Cassess's MVR
 Youngstown, Ohio         Date of Visit  12/01/16  

I canít remember the last time I was at Cassessís Mahoning Valley Restaurant. I know itís been many years and I donít really know why it never made the regular rotation of hometown Italian. Theyíve been saucing plates since 1927, so they are doing something right. For further evidence we arrive to a line of people waiting in and around the bar or standing under signed glossies of everyone from local legends to distinguished celebs.



Compulsory Element

We are escorted through a few rooms to a table and what turns out to be a blend of furious but slapdash service. It seems they are so busy (every night?) everyone is in a mad rush and they get enough repeat business they donít have to go much out of their way past dashing plates to the tables. For the most part, the plates represented.

Bread, bread, bread. Itís standard but you miss it when you arenít in town often. Their wedding soup is also nicely done with all of itís hefty chickeniness imbued with aromatic veggies, bitter greens, fatty meatballs, and tender pasta, Luigiís your uncle.

We added a platter of fried veggies, cauliflower, onion, zucchini, shrooms, all done to a crispy dark brown. That would be satisfying, but for the goop meisterÖwhen it comes with three big cups of sauce for enhancement all the better. Thick ranch, smooth marinara, and spicy cocktail made for more awesome than the veggies could outlast.


Brown Crunch & Loads Of Sauce Options

Serious Broth In Wedding Classic

From the get go, I love their sauce. It's yet another delicious option in a slowly dwindling sea of family recipes. Herby with a tad spicier than sweet and just barely acidic tomato. Mine was ladled over a breaded chicken breast and melted mozzarella and swaddling angel hair pasta, both of which were spot on. The same sauce was the basis for chicken cacciatore, only boosted with sweet pepper and onions, earthy mushrooms and acidic wine. Big chunks of chicken and thicker noodles bathed in the sauce made for delicious. Where things went awry was the cavatelli. Same sauce as the parmagiana. Soft and homemade orbs of meaty goodness. But the pasta, which had been done to a T in the first two dishes, had been disastrously hammered to a gluey mass of disappointment. So solid all the way through but it wasnít even a close miss at the end, the bat really slipped out of their hands and into the stands on that one. Too badÖtheir sauce is something I would happily go back for.


Put The Sauce On Anything

Just About Anything

Pepper It Up A Bit And Put It On Anything

Just Not This



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