Mazzi’s seems to have found a good home in Eugene. Founded 30 years ago by the son of a Sicilian Immigrant, Mazzi’s blends quirky and cozy Eugene atmosphere with authentic Italian and Sicilian family recipes. First and foremost, Mazzi’s is an Italian restaurant, the food is predictable and the wine selection is vast, but Mazzi’s has a hand up on national chain competition. I’ve rarely felt as comfortable in Mazzi’s as I have in, say, an Olive Garden. The small staff is courteous, but busy. The waiting time wasn’t much of a hassle, and Mazzi’s small tables promote conversation.
Me and an old friend caught up over piping hot cannelloni and vegan pizza. Our waitress was quick to get us a warm basket of rolls when we first sat down. Though they have few vegan options, certain menu items were easily made vegan. The pesto had no cheese and balanced garlic and basil very nicely. The vegetables were generous and warm, but not overcooked. The crust, however, was uncharacteristic of authentic Italian pizza, light and fluffy as opposed to traditional cracker thin crust. I regret getting white sauce with my cannelloni, which left it a little uninteresting, but definitely filling. I also stupidly got Chardonnay, and completely missed the beer section on the beverage page. Ultimately, the prices were very reasonable, especially for the pizza. Beverages were a little more expensive and I should have stuck with water. The service was present when they needed to be and wasn’t overbearing like many other restaurants.
What we noticed, and liked a lot, was the low-lit coziness of Mazzi’s. Though our food wasn’t perfect, (it was our first time at Mazzi’s) we easily burned through two and a half hours chatting about life and past friends. Mazzi’s is not a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Mazzi’s is a good place for a date and a glass of wine (or brew) or just to catch up on old times. I wouldn’t go there if I was vegan or vegetarian, yet, that’s the sacrifice non-meat eaters make. I also recommend taking a good look around the restaurant, a lot of little pieces of art and interior design subtleties line the walls and hang from the ceiling, making Mazzi’s just a little more interesting.
Oh, and the Chocolate Pot de crème was spectacular.