Parker County Today September 2017 - Page 36

our taste: MAMA MONICA’S RESTAURANT AND CATERING Food Is Love BY MISTY BROWNING M 34 onica Russo, or as she is known in Parker County, “Mamma Monica,” opened her first restaurant a year ago just south of Parker County near the Brazos River. Since then, it has become the go-to place for Italian food lovers who want to experience old-world cooking in their own back- yard. Although Mamma Monica’s has only been open for a short while, selling her pasta in the “Cutting Horse Capital of the World” has been a longtime dream of hers and her son, Davide Facincani.  Russo, who is originally from Verona, in the North East of Italy, in 1998 opened an Agri-Tourism busi- ness, restaurant and room like a little ‘Locanda’ with a fantastic view on the Garda Lake. It became so popular that it was publicized in Karen Brown Bed and Breakfast. But it was her traveling to the United States with her magazine and her son, and his dream of being a cutting horse trainer that took Monica from Italy to Weatherford.  “I started when my son was 8 years old,” explained Russo. “I had a monthly magazine named Western Side that I owned and edited in Italy about the western horse. I was spending one month a year interviewing the best trainers and breeders. My son was with me and while we were here, we were following the NCHA in Fort Worth. He [my son] told me that when he was an old man, he wanted to be a cutting horse trainer. I told him that I can help you, but you have to come and live in Weatherford because it was [is] the capital of cutting horses, and I will come follow you and sell my lasagna.”  Mamma Monica brings her passion for cooking and extraordinary food from Italy to Parker County with a simple slogan: ‘Food is Love!’ Mamma Monica Family and Staff: from left Katie Bree Facincani daughter in love, Davide Facincani the son, Lindy Burch friend and godmother of Mamma Monica, Monica Russo, Josè de Jesus the ‘best Sous Chef ever’, Zeno Russo brother. Now her son is 31, a cutting horse trainer, and working with the best trainers in the business, while Russo continues to make her fresh, from- scratch Italian dishes. Russo loves it in Weatherford and living in the country.  “I knew that Weatherford was the place I wanted to open the first Mamma Monica’s. I love having my restaurant in [the] country because I love the outside and the animals.”  Mamma Monica’s traditional Italian dishes are made with mostly American ingredients, but also with chesses and oils from back home that you can only get from Italy.  “We make the food from scratch every day, and leave them with a feeling of the good food,” she said. Russo considers herself a work-in- progress by continuing her education in the culinary arts. She just recently finished a few months at the CAST Alimenti, la Scuola di Cucina, not far from Milan, to learn how to make fresh pasta. Now, she’s ready to take what she learned and create for her customers all her delicious dishes.  Mamma Monica’s also caters events, with their most recent job being at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth for the NCHA, along with an open concession at the venue for other events. The restaurant doesn’t plan to stop there, with plans to create pick-up-and-go flash freeze meals for people to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes.  Whether you eat it at a catered event, in the comfort of your home, or at their restaurant, you will be transported to Italy and experience the best food that Mamma Monica has to offer. See why, to her, food is, indeed, love. For more information about Mamma Monica’s, vF*GG66