How often were we told not to play with our food? At Mazzola’s Italian Restaurant in downtown Steamboat Springs, the opposite is true – in fact, it is encouraged.
Since it opened in 1970, Mazzola’s has earned a reputation as one of the most family-friendly establishments in town, and it’s no wonder.
Behind the red door that sits below the infamous fire truck red canopy on Lincoln Avenue, diners descend the staircase below ground to an intimate setting where kids are served dough balls to creatively shape while they wait for their meal. Staff take the kids’ creations, bake and return them for a fun and delicious appetizer.
“I think the longevity of Mazzola’s goes beyond the food,” says Rex Brice, who bought Mazzola’s in 2004. “We’ve built the business based on a family and friendly approach that our community really appreciates.”
Mazzola’s is one of seven restaurants in Rex’s Family of Restaurants, a Steamboat-based entity owned and operated by Rex and his wife Bettina. It was their first brick-and-mortar establishment, who came up through the hospitality industry ranks as a chef.
“Mazzola’s was the first place of employment for a lot of successful Steamboat locals,” Rex says. Famous faces to punch the clock included Olympic mogul skier Nelson Carmichael who worked there as a teenager and to this day returns with his family for the bolognaise.
The founding factor to Mazzola’s success is undoubtedly the food, which like all restaurants in the group, is cooked from scratch. Mazzola’s General Manager Dan Farmer said COVID-19 drove home how much of the ingredients needed for the menus could be sourced locally.
“It really showed us how many options we have to source products just out our doorstep,” Farmer says. One of the latest favorites on the menu is the Colorado-raised Bison carpaccio. “I think that will be a new Mazzola’s staple.”
Handmade butternut ravioli, softball-size meatballs and Sicilian mussels are longtime favorites that maintain year-round staus on the menu, which changes seasonally. The 2022 summer menu is set to be announced in May.
As mud season slides in after the seasonal closing of the ski resort, families will be thrilled to find a happy hour from 4.30 – 5.30 p.m. featuring $10 personal pizzas and $5 homemade Sangrias. Something to keep everyone happy.
Loyalty card members can also maximize on double points at all Rex’s Family of Restaurants from April 11th until May 1, 2022.