Mama Roberto’s exceeds expectations with food, atmosphere


Photo by: Chris Capuozzo

BAKED WITH LOVE: Mama’s Roberto’s “Chicken Parmigiano” is sure to turn heads with its delicious cuts of chicken, sweet sauce, and melty mozzarella cheese.

Chris Capuozzo and Kevin Bluffestone

If you are looking for an Italian restaurant that offers a comfortable atmosphere and scrumptious food, Mama Roberto’s is the place for you.

Located on Mentor Avenue in Mentor, the family-owned restaurant offers fresh, homemade Italian meals for a great price. Most of the food we tasted was full of flavor, and the portion sizes were very generous, as we came home with three big boxes each.

Speaking of portions, band director Michael Palermo adores Mama Roberto’s and has high praise for everything about it.

“Portions! I love the portions, home-style food, and the service. Rick and those guys, they know how to take care of a customer, and it’s just simple quality food,” he said.

The moment a customer is seated, they are immediately welcomed with bread and butter. The bread is freshly baked and melts in your mouth. Add butter to that equation, and you have a perfectly balanced dish.

The chicken Parmesan was the star plate that had our heads through the roof. At the price of $17, the chicken was exceptionally fresh and was packed full of spices and other seasonings.

As all of their dishes come with a side of pasta, we selected the cavatelli. The cavatelli was not stored in a freezer, and that showed in its delicious flavor and texture. The accompanying  sauce has a strong hint of oregano and basil, and the sweetness of the sauce complemented the cheese that was grated on top. 

However, to our dismay, the chicken wasn’t as crispy as we were expecting, but we were still happy overall.

The meat lovers pizza we ordered second was the definition of meaty. 

The pizza was piled high with bacon, sausage, meatballs, pepperoni, and ham. Yes, there are five different meats on this pizza, and it sure hit the spot. The slices they serve are emboldened with  flavor, and the size allowed it to stay together. 

The dough they use for the pizza is made in the back of the house daily, ensuring that the pizza was not soggy or under cooked. For a small pizza, $13 is not too shabby, considering you get about four well sized slices.

Mama Roberto’s is known for their distinguished desserts, as their cannolis have won the “Taste of Little Italy” award eight years in total.

We ordered their cannolis and fried dough, and personally these are some of the best desserts you will ever consume. The cannoli’s filling is so sweet and satisfying to eat, that we didn’t care about our stomachs being full. The fried dough’s honey-cinnamon glaze was tart and beautifully paired. Everything just melts in your mouth, and that’s what sets home-made food apart from processed take out.

Mama Roberto’s can easily compare to restaurants like Pizza Roma in Mayfield. Both restaurants offer classic Italian dishes, but Pizza Roma’s selection is limited, unlike Mama Roberto’s.

The energy within the restaurant was another quality feature that sets it apart from others. All of the tables had the sentimental red checkered tablecloth on them, and the music playing in the background made us feel at home. Most of the songs played were classics from world-renowned Italian artists like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. 

The owners are some of the nicest people to meet, and everyone who goes to eat there has their own specific connection to them. Every customer is a valued part of the Mama Roberto’s family. 

The outstanding service was the last thing that caught our eye. We were greeted right away by a hostess and were sat immediately. Our server was pleasant and always checked on us to see if we needed anything. He made our time at the restaurant very enjoyable, and we couldn’t be more satisfied.

Palermo said the service he has received from Mama Roberto’s is some of the best he’s had. “I have never had bad service at Mama Roberto’s, and I have eaten there a number of times. Their follow up service, like when you need a refill, more rolls, or the check is really timely,” he said.

After all of that filling food, we finally decided on a well educated rating for Mama Roberto’s. With their home-cooked meals, comfortable atmosphere, and great service, Mama Roberto’s deserve a rating of five out of five fresh meatballs. We highly recommend trying this restaurant and their interesting food.