Comfort food to call home

CIW Mia Ristorante
Lori, Mia and Michael Solazzo

Spaghetti and meatballs and lasagna are some people’s favorite comfort foods. But, for one local business, Italian food is just the beginning of comfort for the family and staff.

A new family member was born November 2009 when owner Lori Solazzo opened Italia Mia Ristorante with her daughter, Mia – the restaurant’s namesake – and her culinary chef son, * who she said inspired her to open a restaurant that would give him creative cooking freedom.

“My kids are why I’m here, to help them and to see them become stronger people, to see them learning the lessons of hard work,” Solazzo said. “They’ve seen me go through the ups and downs with owning a business, and I’m glad they did because they saw with hard work and love for each other you always pull through.”

Mia said she was barely a teen when the restaurant opened, and Lori said it was Mia’s first endeavor in elbow grease.

“She has always been the little sister, she hadn’t experienced this kind of hard work of renovating a space to make our own,” Solazzo said.

Mia said the process of renovating, decorating and painting the restaurant for its opening wasn’t quite what she expected at first.

“I was excited to have a restaurant named after me and to hear kids say, ‘Oh, is that your restaurant?’” Mia said. “Next thing I know, I’m painting, cleaning and working really hard, but it was fun. We built this as a family, we kind of built a family home.”

The tight-knit family said their new family home has quickly grown as the Solazzos and staff merge memories.

“We all support each other, we are in this together, creating something that’s bigger than us,” * said.