Wait! An ABQ original?
Brakes shrieking! Hold On!
Sal's Ristorante and Pizzeria just opened!? Right? Or did it?
I like a heartfelt ABQ success story. Who doesn't?
This New Mexico family's story started a generation ago with Sal Cerami Sr., the dad. A kind gentle charismatic man, frail by the time I met him in the 90's,
who migrated from Italy via New York City. In the 70's, Sal Sr. was smitten with our state after just one visit. Being an astute businessman, he also noticed that though, there WAS NOT a shortage of "retired" New Yorkers (Thanks to the witness protection program - shhhh!), there WAS a shortage of Italian restaurants, Italian delis and Italian grocery suppliers.
Sr. Sal made the wise decision to move to New Mexico. He opened the original and famous DeliMart on Juan Tabo. Delimart was a small classic grocer with a deli attached and was known statewide for its soups and subs. Delimart was stocked with Italian groceries and traditions.
Years later, Sal Sr. moved DeliMart to the Westside, located on N. Coors, where it thrived with, second son, brother Lenny, General Manager and daughter, talented chef, baby sister Marie, along with other family members, for decades. Sal Sr. has been gone for many years now. He is missed. Truly a treasure.
So, what does that have to do with our current Sal?!
Sal, the son. Sal of Sal's ristorante and pizzeria fame.
To know his history is to know where Sal's Love of the restaurant business stems. He obviously inherited his love of the food and his business saavy from his father, along with the massive amounts of charm and charisma. Trending Sal Cerami is an ideal host and handles the front of the house with ease. Out of all the hats he wears, I think he enjoys that part the most.
Sal heads up the kitchen, but he also employs two executive chefs. Mike who has been with Sal for 30 years and Aaron who has been with Sal for 27 years. It's why the food is always consistent. Always delicious. Many of his employees are long term, like Ronald, Daniel and Teresa. He has also employed many talented people over the years who have gone on to open their own cafes and restaurants, including Chef James Caruso of La Boca fame in Santa Fe.
Sal was a young man when he opened his first restaurant. It was around the same time his dad moved the Delimart to the westside.
Sal hooked up with a buddy, Mimmo.
They opened an Italian restaurant together and named it Mimmo's. Ok, now ya know what I'm talking about. It was called Mimmo's, but it was always Sal and Mimmo together. Mimmo's has been a westside staple, at the same location, for many years.
Eventually, not that long ago, Mimmo was ready to retire, but Sal was not. So Mimmo retired and took his name with him. Viola! Sal's Ristorante and Pizzeria was born.
Yay! We all know who the star was and is.
Sal! That Smile with all those same scrumptious Italian dishes and pizza!
The Food is "New York Italian", says Sal. Sal is not pretentious and neither is his food, just delicious classic Italian all the way!
Starters: "like calamari (lightly breaded with lots of lemon and a side of Sal's scrumptious marinara. mmm!), caprese salad, antipasti for 1 or 2.
Pastas: classics like Chicken Marasala (with a side of Alfredo), Baked Manicotti, Eggplant Parm, Ravioli Alfredo and lots more. All with side options.
Pizza: For 2 or Pizza for 4, all with a light, crunchy, fresh made, hand tossed crust like "PIZZA DE LA CASA" - (a sauceless masterpiece and customer favorite with mozzarella, ricotta, parmigiano cheese, fresh tomatoes, spinach, red onions and spices), "PIZZA ALLA ROMANA" - (artichokes, capers, green olives,roasted red peppers, mozzarella and Sal's light, simple and classic sauce).
Calzones: Huuuuge, anyway you want em'! Sides available include sausage, meatballs, ham, mushrooms, pepperoni, green olives, Canadian bacon, green peppers,
onion, jalapeño, green chili, anchovies, extra cheese, extra sauce, artichoke hearts, prosciutto, salami, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, eggplant, capers,
roasted red Italian peppers, fresh tomatoes, calamata olives and spinach.
Desserts: like home made Spumoni, the best Canoles in ABQ and Lemoncello cake.
Order a scrumptious full body latte or cappacino from their espresso bar with that dessert.
Lunches at Sal's are a hustle bustle, a very fast pace, because everyone is in a hurry to eat and the ristorante does a lot of takeout orders that time of day.
Nights can be more liesurely and relaxing. After the business day, it becomes a delightful "Old Style Italian Ristorante". Enjoy the atmosphere and cuisine with a nice glass of wine, like Nero D'Avalo or Montepulciano D'Abruzzo. Sal's specializes in Italian wines, but does carry a few trending local craft beers as well, like cumbres on tap.
Happy Hour is 4-6 daily (except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when sal closes) and all day Sunday.
"It's all about family and food
at Sal's Ristorante and Pizzeria"
Sal says most people order off the menu, but he will surely accomodate any diners' wish.
To Sal, all customers are family and the customers feel the same. In fact, Charlie (photo below) claims he drove from the NE heights for 22 years to eat and relax at Sal's. So, when he retired he just moved the whole family to the Westside, so he would be closer to the restaraunt. Charlie says he is at Sal's every Monday. Monday is his Sal day and sometimes, Tuesdays, Fridays and Sunday for brunch.
Sal and Morgan are community oriented and have been known to feed the homeless a time or two. No one goes hungry when they are around.
Catering is a cinch for the ristorante, as are groups, and parties. You can rent the whole bar or the whole place and, of course, plan a custom menu for your gathering.
it easy and comfortable whether you're picking up or dining in.
AND Don't forget the cappuccinos! They make a perfect ending to a delicious meal and an exceptional dining experience. Sal's is definitely a must, a favorite and
an ABQ Original!