Mazzola's Italian Restaurant

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He bought the Lincoln Avenue restaurant in September and immediately began changing the menu and lowering the prices.
The new Mazzola's serves homemade Italian food and the most expensive item on the menu is an herb-crusted, pan seared Tuscan steak for $15.
Mazzola's has been a fixture in Steamboat Springs for more than three decades, but "the menu had been diluted over the years," Brice said. "They were serving chicken wings and hamburgers. I wanted to get it back to a grassroots Italian restaurant."
Mazzola's buys its pasta and bread, but everything else is made in the restaurant's kitchen.
"Nothing is frozen," Brice said. "We even process our own calamari. We're spending a great deal of money making sure this is done right -- quality food at a fair price."
For diners who haven't been in Mazzola's recently, the place has undergone a visual makeover. Brice ripped up the carpet, painted the walls, got rid of the salad bar and covered the tables with checkered tablecloths. He moved the hostess station to the front of the restaurant to eliminate the confusion that first-time customers often experienced in the past.
The long-stem wine glasses were cleared from the bar and replaced with more casual, European-style wine tumblers.
The changes came quickly because the concept was something Brice had wanted to create for 10 years, he said.
"Homestyle food, cooked fresh to order without paying an arm and a leg. This is the kind of food I like to eat."
The new menu features traditional Italian pasta dishes, but also holds a few surprises, including the Chianti-braised pork pot roast served with sweet peppers and Romano polenta for $14.
The food is complimented by a wine list featuring 20 wines for less than $20.
Brice was unsure as he changed the look and flavor of the restaurant if the original staff would stay on.
But long-time Mazzola's customers will be happy to still see manager Tod Johnson (a.k.a. JJ) behind the bar. Johnson has been bartending at Mazzola's for 15 years.
"I was worried that I would lose the staff, but they proved me wrong," Brice said. "They see the vision I have and they are running with it."
As customers stand up to leave the new Mazzola's, Brice stops by the table to ask about their dining experience.
"They tell me that it was good," Brice said. "Then they do a double take, like they just had a realization and they say, 'No. It was great.'"
Mazzola's is open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Pizza is served from 10 p.m. to midnight and pizza slices are served from midnight to 2 a.m. The entire menu is available for delivery from 5 to 10 p.m. Special family meals, such as ordering an entire lasagna, are also available. Call 879-2405.

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