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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Leonardo's Italian Grille in Romulus, Michigan

One of our great pleasures when traveling is discovering new restaurants that offer homestyle cooking in a cozy atmosphere.  While we find some of these gems through word of mouth, quite often we discover a good eatery by shear luck.  Sometimes it is the name of the restaurant, other times the  look of the exterior and others still a combination of both.  So it was during a recent road trip when we discovered a small, cozy Italian restaurant.

Leondardo's Italian Grille
Leonardo's Italian Grille is located at 7575 Merriman Rd in Romulus, Michigan about a mile away from Detroit MetroAirport.  The restaurant is owned by brothers Vito and Joe Liparoto who emigrated from Sicily to America in 1969 with their family.  Years later the brothers opened their first pizzeria, now operating as Leonardo's Italian Grille.  They have captured the essence of authentic Sicilian cuisine with the inspiration of Chef David Neal. They offer a variety of Italian specialties as well as dishes from the grill.

The exterior of Leonardo's is modern architecture  with Italian overtones of red and green.  There is a large outdoor dining patio to the left of the entrance.  The interior is cozy and welcoming with shades of taupes and greens, lots of wood, and an Italian themed mural.  There is an impressive bar with comfortable sitting in the lounge area as well as tables and booths.  The atmosphere is cozy, casual with friendly waitstaff.

fresh soft bread sticks
The waitress brought us a basket of fresh bake twisted Italian bread stick with butter to accompany our meal.  These soft chewy bread sticks were delightfully delicious!   The texture was quite similar to a crusty roll yet a slightly different.  A little twist opened the warm bread stick forming a small pocket perfect for the butter.  This is one recipe I will be looking for to make at home!

Entrées were served with soup or salad.  We both ordered salads with our entreé.  The side salad was a simple salad greens with shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, red onion slices, cherry tomatoes, croutons and Italian dressing. 

veal marsala
Leonardo's serves Provimi veal, a superior milk-fed pale coloured, fork-tender veal, the finest available.  My husband ordered the veal parmesan ($19.95).  The generous portion of tender veal was coated with Italian breadcrumbs, sautéed in olive oil then topped with marinara sauce and baked with mozzarella cheese.  It was served with spaghetti in marinara sauce.  The dish was garnished with finely chopped red onion and carrot, something a bit different from the over . used sprinkling of dried parsley. 

My husband really enjoyed the veal parmesan.  It was tender with a nice richly flavoured mainara sauce and gooey melted mozzarella cheese.  This entreé was a sure winner!

Sicilian pasta
I ordered the Sicilian pasta ($15.45) with a side salad.  This entrée consisted of sautéed tender peas tossed with homemade meat sauce and fresh ricotta served over bowtie pasta.  The fine textured meat sauce had a bit of a zip bordering on heat to it so I think the meat was hot Italian sausage rather than ground beef.  The Sicilian pasta was a delicious entreé!

Leonardo's is ranked #2 of 33 restaurants in Romulus on Trip Advisor and for good reason.   The waitstaff are friendly and provide fast service.  The unpretentious food is simply good, homestyle basic Italian nicely presented in a cozy, inviting family-style atmosphere.  The portion size for the entreés is substantial. It is child-friendly for those traveling with little ones but can also accommodate larger groups.  If you are in the vicinity of the Detroit Metro Airport, this is a great restaurant for lunch or dinner.

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