Dine and Dish: Ovidio's in northwest Fresno

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Friday, March 15, 2024
Dine and Dish: Ovidio's in northwest Fresno
People have been enjoying meals at Ovidio's for 45 years. It's an old-school eatery serving traditional Italian dishes.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- When you visit Ovidio Ristorante Italiano on Bullard and Marks in northwest Fresno, you're often greeted by Rocco Paolilli.

"I think people just love it because it is the neighborhood restaurant," he said. "It's your old-school Italian mom-and-pop."

Chef David prepared traditional Italian favorites for us.

"This is our rigatoni de la casa," he said. "It's our signature pasta dish. It's a melody of veal, wild porcini mushrooms, diced tomatoes, in chardonnay cream sauce."

Veal is the meat of calves.

"It's a hidden treasure for sure. That's a great way of putting it. Lots of hidden treasures with the veal and wild mushrooms."

Some come for the seafood.

There was also red wine that was shipped from Italy.

"It's the Montepulciano D'Abruzzo- Italy, so it's about 45 minutes from my parents' hometown," Rocco said.

We couldn't get enough of these little clouds from heaven.

"These are gnocchis," Rocco said. "They're potato dumplings done in a tomato butter parmesan cheese sauce. Very good. Very particular to the Abruzzo region."

"You guys are known for your pizza. Yes."

They're known for their pizza, so we had to have the Ovidio's special.

"It has a melody of vegetables, homemade sausage, pepperoni, ground beef and Italian salami."

Franco Paolilli came up with the recipe when he started the restaurant back in 1979.

Rocco's proud to keep the family tradition going.

"My dad's still in the kitchen four days a week," Rocco said. "That's his passion. He loves to cook, making sure everything's just right."

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