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Reasons to love Mamma DiSalvo’s restaurant

Mamma DiSalvo's famous lasagna. Source: Facebook
Mamma DiSalvo's famous lasagna. Source: Facebook

Mamma DiSalvo’s Italian Ristorante is a true Dayton gem that blends family tradition and delicious, authentic, made-from-scratch Italian cuisine.

The DiSalvo family photographed in 1980. At right are Elena and Rinaldo. DAYTON DAILY NEWS / WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
The DiSalvo family photographed in 1980. At right are Elena and Rinaldo. DAYTON DAILY NEWS / WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

HOW IT STARTED

Mamma DiSalvo’s is a true Dayton original.

Rinaldo “Papa” DiSalvo Sr. and his wife Elena “Mamma” DiSalvo opened the Italian restaurant in Kettering in 1979 with the help of Elena's father Pasquale Berarado and their three sons, Nicola, Rinaldo Jr. and Roberto.

>> Founder of iconic local restaurant Mamma DiSalvo’s dies

The family’s roots are in Casili, Italy.

The DiSalvo family pictured in 2005: (from left) Nick, Andrew holding Abigail, 1,  Vincenzo, 7, Elena "Mamma",  "Papa" Rinaldo Sr. and Roberto are among the family members who run the Kettering establishment. PHOTO BY JAN UNDERWOOD
The DiSalvo family pictured in 2005: (from left) Nick, Andrew holding Abigail, 1, Vincenzo, 7, Elena "Mamma", "Papa" Rinaldo Sr. and Roberto are among the family members who run the Kettering establishment. PHOTO BY JAN UNDERWOOD

Credit: JAN UNDERWOOD

Credit: JAN UNDERWOOD

WHY CUSTOMERS LOVE IT

The family always has cooked Mamma’s recipes from scratch using only the finest quality ingredients available, including fresh meats, imported cheese, pasta and olive oil.

Popular dishes include its lasagna, classic eggplant parmigiano, spaghetti alla carbanara, calamari, toasted ravioli and linguini vongole. Mamma DiSalvo’s is also famous for its meatballs.

Photo from Mamma DiSalvo's Facebook page
Photo from Mamma DiSalvo's Facebook page

“Customers count on the authenticity; they feel at home here,” Andrew DiSalvo, a third-generation family member working at the restaurant, told the Dayton Daily News in a previous interview. “And I’ll tell you, we put our heart and souls into this place.”

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Mamma DiSalvo’s is having a meatball eating contest.
Mamma DiSalvo’s is having a meatball eating contest.

Credit: Mamma DiSalvo’s

Credit: Mamma DiSalvo’s

THE SECRET SAUCE

Mamma DiSalvo's makes its own sauces, which are available at DiSalvo's Deli & Italian Store next door to the restaurant, online and in select regional Kroger stores.

The product line includes Mamma DiSalvo’s Original Recipe Italian Sauce, Mamma DiSalvo’s Original Recipe Marinara Sauce, Mamma DiSalvo's Original Recipe Spicy Fradiavoli Sauce and Mamma DiSalvo's Authentic Salad Dressing.

DiSalvo's Deli was started by Rinaldo and Mindy DiSalvo in 1985. The deli offers freshly made deli sandwiches and daily pizza and pasta specials. It carries imported grocery items, meats, cheeses, homemade breads, a full line of Boar’s Head products, freshly made salads, desserts, wines, soups and offers changing daily specials as well as many signature items. It also offers catering services.

Mamma DiSalvo's spaghetti sauce. TY GREENLEES/STAFF FILE PHOTO
Mamma DiSalvo's spaghetti sauce. TY GREENLEES/STAFF FILE PHOTO