Nestled deep within the ever-changing Quadrangle lies Momo’s Pasta, of Addison fame. For years, Momo’s has been serving up Italian favorites from fettuccine alfredo to tiramisu and after some ownership struggles, a location in Dallas proper finally opened a few months back. If you have ever ventured to the Quadrangle outside of standard business hours, you know it is a dead center. I can’t really grasp why – after all, it is in the heart of Uptown, surrounded by massive apartment complexes and there is a liquor store within so in my opinion it should be just as crowded as anywhere else in that congested area.
Located in the former Margarita Ranch spot, Momo’s seems more a quick lunch spot than a fine dining experience. The restaurant itself isn’t particularly inviting, with random pictures on the wall and tables packed, in there just doesn’t seem to be any “vibe” be it good or bad.
On a particular evening a few weeks back, I was invited in with several other writers to get a taste of Momo’s creme de la creme or should I say cream de la vodka. The owner came over and greeted us and his smiling face and bubbly personality is exactly what every Italian restaurant needs. I can just imagine him smoking a stogie on the patio after hours with a giant glass of Chianti. The servers seemed to be stressed out even though there were hardly any other patrons dining while we were. One thing I noticed right off the bat was that instead of coming around the table to clear or pass out plates as they came, the servers reached across. Luckily, I was on the far side so didn’t spend dinner with cringing at the thought of someone dropping marinara on my head but still – its service 101.
As for the food, was it Lucia? Hell no, but it isn’t Fazoli’s either. The menu is quite expansive and the portion size is spot on for the price point. Momo’s “famous” pink bread was served first and I can’t say it was my favorite thing. The bread is delicious but almost ruined by the unseasoned sun-dried tomato spread and sloppy mozzarella that is baked onto it. I appreciate trying to differentiate yourself from the standard garlic bread but more thought …or perhaps, taste, needs to go into this one. One appetizer I really did enjoy was the Calamari Fritti. Rings of calamari are fried to the perfect crisp and accompanied by a spicy tomato sauce, or so the menu says. I didn’t particularly find the sauce spicier than your normal marinara sauce but to each their own. I could have eaten the entire plate of the crunchy and delicious calamari all to myself if the other bloggers weren’t all up in it. Some may say that it’s hard to mess something up when it’s fried but I disagree. Too often, calamari can be an oily, flavorless mess but not here! This dish is definitely something I would come back for.
Momo’s offers several main dishes but their most popular entrees by far are pasta based. All of their pasta is made in-house and it shows. I tried several of the pasta mains and they are just what you would expect from a homestyle Italian dinner. Meaty, saucy and cheesy pasta served piping hot…who can argue with that? After stuffing ourselves like veal, we were all served dessert. Admittedly, I do not generally care for tiramisu. I find it to be “meh” and the texture is more like something you throw up, not ingest. Of course, as a food writer, I have to give everything a chance and SWEET BABY JESUS am I glad I did. This tiramisu is the end all be all of the like. It somehow manages to be rich and light tasting at the same time with hints of vanilla, coffee and cinnamon wrapped into the perfect square package. By accident, the servers brought double the desserts and let it be known that not one bite went to waste. Screw everything else, I think Momo’s should have a tiramisu happy hour every day…and build a bed for me in the dining room to crash on afterwards.
In all, Momo’s is decent enough to go back but it wouldn’t be something that I fight for when deciding where to dine out. For the few things that are great, there are just as many mediocre dishes and I would be interested to see how the service during a “normal” meal is because if it was this bland with a table of food bloggers that could be the demise of this homey Italian escape…