Friday, December 30, 2016

Celebrate National Spaghetti Day At Li'l Rizzo's!

January 4 is National Spaghetti Day and there is nothing the best Italian restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks loves more than a delicious bowl of spaghetti. Whether it's topped with meat sauce or with a bunch of delicious, fresh ingredients, there are many ways to enjoy spaghetti. Check out these fun facts about spaghetti to celebrate National Spaghetti Day.

Fun Facts About Spaghetti

- The Chinese have been eating pasta since 5,000 B.C.

- October is National Pasta Month!

- Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing pasta to America after he fell in love with a dish he had in Naples.

- The first pasta factory in America opened in 1848 in Brooklyn, NY. The machinery was operated by one horse in the basement and the pasta was sun dried on the roof.

- Al dente means "to the tooth," which is how to test pasta to see if it is properly cooked. The pasta should be a bit firm, offering some resistance to the tooth, but tender.

- The Italian eats more than 51 pounds of pasta every year, while the average person in North America eats nearly 16 pounds of pasta per year.

- Pasta comes in many different colors like green pasta made from spinach, red pasta made with tomatoes, gray pasta that is made using squid ink, and there is even pasta called "cellophane" because it becomes transparent when cooked.

- In 2013, Barilla World Pasta Day survey found that spaghetti was Americans favorite pasta dish followed by penne and rotini.

- Pasta's carbohydrates increase the body's production of serotonin, which scientists believe is the neurotransmitter that triggers feelings of happiness and well-being. So, eating pasta actually makes you happier!

- On April 1, 1957, the BBC aired a faux documentary that claimed spaghetti grew on trees. Over a million gullible British believed the claim after witnessed a woman harvesting noodles from a spaghetti tree in Switzerland.

- The largest bowl of pasta weighed 13,786 pounds with 120 gallons of sauce and was created by an Italian restaurant in Garden Grove, CA. Buca De Pepo filled a swimming pool full of spaghetti that measured 15 feet in diameters and 3.5 feet high.

- The longest strand of spaghetti noodle measured 12,388 feet and 5 inches. The noodle was created by a noodle restaurant in Japan on October 20, 2010.

- Emma Martina Luigia Morano is the oldest living person and she is 116. She claims that her old age is a result of her diet which consists of three eggs per day (two raw and one cook), fresh Italian pasta and a dish of raw meat.

- The world's largest producer of spaghetti is Italy who produces 3.2 million tons a year followed by the United States who produces 2 million tons a year than Brazil who produces one million tons a year.

The Best Pasta at the Lake of the Ozarks

If you are looking for the best place to celebrate National Spaghetti Day, then you need to visit Li'l Rizzo's. From traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs to delicious Italian dishes like Chicken Parmesan, the best Italian restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks has it all! We look forward to having you over for dinner soon!

                                                             Osage Beach Location

                                                              Horseshoe Bend Location

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Italian New Year's Eve Traditions

The year is coming to a close and the team at Li'l Rizzo's is excited for what the new year has to offer. 2016 was an excellent year and there were lots of good times here at the Lake of the Ozarks. Although this year is ending, a new year is beginning and the best Italian restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks is looking forward to all that 2017 is going to bring. If you are wanting to ring in the New Year the Italian way, here are six traditions from Italy that are done on the last day of the year.

1. Food For Good Fortune

As with most Italian festivities, food plays an important part in the New Year celebrations. Similarly to Christmas, families typically get together for a large meal to ring in the new year. The star of the meal is the lentils, which symbolizes money and good fortune for the coming year. In addition to lentils, in many parts of Italy, they will also serve cotechino, which is a large spiced sausage, or zampone, which is a stuffed pig's trotter. The pork symbolizes the richness of life in the coming year.

2. Red Undies For Luck

It's tradition in Italy to wear red underwear to fend off evil spirits and negativity, as well as bring happiness in the coming year. The color red has been used for centuries to ward off war and other disasters, so if you're strolling the streets of Italy on December 31, you may see red underwear hanging in the streets or shop windows. However, it's traditional that your red capodanno (underwear) be new and a gift from someone else, so no digging out an old pair, and if you buy your own, you're cheating.

3. Dance The Night Away

In America, it's typical for celebrations to fizzle out after midnight, however, in Italy, it is typical for celebrations to last until the sunrise to see the new year arrive. Some smaller towns build a bonfire in the central square where villagers will congregate into the early morning. Dancing is also popular and many towns have public music and dancing. Rome, Milan, Bologna, Palermo and Naples put on huge popular outdoor shows with pop and rock bands. These events can also be seen on televisions too.

4. Celebrate With Horns & Fireworks

In Italy, there are huge midnight firework displays to celebrate the coming of the new year. Most towns have public displays in a central square, however, private parties will also include firecrackers or sparklers as well and will last until the early morning. In fact, Naples is known for having one of the best and biggest New Year's firework display in Italy. In the coastal towns and near bodies of water, it's typical for boats to blow their horn to ring in the new year. According to superstitions, evil spirits don't like loud noises, so this is their way to ensure they are all scared off before the start of the new year.

5. Out With The Old & In With The New

In southern Italy, it is custom to throw your old things out the window, typically pottery, to symbolize your readiness to accept the new year. However, if you don't feel like throwing your items out the window, another acceptable tradition is crashing pots and pans together at your front door to scare away the evil spirits.

6. Let's Play BINGO!

During many Italian New Year's Eve parties, everyone will settle around the table for a game of tombola, which is similar to bingo. Tombola was created in the 1700s as an alternative to gambling, which during that time the church didn't approve of. King Charles of Naples made a concession to the Catholics and said he would only ban gambling during the Christmas period. However, Neopolitans found a way to get around this new law by playing tombola at home during the holidays.

Felice Anno Nuovo From Li'l Rizzo's!

Although 2016 is coming to an end, a new year is just around the corner. Lake of the Ozarks best Italian restaurant is excited for what 2017 has to offer. Li'l Rizzo's wants to wish you a Felice Anno Nuovo (Happy New Year)!  We look forward to serving you and your family in the new year!

                                                             Osage Beach Location

                                                              Horseshoe Bend Location

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Celebrate Christmas Like An Italian!

Christmas is a very big holiday in Italy and Italians celebrate with lots of unique Christmas traditions. While some off the traditions are the same in the United States, there are several that are unique to their culture. The best Italian restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks takes a look at how Italians celebrate the Christmas season, so you can join in on some of the fun traditions.

1. The Beginning Of The Christmas Season

While usually, Black Friday is the beginning of the Christmas season in America, in Italy, Christmas officially kicks off with the Day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary on December 8. This is the day when decorations go up, both on the streets and inside homes, and when some Christmas markets begin. This holiday is both religious and state-sanctioned, which means a lot of offices and businesses close on December 8. However, this date doesn't have to do with the day of Mary's conception. Instead, it celebrates the day when the Church decided that Mary was born without having the stain of original sin.

2. The Eight Days Of Christmas

The eight days before Christmas, also known as the Novena, are filled with carolers singing traditional songs around the Italian neighborhoods. In Rome, Southern Italy or Sicily, bagpipe players, also known as zampognari, travel from the nearby mountains to play merry folklore carols.

3. Nativity Scenes

Along with fancy Christmas lights, wreaths and trees, presepi (nativity scenes) are displayed in many churches and piazzas around Italy. Naples is world famous for their hand-made nativity scenes. In fact, they have streets filled with workshops that are devoted to the craft of making presepi. 

4. What Not To Eat On Christmas Eve

Italian avoid meat on la Vigilia (Christmas Eve) to prepare and purify their bodies for Christmas Day. Although the idea was to eat lean, many Italians indulge on multiple courses of fish. However, on Christmas Day, they will enjoy a huge family dinner. After the "light" Christmas Eve dinner, on Christmas Day, Italians invite their family and friends for a large lunch that usually last all day long. Many save up to have a lavish celebration. They will serve up traditional dishes, such as pasta in brodo (pasta in broth), roasts and traditional Italian desserts like panettone.

5. Don't Skip Midnight Mass

After Christmas Eve dinner, many Italians head to midnight Mass at their local church to celebrate. Romans may even head to the Vatican for Mass with the Pope. However, Christmas Eve traditions vary from city to city in Italy. In Cortina d'Ampezzo in the Dolomite Mountains located in Northern Italy, thrill-seekers will ski down the slopes with torches at midnight to welcome Christmas.

6. When To Give Gifts

In Italy, gifts are commonly exchanged on Christmas Day after lunch. However, in some smaller northern cities, gifts are exchanged on the morning of December 13 with the belief that the blind Saint Lucia bring gifts for children that day. Other Italian families may wait until January 6 when la befana, a "good witch" who is believed to have followed the wise men, but got lost, drops off presents. La befana is a typical tradition in Rome and Bologna, where the main piazzas often host fun activities for children. In Venice, locals believe that la befana arrives every year by boat. Regardless of when Italians open their presents, many keep their wrapped gifts on display on the pyramid-shaped ceppo, along with candles and other decorations.

 7. The End Of The Christmas Season

In Italy, the Christmas celebrations often extend into December 26 with the national holiday of Santo Stefano. During this time, families get together and eat leftover Christmas dishes and sweets. However, the official end of the Christmas season isn't until January 6, which is the Day of the Epiphany, and the twelfth day of Christmas. On the day before the Epiphany, families will prepare a large dinner to mark the end of the holiday season. Children are given candy or coal (usually made of black sugar), depending on if they were naughty or nice. After January 6, Christmas markets close and decorations will come down.

Boun Natale (Merry Christmas) From Li'l Rizzo's! 

The entire Li'l Rizzo's family wants to wish you a very Merry Christmas! Both our locations will be closed on the December 24 & 25 to give our employees time to spend with their families for the Christmas holiday. However, we hope to see you after the holiday to celebrate the end of this wonderful seasons and to enjoy a a delicious Italian meal at the Lake of the Ozarks. Boun Natale! 

                                                             Osage Beach Location

                                                              Horseshoe Bend Location

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

What's Your Favorite Pizza Topping?

Pizza is one of the most popular comfort foods and people just can't seem to get enough of it. There are so many toppings to choose from and everyone has their favorite. A study was conducted by Harris Poll to find out a little bit more about the average American's pizza preferences. They surveyed 2,193 U.S. adults online for five days and asked them what their favorite topping was, what style of crust they preferred, what beverage they like to drink with their pizza and where to find the best pizza (however, I think we know where to find the best pizza at the Lake of the Ozarks). Here is what Li'l Rizzo's has found out about people's pizza preferences.

Most Popular Pizza Toppings

It may be no surprise that pepperoni is America's number one pizza topping followed by sausage. Mushrooms came in at number three and surprisingly cheese/plain pizza came in at number four. Next is onions at number five and olives at number six. Bacon dropped in at number seven and ham/Canadian bacon and pineapple tied at number eight. Finally all peppers, no matter the type, came in at number ten. In addition to pizza toppings, they also asked people what their favorite type of crust is and thin crust came out on top (29%). However, six percent say they have no preference when it comes to crust type, just give them the pizza!

What To Wash It Down With

Along with finding out what American's like to top their pizza with, Harris Poll also found out what Americans like to drink with their pizza. Among those who drink alcohol at least a few times a year, a majority say their like to wash down a slice of pizza with a nice, cold beer (54%). To be more specific, non-craft domestic beer is number one followed closely by craft beer and then finally import beer. Two out of ten (20%) say they're more likely to pick up a glass of wine while enjoying their pizza, while less are likely to turn to flavored malt beverages (9%), liquor or cocktails (9%) or hard cider (8%). However, two in ten (21%) say they prefer to skip the alcohol altogether.

Where To Find The Best!

While New York may have come out on top in the pizza study, the best pizza at the Lake of the Ozarks is found at Li'l Rizzo's! The truth is, you can get pizza and pasta at a lot of places these days. That's why our mission is to become your favorite place to get a delicious pizza pie! Our pizza is thin crust, which just so happens to be people's number one crust choice, with dough made from scratch. Hand-tossed is also available at our Osage Beach location. Only the finest meats, cheeses and freshest vegetables adorn the top of our pizzas.

The Best Pizza at the Lake of the Ozarks

Christmas is just under two weeks away! Give your friends and family the gift of the best pizza at the Lake of the Ozarks. For a limited time, when you buy one gift card, receive a FREE bonus card worth 20 % of the original! The bonus card will be valid from January 1 - October 31, 2017. Stop in either of our locations or order them online at Happy Holidays!

                                                             Osage Beach Location

                                                              Horseshoe Bend Location

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Testimonials For The Best Italian Restaurant At The Lake!

The truth is, you can get pizza and pasta at a lot of places these days. That's why our mission is to become your favorite restaurant. Li'l Rizzo's offers some of the best Italian food at the Lake of the Ozarks! It's our goal to provide our guests with delicious, homemade meals that features fresh ingredients - you will be able to tell the difference! Don't just take our word for it, though, check out some of the reviews our wonderful guests have left for us.

“Favorite place to eat at the lake”
"We always eat at Rizzo's when we visit Osage Beach. Great atmosphere, staff friendly and welcoming. Since Rizzo's is NOT a chain, the food is the real star here..........excellent every time!!!!!!!!" ~ elovestheman Excelsior Springs, MO

"Love Pizza!"
"Looked at the menu online as I was going to order take-out. You can, also, order online! Large variety of very tasty looking items such as pizza, soups, salads, pasta's, sandwiches etc. but, since I was focused on a good pizza, I went right there. Huge fan of thin crust and variety of items. The supreme called my name. Excellent, excellent! My mouth waters just thinking about it. When I entered the restaurant in Outlets Mall, I was quickly greeted, paid for my pizza and was out the door to enjoy. From my short time inside, there was lots of seating, bar and nicely appointed. I would go back again in a heartbeat! Yum." ~ Terry E. Cedar Rapids, IA

"Good Italian And Pizza Eatery"
"Enjoyed our dinner out on the patio overlooking Lake Ozark. The seafood pizza, which we substituted with red sauce, was excellent." ~ BancyN Palos Hills, IL

"Great Italian Food" 
"This is the third time I have eaten at this restaurant and will definitely come back. Great food and service." ~ cindy_dulaney Fredericktown, MO

"Li'l Rizzo's at Outlet Mall"
"This is our go to restaurant for a good meal. We eat here at least twice a month. Troy is always friendly and makes you feel special. Food is consistently good. Family atmosphere" ~ PatT

"Great Environment"
"We were in town looking to purchase a boat - we asked the hotel front desk for a recommendation for an Italian restaurant - she referred us to Li'l Rizzo's. GREAT recommendation. This was a Sunday evening - they had live entertainment - 2 guys playing guitars - I had the chicken alfredo - my husband had a cajun shrimp pasta dish - both were superb. Great atmosphere - great prices - great service. They have a full-service bar - so we had a glass of chardonnay with our meal. I would highly recommend this place! It looks like if visited during the day you would have a great view of the lake - nice wrap around porch with outdoor seating." ~ 2016LB

"Best Italian at the Lake"
"Have eaten here multiple times. Everything on the menu is good. Outdoor seating provides beautiful views of the lake." ~ Smokey360

"Very Good."
"Nice patio, great food, great service. They also have gluten free options. Large TV's in the bar area. Good for lunch and dinner." ~ Cindy L. 

"Place Was Hopping"
We stopped in on a Saturday night to grab dinner. It was full, but Steph was friendly and prompt. The food was great. We had spaghetti and cannelloni. The spinach, jalapeno dip was excellent. ~ mjbinkc Kansas City, MO

Stop by one of our two locations to see what everyone is talking about! Join us Monday through Friday from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. to take advantage of the best Happy Hour at the Lake of the Ozarks featuring half-price appetizers and drink specials!

                                                             Osage Beach Location

                                                              Horseshoe Bend Location