Our Wonderful Eclectic Neighborhood

We’ve learned over the past few years that there’s something special about the neighborhoods that surround us. Lizzano’s is the third Italian restaurant our family has operated over the past 30 years, but it’s our first neighborhood location. We’re not located on a busy thoroughfare. Rather, we’re off the beaten path, adjacent to the neighborhoods that surround The Villages of Bear Creek. What a difference!  It’s been a new experience for us.

Cheers!BYOB at Lizzano’s

We’ve discovered that some of our neighbors are downright passionate about having a family-owned Italian restaurant in their neighborhood. Our “regulars” include an eclectic mix who grew up in large urban areas across the United States—like New York, Chicago, Miami and New Orleans—where folks have strong affinities with neighborhood restaurants.

A few months after we opened, one of our neighbors stopped by to ask if we’d mind if they passed out leaflets in their neighborhood about our restaurant. We hardly knew what to say. That had never happened to us before.

Well, the rest is history.  That leaflet launched a word-of-mouth campaign that helped establish Lizzano’s in this wonderful neighborhood almost 5 years ago.

We kept a copy. You’ll see what we mean.

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Lizzano’s Pizza

One of the best things to happen in our
neighborhood in 25 years. Here’s why.

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My wife and I met in New York City in 1979. She grew up on Staten Island. We met while I was working in Manhattan. We moved to Texas in 1983 and have lived in Cinnamon Ridge ever since—almost 26 years now.

I’m a native of New Orleans—the home of the best food on the planet. New Orleanians know that the best food is served in neighborhood restaurants, like Mandina’s on Canal, Franky & Johnny’s Seafood on Arabella, and Domilise’s Po-Boys at Annunciation & Bellecastle. These modest neighborhood institutions are famous for serving extraordinary food at amazing prices.

While we lived in New York, my wife introduced me to Italian neighborhood restaurants. In New York City, virtually every neighborhood has a small Italian restaurant run by someone who lives in the neighborhood. The best Italian neighborhood restaurants serve fresh homemade dishes and authentic thin-crust New York style pizza—also at great prices.

New Yorkers consider them an extension of their own kitchen. Once a week, dinner is ordered and enjoyed at home. Often, a bit more is ordered to ensure a few days of great leftovers. It’s a cultural ritual for many New Yorkers and something our family has always enjoyed.

When we moved here in 1983, we began an earnest search for the best Italian neighborhood restaurants in the area. We tried everywhere. In 25 years we have discovered only a handful that really qualified. Our favorite was a small restaurant in Colleyville run by a young couple named Tony and Shanka. We fell in love with Tony’s food. We knew we had found the real deal.

Tony started cooking in Italian neighborhood restaurants at age 16 in Rome, Italy. Later in New York, he learned the art of hand-tossed pizza at a number of venerable neighborhood institutions like Seven Brothers at the corner of Church and Flatbush in Brooklyn, Angelo’s in Little Italy, and Ray’s in Manhattan. His family ties eventually brought him to Texas, and he opened his own restaurant in Colleyville. Soon after, it was voted Best Pizza in Tarrant County by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A few years later, the restaurant was turned over to new owners and we lost track of Tony and Shanka.

We recently noticed that a little Italian neighborhood restaurant had opened up right down the street here on Fuller-Wiser Road. We walked in and discovered it was Tony and Shanka! We’re now enjoying some of the best neighborhood Italian food in all of North Texas—right here in Euless.

Lizzano’s is the real thing. Tony makes each of his sauces fresh. His Marinara sauce is a thing of beauty. His linguine with red clam sauce is one of our favorites. Even his sandwiches are amazing—big enough to feed two. And the pizza! Hand-tossed pizza dough is virtually a lost art, but Tony’s pizza crusts are New York perfect.

Although this letter is unsolicited (we are not being paid to say these things), we shamelessly admit to a selfish motivation behind all this. We want Lizzano’s to succeed here and become a neighborhood institution.

So stop by soon and introduce yourself. Welcome them to the neighborhood. In both New York and New Orleans, the great neighborhood restaurants owe their success to the loyalty of their closest neighbors. If you’re like us, you’ll become regulars at Lizzano’s.

Enjoy!

Dan & Janet

Cinnamon Ridge

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