— Looking for a place to enjoy authentic, Italian cuisine? Look no further than Olio’s Cafe & Grill Italian Cuisine, 1072 Elms Rd.
Owned by Chef Vito Cangemi, Olio’s Cafe & Grill opened its doors to hungry diners Aug. 23 and since then, the restaurant has served up a variety of signature dishes. The decision to open a restaurant on Elms Rd. seemed a natural fit for the area.
“The area does not have a restaurant like this,” said Manager Dunia Nemer. “It’s a good idea to have a restaurant on this side and try to help the community out.” Since opening almost two months ago, Olio’s Cafe & Grill has witnessed a steady crowd coming to the restaurant.
“The weekends are the best,” Nemer said. “It’s been really good so far. Ninety-five percent of our customers have been through word-of-mouth.”
Cangemi, who has been cooking for 16 years, lives in Shelby Township. Olio’s is his second restaurant endeavor; he previously owned an Italian restaurant in Capac. “Cooking is my passion,” he said. “All the dishes are homemade and fresh. Every sauce is homemade, and it’s all authentic. All the recipes are straight from Sicily. Cooking runs in the family.”
The restaurant features a lunch menu and dinner menu, along with a children’s’ menu for smaller diners with smaller appetites.
While all the dishes are a hit with customers, Cangemi’s signature dishes are the Chicken Cremosi, which features lightly breaded chicken breasts sauteed in olive oil and tossed in a lemon cream sauce; Penne Alla Vito, which features sauteed chicken and rock shrimp with spinach and fresh cherry tomatoes tossed with Penne pasta in a garlic and olive oil sauce; Chicken Cacciatore, which features mushrooms, red peppers and sweet onions in a light tomato wine sauce; and lasagna.
“The lasagna is our most popular item,” Cangemi said. “It’s a five-layer lasagna stuffed with fresh ricotta, mozzarella, parmigiano cheese and meat sauce. It’s definitely something to try.”
Another specialty Cangemi likes to highlight are the lamb chops, which are marinated in his special seasoning. Cangemi also makes the bread, house dressing and dip for the bread, which is a balsamic vinegarbased dip.
Nemer said the restaurant gets its ricotta cheese from S. Serra Cheese Company in Detroit. “You can tell the difference in the dishes,” she said. “We get it twice a week from the company.”
In addition to its menu staples, Olio’s Cafe & Grill offers daily lunch specials. Prices range from $4.99, starting with the children’s’ menu, to $19.99 for the filet mignon.
Along with the main restaurant, Olio’s Cafe & Grill also has a separate banquet facility which can be used for birthday parties, showers and a meeting space for business professionals. Olio’s Cafe & Grill can create a customized menu for special occasions. Individuals interested in renting the banquet space need to call the restaurant for availability. Olio’s Cafe & Grill also offers its customers an outdoor patio, which seats approximately 30.
“When we first opened, many people set out there,” Cangemi said. “We have plenty of parking, and the wait staff is great.
The atmosphere is great, and so is the location.”
Olio’s Cafe & Grill is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. Details: Call the restaurant at 810-644-2255.