I am so chock full of holiday cheer. I hope you are too. I can’t wait to be surrounded by family and friends, making memories and having loads of laughs. I am fired up to give out gifts that lift the spirit and let loved ones know they are appreciated. I do this in the form of pizza. Throw in a cozy and fun restaurant while you are chowing down and it is a holiday home run. Two great places to do this are Spagnuolo’s and Spag’s Bar and Grill in the Okemos/Williamston area. They are related! Family! They have beer! Friends! They spill with holiday cheer! Perfect! Spagnuolo’s and Spag’s Bar and Grill are distinctive in their own right, but at the heart of each is awesome pizza (and calzones … and breadsticks). Thick crust, balanced sauce, extensive topping choices, and heaps of cheese make these restaurants famous among many. Spagnuolo’s continues in the more classically Italian vein while Spag’s Bar and Grill wanders to a more casual menu. Spagnuolo’s is a warm and intimate place with a decidedly low-key ambiance. The menu is a smorgasbord of classics. Marsala! Parmesan! Antipasti plates, salads, burgers and sandwiches, and mouthwatering entrees of all kinds, and carbohydrates. There are lots of carbohydrates. Some are topped with red sauce, clams, gorgonzola garlic cream, scampi. And don’t forget cheese. Cheese and carbohydrates are holiday heavies! Spag’s Bar and Grill is light and bright with a totally different vibe. It’s got activity going on compliments of pool tables and arcade games. Its menu is still anchored in the pizza and calzone range, but the sandwiches, burgers and salads take on a bigger emphasis. It even branches out to include Mexican and BBQ options. It is time to get a little more specific. Editor Emily and I recently met at Spagnuolo’s. We started out easy with an order of breadsticks with pesto sauce. The breadsticks were pillows of buttery garlic pleasure served with a surprising light and restrained pesto cream dipping sauce. I wanted to eat the whole thing. Next up came the antipasto salad. Now this is the way it should be done. It was a bold pile of Italian meats, cheese, tomatoes, artichokes, olives, etc. Next up for me was the prosciutto stuffed chicken breast. It was beautifully stuffed with prosciutto, a luscious, oozy cheese mix and then topped with roasted red peppers, garlic and an Alfredo cream sauce. A side of spaghetti with red sauce rounded out my meal. Emily went with the eggplant parmesan. It made her happy in that it reminded her of mom’s eggplant parmesan. It all comes back to family (and piles of food). I talked about being chock full of holiday cheer. Thanks to Spagnuolo’s and Spag’s Bar and Grill I’m also chock full of cheese and carbohydrates, my favorite things beyond family and friends. Perfect! Let’s just hope there’s plenty of love and laughter to burn it all off. Happy Holidays! Spagnuolo’s 662 W. Grand River Ave., Okemos Spag’s Bar and Grill 1286 E. Grand River, Williamston www.spagsinfo.com
Colette Evangelista sells certified organic, non-toxic beauty, health, baby and home products at www.healthandhopeorganics.com. Twenty percent of her profits go to Ascending Above Autisim, a charity that helps parents pay for autism treatment.