Andiamo Restaurant, a popular Italian eatery well-known for its from-scratch cuisine, has recently been welcomed with open arms by the Fenton community. “We’ve had a great response!” exclaims Owner, Dominic Vicari. The restaurateur spent his summers on Silver Lake with his parents and has watched Fenton’s progress over the years. “The city has been awesome to work with,” he says. Located in the newly constructed Horizon Building at 102 W. Silver Lake Road, Andiamo Fenton is already making a name for itself in the booming city that has become a destination for foodies from all over.
The restaurant chain was started 30 years ago by Vicari’s father, Joe, who had been working for an Italian restaurant in Gross Pointe. “It was THE place to go for authentic Italian food,” Vicari reports. “Dad went there frequently and convinced the owner, Aldeo, to help him open a restaurant. That’s where we got our philosophy and recipes.” Aldeo would take Dominic’s father to the market at 5am to show him how to choose the best meats and vegetables. Now, there are 20 Andiamo Restaurants – in metro Detroit, one in Las Vegas and now, in Fenton. “Dad is the President/CEO and is still actively involved in the business,” Vicari adds.
What makes Andiamo superior is their food quality. “We are proud to serve the freshest food,” Vicari admits, “and when we say scratch-cooking, we mean scratch – pastas, sauces, soups and dressings!” The house-made pasta is the customer favorite, and they are famous for the quality of their meat. “We butcher our meat in-house,” he explains. “Our chefs are trained to butcher and it is hand-cut, served to order.”
The seafood served at Andiamo Fenton is also of the highest quality. “We have great wild-caught salmon,” Vicari says. “Our Georgia Banks scallops are unbelievable! Our chefs won’t accept any fish that has been out of the water longer than 48 hours. Even if we run out, we just won’t serve it unless it’s fresh. We won’t sacrifice the quality of food for margin.”
Then, there is Andiamo’s pasta. “The lasagna has been selling like crazy!” the owner exclaims. And why wouldn’t it? The dish is made with 21 layers of thin, handmade pasta, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. “It’s one of our most popular dishes.” Hungry guests can also build their own pasta dish from a variety of pastas, sauces and cheeses. “You can make anything!” Vicari says. “That has become very popular.”
The restaurant’s menu changes every three months. “Right now, we’re working on our spring/summer menu, which includes lots of fresh ingredients,” Vicari shares. A variety of pizza is also on the menu, which can be made with gluten-free crust and cauliflower crust. The Godfather pizza is a sesame seed crust topped with fresh, house-made Italian sausage, Prosciutto di Parma, bacon, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions and peppers. The restaurant can also accommodate diners looking for gluten-free or vegan options.
“When we say scratch-cooking, we mean scratch
– pastas, sauces, soups and dressings!”
Dominic Vicari, Owner
The menu has a wide variety of appetizers, such as Ravioli di Costatine di Manzo (Crisp Short Rib Ravioli), made with arugula-fennel slaw, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and horseradish aioli. Filet mignon and char-grilled rib-eye steak are 30-day aged Black Angus Beef. The Costelette di Maiale (char-grilled Berkshire pork chop) is served with Brussels sprouts, pancetta, caramelized onions, potatoes and aged balsamic-pomegranate sauce.
Andiamo Fenton boasts an extensive wine list and a great cocktail program, according to the owner. “Our customers have really enjoyed the great wines and liquors we offer.” There are 12 signature beers on tap and a few select from the local area. “Our bar is packed every night,” Vicari says. Happy Hour is from 3-6pm, Monday-Friday, offering half off wine and cocktails. “We have great appetizers for Happy Hour, too.”
Are you looking to finish your fabulous meal with something sweet? Andiamo has its own bakery, Vito’s in Clinton Township, where all of their baked goods are made. “The desserts are always fresh, too!” Vicari exclaims. The dessert trays offer six varieties, of which three are rotating. “My favorite is our Tiramisu,” says the owner, adding that it is made with really great cappuccino. “We sell a lot of that, and our cannoli is popular, too. The custard is really good.”
Vicari has been in the restaurant business his entire life, starting with washing dishes at his father’s restaurant when he was ten years old. “I’ve worked in every position in the restaurant business,” he shares. The Fenton Andiamo is the third restaurant he has worked on from the ground, up. The interior design is different from the other restaurants, he admits. “It has a more casual feel, but also has an upscale feel for special occasions.” David Savage helped Vicari with the design. “It was my vision, but he made it a reality.”
Vicari recommends making reservations, and they can accommodate parties of any size. The restaurant’s capacity is 210 people and another 60 can dine on the patio. Two private rooms can accommodate up to 60 guests and they are currently accepting reservations for private events. Using input from guests, Andiamo is in the process of creating a unique patio space for enjoying cocktails and appetizers around a fireplace. Parking is available next to the building and on Thursday through Saturday, a complimentary valet is available, the only restaurant in the area that offers this service.
Andiamo Fenton will serve a delicious brunch buffet on both Easter Sunday and Mother’s Day from 11am-3pm. “Make reservations – these are very busy days,” Vicari advises. “Come to Fenton and join us for some really great Italian food!”
Photos by Kayce McClure and Provided by Andiamo Fenton