We checked into a hidden spot in Fresno’s Tower District which offered a tasty and fresh approach to food.
Owner Luigi “Louis” Maglieri explained the name of the restaurant.
“It’s Oggi Cosi Si Mangia, which in our dialect means ‘Today is how we eat.'”
Such a tasty lesson to learn.
Maglieri started us off with a dish his mother made.
“We have a cavatelli arrabbiata, which means ‘angry’, so it’s a spicy dish.”
Handmade pasta and crumbled sausage – with a kick.
Maglieri joked, “I ate this instead of the bottle. I had cavatelli and wine to wash it down when I was a baby.”
His family is originally from Molise, Italy.
Louis said, “The further north you go, the creamier and heavier sauces you sometimes get.”
But Maglieri went on to say, “A lot of people here don’t really know Italian food. When they think of Italian food, they immediately think of lasagna! I don’t even sell lasagna.”
Chicken Marsala and Chicken Piccata were very popular dishes. They are served with seasoned squash and angel hair.
Maglieri said he just wanted people to enjoy an authentic, home-cooked Italian meal.
He added: “A lot of restaurants try to streamline their dishes and I can understand that. They may make a few batches of sauce. We make everything to order here and so each dish requires a minimum of two pans, up to five pans. to make a dish.”
The seared salmon with a brown butter lemon caper sauce came out still steaming.
Louis said, “That’s a good sized portion, you won’t leave hungry and if you do, you better check for parasites because we’re feeding you.”
We ate and laughed a lot with Louis.
Many come for the cioppino.
Maglieri said, “I don’t really do this for the money anymore. It’s a love. I have a passion for this place and consider customers as friends.”
Louis opened Oggi Cosi Si Mangia 16 years ago. It is located on Van Ness Avenue just south of Olive.
For more information, visit their website.
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