From Ringside to Tableside
The Mascalzone Restaurant chain is owned by the Magi family from Pesaro, Italy.
Andrea Magi is a former amateur boxer best known for winning a bronze medal at the European Championships in Turin, Italy in the Light Heavyweight division in 1987.
Andrea followed this up by representing Italy at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.
Since then Andrea and his wife Rachel, along with their four children, have focused on the restaurant business. They opened the Mascalzone chain of Italian restaurants in London first with locations in Edgware, North London and Putney, South West London.
Authentic Italian Restaurant Houston
The Magis went on to open their first Houston location in the Westchase area in 2014 followed by a second location off Washington in the former Solea space in October that year.
“I chose Houston for Mascalzone’s first U.S. location because of its vibrant, growing international community and adventurous palates. I’m excited to bring old and new favorite Italian dishes to the community and offer an experience that is 100 percent Italian and 100 percent unique.” – Andrea Magi
Before embarking on a glittering boxing career, Andrea attended culinary school. It was after his final bout as a boxer in 1998 that he was able to return to what has always been a family passion – inspired by his grandfather, a chef, and his “Auntie,” a private chef who once worked for tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
Traditional Italian Recipes
Indeed family is something that has been extremely important to the Magis. The Italian food on the menu at Mascalzone is all based on family recipes.
Popular dishes include octopus carpaccio, black squid ink pasta with lobster and breaded veal escalope.
The restaurant’s signature item is the Mascalzone Pizza, a half calzone/half pizza prepared in the restaurant’s MaranaForni pizza oven that rotates and cooks with both gas and wood. One press release likened the oven as something that is ” not only state-of-the-art but looks straight out of NASA.”
Other Mascalzone pizzas come with traditional toppings such as aubergine, anchovies and parma ham.
The chefs at Mascalzone produce house made pasta, including gnocci, lasagne, squid-ink fettuccini and pappardelle. Mozzarella cheese is also made on site to guarantee a fresh and authentic Neapolitan taste to their pizzas.
Together with this, diners with “adventurous palates” will notice that everything that goes into the food at Mascalzone is 100 percent Italian. The ingredients along with the furnishings, the wines and more all come from Italy.
Andrea is a native of Pesaro, on Italy’s Adriatic coast, to which the Magi family (Andrea, Rachel and their four children) spend a good portion of each year,
Andrea’s boxing heritage is visible around the Mascalzone locations. Diners can see photographs of some of Andrea’s fights from the ringside in between other iconic Italian images.
“I enjoyed a long (boxing) career,” Magi said, “but I’m never happier than when I’m sitting for a meal with family and friends.”
All of the Mascalzone locations contain an ambiance that reflects the Magi family values. Children are very much welcome and always made to feel at home.
Members of the Magi family are often present in all locations so feel free to drop by and say hello! You are always most welcome.
Author: Toto Mascalzone
Toto Mascalzone is event and marketing manager at Mascalzone restaurant. He is an Italian wine writer and educator, blogger, and food and wine enthusiast currently living in London. He is author of the wine and lifestyle blog, and was a co-editor, together with Italian wine writer a blog devoted to news from the world of Italian wine.