Good Italian food seems to be my weakness and my latest temptation is a newly opened restaurant called Siragusa. Owned by Ross and April Siragusa, the Italian restaurant is a treasure in West Valley. The story of how Siragusa came to be, is as unique and original as the owners themselves.
In January, April called in to local radio station KBER Rock 101.1 and won a contest. She was invited in to the studio to compete again the following week. The weekly competition involves food, and with husband Ross’s cooking skills, she was able to impress DJ’s Mick and Allen with the authentic Italian fare. Winning for weeks on end, Mick and Allen encouraged April and Ross to open a restaurant of their own.
With Ross being out of work due to the economy, April suggested in February that they start their own business considering the response they were getting from the satisfied DJ’s and other staff at KBER. I was one of the lucky people who benefited from April coming in week after week bringing Ross’s amazing creations. Ross was hesitant to open a restaurant but did some research and finally conceded to April’s suggestion. Six weeks later their authentic Italian restaurant, Siragusa opened to the public.
Ross is a chef with over thirty years experience who has held many jobs as a “mechanic” fixing restaurants all over the country by working in the kitchen and managing the business. He’s the Utah version of Chef Ramsey, I guess you could say.
Having worked in restaurants since he was a teenager in Chicago, Ross has learned to cook anything and everything but chose true Italian dishes for this restaurant because of his Sicilian heritage. He told me he grew up with lasagna and pizza for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I don’t know how much more authentically Italian you can get than that. The recipes at Siragusa are Ross’s own creations.
Ross and head chef Keith Anderson, have developed a strong synergy working together for over twenty years in various kitchens around the country. They teamed up for this new venture but the road to opening Siragusa in six weeks was not without trials.
Ross and April found their location came with restaurant equipment included in the lease, but many things were not functioning and the building which had been a Colombian restaurant and nightclub, was dark and dingy. The Siragusa’s remodeled the space by painting walls and bringing in décor that makes the restaurant look and feel like a cozy Italian café. The checkered tablecloths and walls adorned with Italian bottles and artwork reminded me of quaint café’s I encountered in my travels to Rome and Florence.
The restaurant has large window-like frames on the walls with photos from a trip to Sicily. Once the laborious remodel was done, April spent her time decorating the restaurant after working at her day job. Ross worked on designing an authentic Italian menu. Together they were able to open the restaurant to a large crowd yesterday. I was lucky to be invited to an open house for friends last week where I tried more of their amazing food.
Ross told me they want Siragusa’s to offer fresh, affordable and high quality food at a low price. Offering pastas, seafood, chicken and pork, salads, soup and desserts, I was in awe of the food I tried at my visit to their cozy restaurant.
Some of their signature dishes include Pork Osso Bucco which is a pork shank slow cooked for six hours accompanied by a red sauce made with red wine. The meat was sweet and tender. I loved it. Another signature dish is their Carbonara and Fettuccine Alfredo, which is made to order from scratch with the freshest ingredients. I tried the Chicken Carbonara and it was the closest to an authentic Italian dish I have tasted in Utah. It was rich and creamy and the freshness of the ingredients was apparent.
Another favorite dish of mine is the Chicken Tortellini. This blew me away. Made with a tomato cream sauce accompanied by artichokes, it was flavorful and the homemade sauce was addicting.
An excellent choice is their Chicken Parmesan. Moist chicken is covered with a crunchy breaded crust that is accompanied by a sweet red sauce. It was very good and a second helping was hard to resist. Another plus about Siragusa’s is that they bread all their foods in house, which can be rare in restaurants these days. I appreciate their commitment to quality.
Having spent twenty years in Florida, Ross is well cultured in seafood dishes and Siragusa offers tilapia and shrimp scampi dishes. A unique item on their menu is the Sweet Potato Gnocci, which is a healthy alternative to regular gnocci.
Ross, April, and staff are committed to providing as Ross said, “good portions of great tasting food served by nice people in a good atmosphere.” I would have to agree that Siragusa offers all that and more.
Open during the week from 11-9pm for lunch and dinner and 11-10pm on Friday and Saturday, they also offer catering and to-go orders. This Sunday only from 11-8pm, they will be open and offering lunch and dinner for Mother’s Day. Go in for the free garlic cheese bread or bruschetta with the purchase of an entree.
Siragusa is located at 4115 South Redwood Road. I highly recommend their food and you’ll love the great service!
For more photos see the link below!