4.28 BEST OF THE BEST pgs. 1-12


4.28 BEST OF THE BEST pgs. 1-12
Cucina Italiana
Italian people are known
for being passionate. The
Rugiero Family is no
exception. In fact, one of
their greatest passions is
ensuring that Antonio's
Cucina Italiana serves only
the very best in traditional
Italian-style cuisine. This
is why the readers of the
Oakland Press have voted
Antonio’s Cucina Italiana
#1 in the Best of the Best
2013 of Italian Restaurants.
Some would say it's
because the Rugieros have
been doing it for over 49
years and they got it right.
In fact, the original location started out as Roman
Village Pizzeria in 1964
with a limited menu and
pizza pie that consistently
won local awards. With
their growing menu, years
later the boys decided
to branch out and open
Antonio's Cucina Italiana.
Others might say it’s
the service — friendly and
professional. When you’re
there, you feel like family.
That's because the Rugieros
still run their business
with a “mom and pop”
sense of tradition, where
employees are part of the
family. You will always find
a family member at one
of the locations working
alongside their employees,
whether it’s in the kitchen
cooking, greeting guests
in the front of the house,
payroll, sales or even marketing.
“We can hold down
any job in the restaurant.
People feel connected. It
creates a good work environment, and I believe, in
turn, they do a better job. It
speaks volumes that many
of our employees have
been with the company for
decades,” Antonio Jr. says.
Many say the family’s
Tuscan-style atmosphere
with elegant earth tones
and actual stone walls at
each of the Antonios’ restaurants creates a warm
and inviting place. They’re
perfect for romance, business luncheons or family
gatherings, and they won’t
break the bank like some
high-end Italian restaurants. An array of homemade pasta dishes ranging
from $9.50 to $13.95 is popular with diners.
Reasonably priced veal
parmigiana is $16.50 and is
made with milk-fed provimi veal, a steal compared
to other restaurants which
may charge $25. Of course,
you will find an extensive
wine menu featuring over
50 wines. On Wednesdays,
all bottled wines are ⁄2 off
with your dinner.
The Rugieros say, “It's
all about the food.” At
the end of the day, it’s the
experience that the guests
have when they enjoy truly
authentic Italian food that
matters the most. The family keeps it traditional.
The recipes go back to the
old country: simple, fresh,
made to order. Mama Rita
goes store to store making
certain that her recipes
are prepared in the same
tradition. Passion is put
into all dishes like their
hearty lasagna or mouthwatering chicken marsala
made with a 12-year aged
marsala wine. The family
caters to vegetarians and
offers a variety of choices,
serving one of the best
eggplant parmigiana you'll
find. Antonio's even serves
a whole-wheat and glutenfree pasta. But some dishes
carry signatures like
gnocchi with Mama Rita
sauce — which you can’t
find anyplace else, because
there’s only one Mama
Rita and she’s at Antonio’s.
And of course, the famous
chicken Antonio, a tender
breast of chicken topped
with provolone cheese and
a rich cream sauce, is a big
And then there’s the
bread. It’s freshly baked
and it’s the first thing
that everyone asks for
when they sit down. Once
you’ve had it, you can’t get
enough. It’s a hot, fluffy,
garlicky-buttered piece of
heaven. It’s custom that
the family does not serve
the bread until after you’ve
ordered your meal so you
leave room for the experience and don’t fill up on the
bread, which is a meal in
How do you finish such
a perfect experience? A
homemade canoli that’s
made to order. It comes to
the table made with cream
(northern-style), not ricotta
cheese. A crunchy shell
proves that it hasn’t been
sitting in a pastry window
all day. Simply put, it’s just
wonderful. An espresso
made with Lavazza Super
Creama coffee from a
imported espresso machine
shows the detail that is put
into keeping it real. Or, if
you’re in the neighborhood,
you’re in for a treat. Canton
Antonio's is the first to
bring real authentic gelato
to Michigan, made fresh
The Rugiero family is
proud to be part of the community. It’s not just about
the day-to-day operations,
it’s also about giving back
to the community. They
are truly a giving family. Through the Rugiero
Promise foundation (a 501C3), they have made a commitment to support local
charities like the Capuchin
Soup Kitchen in Detroit;
Breast Cancer Awareness
Month; Veteran's Outreach
of Southeast Michigan and
The U-M Brehm Diabetes
Research Center along with
many others, promising a
better tomorrow.
All the locations offer
banquet facilities and full
service bar.
Carry-out and catering
trays are available.
Visit any of the
Antonio’s locations in
Farmington, Dearborn
Heights or Canton. Visit
www.antoniosrestaurants.com for details on
Antonio’s events.