My fiancé and I walked into Martini’s in downtown Kalamazoo just before 5:00pm on a chilly Saturday and were shocked to find a full restaurant. We hadn’t made a reservation but ended up being very lucky! We were led right back through the eclectic and buzzing restaurant to one of the last small tables in the bar area.
After being seated, we wanted to take a little extra time to go over the large menu full of pizza, pastas and other Italian fare, so we selected a half order of garlic bread as we studied the menu and made some decisions.
Our friendly server brought over a large basket (which we both said, “this is half?!”) of yummy looking GARLIC BREAD that was cut up into small pieces, and we placed our orders. I went with a pasta, the THREE CHEESE CAVATAPPI WITH BRUSSEL SPROUTS AND SAGE, and when given a choice of MINESTRONE SOUP or salad, I went with the Minestrone. He went with a SAUSAGE AND PEPPERONI PIZZA. The table next to us had one that looked yummy, and I assured him that I had loved their pizza on previous visits. As we waited for our food, we munched on the garlic bread with a delicious red sauce for dipping.
My Minestrone came out shortly after and it was awesome! Again, for a pre-meal soup it was a pretty large portion. It was hearty with vegetables and scarce on the pasta, just how I like it. Often with soups, I find vegetables to be mushy and overcooked, but Martini’s got it right here. The veggies were cooked perfectly.
Next came our entrees. My Cavatappi looked huge and wonderful. It was served in a large bowl with a tasty sage cream, mascarpone, Fontina and topped with beautiful Brussel sprouts. Pasta, cheese and Brussel sprouts? How can this go wrong?! It was rich and delicious, but honestly, was way too much food. I barely made a dent in my meal before pulling out the white flag and asking for a box. I will say though, I had munched on garlic bread and had about half of my large bowl of soup before starting on my entree, so it makes sense that I was full. Also, is too much food really a problem?
My fiancé absolutely loved his pizza. He declared it to be in his top three pizza’s in the Kalamazoo area. I did try a piece and it was amazing. The sauce was a perfect, not too salty not too sweet, the cheese was drool worthy, but the crust was the real star. It was a perfect combination of fluffy and crisp. We both agreed that it would be worth the drive to pick up a pizza at Martini’s the next time we have a pizza night at home. So good.
For review purposes only, we decided we should probably order a dessert. You know…. just for content. Our nice server impressively went through all their desserts and she mentioned a CHEESECAKE in the roster. We have a real cheesecake problem, so of course went with that. We had it topped with chocolate and raspberry syrup and wow.
It was amazing. It was a large serving, and even though we shared a piece, it was more than enough for the two of us. Sweet, fluffy with almost a cookie-like crust.
Martini’s was great. It was incredibly busy, so it wasn’t super quiet, but it also wasn’t so loud that we had to strain to hear each other or talk more loudly than usual.
The service was great, and the food was delicious. It’s a good atmosphere that’s not too stuffy and a step above a bar. It’s comfortable and cute. It’s been in downtown Kalamazoo since 1988, and I can totally see why they continue to be successful! If you are looking for a fun night out and some great Italian food, Martini’s is where it’s at!
Elizabeth Buckley is a hairstylist by day and 24/7 food enthusiast. She visits restaurants in the Kalamazoo area and blogs about her experience at feedmekzoo.com