Great Italian food at "Mother's"
Mon, 08/22/05 11:44 AM
I know there are a plethora of great italian restaurants in the US, from NY, to Chicago to any big city and small town with a history of italian immigrants including old industrial towns like Youngstown OH, Utica NY and the like.
Well, I travelled to my childhood hometown Syracuse, NY this past week and stumbled across an old hometown restaurant that is EXACTLY the kind of restaurant that should be discussed on Roadfood.com.
Unfortunately, I went to this restaurant without my camera and couldn't do a proper review. So, hopefully, anyone travelling up and down I-81 will see this and post their own review.
The place is called Mother's, and it's located on 1st Street in Liverpool, NY. Usually, when one thinks of Italian in Syracuse, they think about Barbagellos, Aunt Josies, Borio's, Angotti's, Casa Di Copani's, Dominick's, Antonios, Santangelos, and all the little places on the North side. But this little mom and pop place on 1st Strett in Liverpool has been a village secret for as long as I remember. So much a secret, I forgot about this little place and, thankfully, was pleasantly reminded of it on my trip.
My friend and I had a camping weekend planned, but in typical Syracuse fashion, rain put the hold on my camping trip, so my friend and I went to Mother's to eat.
Mother's is situated in an old house which was later adapted for the restaurant. The carpeted floor slants to the left a bit, but most tables are situated so as to feel as if you're not on a slant.
The tables are covered with white and red checkered tabled coverings. There is white lattace and green plants all around.
The waitress was a long-time server and was very amiable offering suggestions and helpful hints. She spoke with the typical soft nasally voice common to the region and Western, NY.
I had escargo appetizer and a "half plate" of spaghetti with meat sauce, and my friend had the Lasagna which came with a salad.
A basket of bread with flavored olive oil to dip it in was served to the table. The herb and garlic enhanced olive oil was a perfect compliment to the plain, but fresh Italian loaf. Crisp on the outside, but soft in the middle.
The wine selection is poor, but inexpensive. We had some local beer and mixed liquor drinks.
My escargo was tasty. Flavored with italian seasoning in an olive oil and butter mixture, the snails were perfectly cooked. A bit too much of the oil mixture was on the plate, but it was easy to eat just the snail, without all the oil and the waitress provided two types of utensils to get the "little guys" out of their shell.
My "half plate" of spaghetti was anything but half of anything. A full portion of al denti pasta, made in house, was served with a slow cooked meat sauce over top. I'm not sure how large a regular plate is, but this "half plate" was a meal in itself and full of homemade italian charm. I was unable to finish my half-plate.
My friend's lasagna was both large in size and large in taste. His "piece" was at least a full eight in in length, four inches wide and nearly three inches tall. Do the math, and you'll find that this cannot be eaten in one sitting even without the bread and salad.
The same slow cooked sauce filled the seams to this pasta, ricotta cheese and italian sausage layered casserole. Due to it's size, the middle was not as hot as the outside, but it was certainly cooked through.
My friend ate about half of his plate.
In restrospect, we could've ordered the one dinner and had two plates sent out. There's no extra charge to split a main entree.
Although the escargo was superb, and my "half plate" of spaghetti was good, since I haven't had lasagna in quite a while, I found myself longing for his plate.
A pre-dinner drink for each of us, the free bread basket with olive oil, escargo appetizer, half plate of spaghetti with meat sauce, lasagna with salad and coffee to finish cost about $32.
Our waitress was so friendly and the ambiance was so inviting, we eached pitched in a $20 bill and left feeling well fed and relaxed with a hearty "breakfast" in a to-go box.
Sure, I've has better Italian, even in Syracuse, but Mother's is definately one of those restaurants that roadfood.com is all about.
By the way, the next morning, we ate our left overs, and were able to go camping.