When people gather around a table, food, drink and goods times are expected. Those expectations always are met at Massa’s, of course!
The restaurant was born out of what some would call a twist of fate. Its co-owner Dominic Fadin had been in the liquor business for 13 years when his company downsized, leaving him looking for his next opportunity.
“My family was from Italy and my grandfather was a butcher. I was always around food and cooking and decided that was the route I wanted to go,” he said.
But he needed to learn the food side of the restaurant business. He took a job working with a food company and started bartending part-time at Massa’s Winghaven. After a while he searched and found a location for his own restaurant in New Town. That’s when he turned to Bill and Jack [Massa] for advice.
“They took a look, and then asked if I would want to open up a Massa’s. It was a no brainer. But there was no way I could have done this without their knowledge,” Fadin said. “Everybody thinks they can open up a restaurant but it takes a special breed of people to make it a success – and Bill and Jack [Massa’s founders and co-owners of the New Town location] are special. I was lucky!”
Massa’s New Town, like its sister operations, is built on tradition – classic recipes, great service and an inviting, kitschy atmosphere accented by Bill’s signature crystal chandeliers.
“The décor gives people something to talk about,” Fadin said. “Look around, there’s antlers, a cat with a diamond necklace, Marilyn Monroe, 13 TVs and disco balls, which really do spin.”
Good fun, but it’s the food that keeps people returning. The menu is as eclectic as the décor, making good on the claim that “there’s something for everyone.” Housemade Cannelloni, mile-high Lasagna, Chicken Bianco and salads tossed with house made dressings using the original recipes Massa’s Old Place created back in 1974.
“Our kitchen staff is dedicated to carrying on the Massa’s tradition, such as using all the original recipes for our sauces and dressings,” said Fadin. “But we have burgers and sandwiches that the Old Place doesn’t have, like our paninis that are made on rosemary focaccia.”
Another New Town standout are its appetizers and shared plates. Caprese Stuffed Portabellas, baked and drizzled with a balsamic glaze, is a New Town exclusive. New Town also puts a spin on Massa’s cannelloni by slicing it into bitesize pieces, giving them a tempera dip and a roll in crumbs to make Cannelloni Bites, served with a side of marinara sauce.
Menu mainstays that can’t be overlooked are the pastas and St. Louis-style pizzas. Those signature items forged Massa’s reputation along with entrees such as Chicken Modiga, Parmesan Crusted White Fish and the restaurant’s famous Pepe Medallions, morsels of beef tenderloin in a mouthwatering pepper cream-sauce. Customers also crave the Tutta Mara, Baked Mostaccioli and the Italian Duo – a half order each of Cannelloni and Lasagna – and the Cajun Pasta.
“It’s easy to find what you’re hungry for,” Fadin said. “The full menu is available all day but we do have lunch menu specials that feature a half order of pasta, a half sandwich or a 9-inch pizza served with a salad.”
Unlike the other four locations, Massa’s New Town is open seven days a week. Good news. An extra day to enjoy what Fadin describes as “modern day Italian with a flare,” a style that defines Massa’s, of course!