Sandro Osmani, the owner of Sandros Pizza and Pasta, is keeping alive his family tradition.
My grandfather, Giovanni Osmani, taught me how to cook when our family still lived in Roma, he said. Weve always been in the restaurant business.
And business has been good for the first-generation Italian and Albanian-American. So good that Osmani recently expanded the dining room and added a full bar.
A second location at 2024 S. Service in Moore is scheduled to open this month, as well. The menu and kitchen operations will be the same as the Norman restaurant.
I learned all the recipes from Giovanni, and they are still the same ones we use today, Osmani said.
He doesnt scrimp on fresh ingredients, which make his pizza a cut above in both taste and cost. An extra large (18-inch) cheese-only pie is $15.00. The biggest supreme special costs $20.95.
Pizza dough is made in-house daily, and you can watch it being hand-tossed for every order. Its a traditional, Neapolitan-style thin crust pizza by way of the Big Apple, where the Osmani family originally settled after leaving Italy.
The various pizza and pasta sauces are long-simmered in Sandros kitchen. Its a taste thats a far cry from the corporate joints.
My [pizza] quality is so much higher, theres no real comparison, Osmani said.
The art of rolls
His pizza backs up the boast. Its the fundamentals of good crust, homemade sauce and high-quality mozzarella that make it a superlative pie. In addition to all the toppings youd expect, there are also specialty toppings, including sauteed eggplant, artichoke hearts and meatballs.
A personal favorite is Sandros Quattro Gusti pizza topped with Canadian bacon, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and ripe olives. Its an unusual pizza with robust flavors.
pizza is tops and can be ordered by the slice ($2.50-$3.75) or whole
pie in several varieties, it would be a mistake to ignore the rest of
chicken ($10.95) is sauteed chicken breast in a complex brandy cream
sauce. He doesnt economize by using cooking wine; its a decent cognac
that you could happily sip neat. Shallots, mushrooms and dill flavor
this dreamy dish thats served with a side of pasta, a garlic roll and a
small house salad. Its a plate that a white tablecloth restaurant
would charge twice as much for without batting an eye.
the rolls bake was like observing the creation of art. Care was taken
in the deft manner that comes only with experience. The ovens are right
by the counter, for optimal viewing. Pans of rolls are rotated and
checked for just the right golden-brown color before being painted with
garlic butter and delivered with meals. Its a big roll and may be
ordered for a buck each à la carte.
will find plenty to dig at Sandros. The veggie calzone ($5.95) is an
immense bread pocket stuffed with mushrooms, ricotta, olives, spinach
and mozzarella. All the pasta dishes, such as baked ziti and manicotti
al forno ($7.95), have versions without meat. If you want just a plate
of spaghetti with olive oil and red peppers, Osmani will make it for
a dozen salads range from antipasto ($6.95) and Caesar ($4.00) to a
simple house ($2.00) bowl with sport peppers, tomato and iceberg
No dithering over
choice of desserts; there is only one. Sicilian cannoli ($3.00) is a
little pastry tube filled with sweet ricotta, flavored by just a hint of
Gazettes restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects,
and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service