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Sunday November 23, 2014
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Mangiamo!

 

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the Saline Café, Mangiamo Italian Grill & Bar and Mickey's Downtown each has its own street entrance, but the two are connected on the inside and share a single phone number.

Mangiamo means "Let's eat" in Italian, and at 2,400 square feet, the place has plenty of room for eating everything from lasagna to ravioli to fettuccini and, of course, the family's famous pizza. Over a dozen Toarmina pizza parlors dot southeast Michigan. "Those are owned by the rest of my family," explains Toarmina-he, Mary, and Rosemarie are three of eight siblings.

Their grandmother perfected the Toarmina pizza sauce recipe generations ago. "She was making pizza when Tom Monaghan and Mike Illitch were still in diapers!" says Peter with a proud smile. Baking good pizza is serious business-they even had to reinforce the floor to support their new 3,500-pound "deck" pizza oven. Compared to the conveyor ovens used by most pizza chains, the deck oven demands more attention from the chef. But "it has three sides of stone instead of just one," says Toarmina, opening the oven to demonstrate. "It makes a better-tasting pizza." The pizza oven sits right out in the open, surrounded by additional bar-height seating.

Framed photographs of Italian villages adorn the restaurant's freshly painted walls. It seats about 148, divided between the front dining room and a more private back room that offers plenty of windows and can be reserved for larger groups.

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