The choices are plentiful including nine appetizers, eight salads, pastas, classic Italian dishes, and panini sandwiches.

I could not get the girls out of their comfort zone to try the garlic mussels but scored a small victory in ordering the calamari. Thankfully my children haven’t figured out that word in Italian. We proceeded to the house salads. My youngest child Maria, whose first words were “Mama” and “balsamic” tried the white balsamic house dressing. The server shared that it may be purchased by the bottle. Of course, my offspring, like their mother, have never met a baked good that they didn’t like. The Mama’s bread did not disappoint.

Our main meal included Mama’s Spaghetti Bake ($13.99). My gluten-free, carb free middle child ordered the salmon and informed me it was as good as what I prepare at home. It came with a side of vegetable ribbons that were pleasing to the eye and the palate.

There are so many options. I was in a quandary. I paid rent while living with an Italian family by helping as a “cooker” and truly enjoy the art of food preparation. I love ordering something I don’t make at home. I thought it would be interesting however, to order something I make on a regular basis for comparison purposes. I decided on the Chicken Piccata ($14.99) and found it to be very flavorful sautéed with brandy and topped with a garlic cream sauce with wild mushrooms and capers. We also ordered a Margherita grilled pizza ($10.99). No matter how hard I try, I cannot convince my children that the pie is named for a queen, not a beverage.

We topped off a nice meal with the caramel pecan tiramisu ($5). It was wonderful and extremely sweet. We also tried the bread pudding with a warm sauce ($5) that would warm anyone’s cockles. Portions were plentiful and easily shared.
Mama LaScola’s Italian Kitchen is a welcome addition. Our family looks forward to old favorites and experimenting with new dishes the next time we visit.

Mama LaScola’s Italian Kitchen
6060 Renaissance Place
Mon-Thurs: 11:30am-9:30pm
Fri: 11:30-10pm
Sat: 4-10pm
Sun: 4-8pm

Toledo Area Parent would like to extend its deepest sympathies to Karen Zickes, writer of Food Fight upon the death of her spouse Jim. Mother Mayhem will be reviewing family dining until Ms. Zickes returns to the table.