The Dish List: Mama D’s Italian Kitchen

Zhihong Leng | New University

Parking: $2.00. Pink Sauce: $3.50. Customer Service: Priceless.

Wave goodbye to plain ol’ tomato sauce and say hello to a new kind: pink sauce. Mama D’s Italian restaurant, located in Newport, is a must-try, and for good reason.

I visited Mama D’s for dinner with a group of friends, and as we piled into the restaurant we were apologetically told that there would be a bit of a wait. A few minutes later, the hostess came out with a huge, thick warm blanket and handed it to us, apologizing and thanking us for our patience before disappearing into back inside. We were completely amazed at this impeccable hospitality: taking into consideration that we would be chilly outside, Mama D’s provided the comfort of a true home – and we weren’t even through the doorway yet!

Once we were called in and seated, two servers bounded to the table, introduced themselves and listed for us the specials of the day before asking for and memorizing all of our names. Since it was our first visit, the waiters immediately brought out complementary Stuffed Mushroom and Calamari Fritti appetizers for us to share, complete with freshly baked bread, olive oil and garlic dipping sauces. I was already on cloud nine, enamored by this quaint, family- style restaurant.

I went on to order one of the main entrées – angel hair pasta with generous portions of pink sauce.

Mama D’s boasts traditional Italian food, but also offers seafood entréees for those who are not pasta lovers. Among all of the heavenly options, the Pink Sauce is the most popular. Half marinara and half alfredo sauce, Mama D’s has coined the term and created a food miracle that can be ordered à la carte for $3.50 and served over any type of pasta.

While Mama D’s is known for their Pink Sauce, they are primarily recognized for their exceptional, heartfelt customer service. It’s incredibly hard to put into words just how well the staff takes care of you: the waiters would probably cut your food and feed you bite by bite if you asked.

The experience was absolutely flawless; I’ve never been more delighted, impressed, and soothed all at once than I do when I’m at Mama D’s. The charismatic waiters create such a warm, inviting space. On each occasion I’ve visited the restaurant, I’ve noticed and come to appreciate just how well they treat their customers: the waiters ease into conversations with their guests and have a genuine interest in the people they are talking to.

Essentially, the staff makes you feel special, and if I had all the money in the world, I’d be at Mama D’s every day.

Price-wise, the cost ranges from about $15-$25 for the main entréees, which may seem a bit steep for Italian food, but I assure you the portions are large and you will leave with the biggest, sloppiest grin on your face. Mama D’s also caters to all ages, providing paper and crayons for the little ones and, tacking their art up on the wall once they’ve finished coloring. Be it birthday parties, prom dinners, or a romantic date, Mama D’s truly is the place to be on any given night.

The question that always baffles me is this: how, how in the world can a restaurant provide it all? Take it from the philosophy behind the restaurant: “History will be the judge, but the script is ours. We are on an adventure to blow the doors off ‘business as usual.’ We are here to make a difference in the world and a world of difference. We are extremely committed and passionate about a culture built on loyal relationships within our team and the world that are generated by Genuine Care, Fun, Heart, Honor, and Happiness.” If that doesn’t sound every bit as amazing and magical as I think it does, then I don’t know what will.

I am very fond of Mama D’s and cannot think of a better place to which I’d rather give my business. They followed through until the very end, down to leftovers that the staff whisked away and boxed up for us in a carry-out carton with a pleasant little love note scribbled onto the side by a server. As if things couldn’t get any better, the waiter brought out a circular plate of warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies for us to nibble on, free of charge.
It’s moments like these, where when you’re lulled into a place of comfort and such happiness that it seals itself in your memory. But go and see for yourself: I guarantee that you will never have experienced anything as wonderful as Mama D’s.

Rating: 5/5