- The Place
Mama's Italian Restaurant has been a staple on Lakeview Avenue in Dracut for 25 years. Exactly, in fact.
According to the owners, the only thing that's really changed in the popular Italian restaurant since it opened in March 1989 are the drapes -- and those just got changed in the last month. The rest of the timeless decor in the 125-seat restaurant has stayed the same since Steve Coravos and his cousin Charlie Koravos decided to open it.
- The People
Coravos and Koravos, like many of their cousins, started out working in the restaurant industry at a young age, from washing dishes to preparing subs and pizzas. As operator of Mama's, Koravos instills the positive work ethic he learned at a young age to his 50 employees, providing a system where they can work their way up from dishwasher to line cook by the virtue of hard work. The cousins estimate they've employed more than 1,000 high school and college students since they opened the restaurant.
"We want to train them to excel, so the better they do, we really want to work them up the line," said Koravos.
Eight members of the Coravos/Koravos clan, including Coravos' daughter Stacey, currently work at the restaurant in some capacity. Coravos doesn't think he will stop anytime soon.
"My father said you needed something to do every day. He worked until he was 89," said Coravos. "So I have 26 more years. Social Security doesn't have to worry about me."
- The Food
One of Mama's Italian Restaurant's signature items is the Broasted chicken. Extra-crispy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside, the Broasted chicken is cooked in a pressure-packed commercial device called a Broaster, which helps cook the meat from within.
"When you fry chicken, it's the grease that's cooking it," said Koravos. "But with the Broaster, the juices stay inside the chicken and it's actually being cooked from being under the pressure of the device."
Mama's also has plenty of Italian dishes, like the chicken broccoli sauté (boneless chicken, mushrooms, onions, prosciutto served over linguine in a white wine sauce), shrimp scampi and chicken cacciatore. There's pizza topped with premium Grande Cheese, thick-cut Broasted Jo-Jo potatoes and specials like the lobster alfredo.
And just to remind you that they're Greek -- the family offers a Greek salad too.
- The Price
Pasta dishes and pizzas go from $11 to $15 and the Broasted chicken starts at $8 for four massive pieces. Lunch dishes (slightly smaller versions of many dinner favorites) top out at $12. From March 10-16, as part of its 25th anniversary, the restaurant will offer its original 1989 prices for its spaghetti and meatballs ($4.99) and chicken parmigiana ($6.99) dishes.
Mama's Italian Restaurant is located at 1140 Lakeview Avenue in Dracut. Call 978-957-7117 or visit mamasitalian.com.
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