An Ideal Spaghetti Sauce - Lo Sole Mio
The Marino Sisters have completed their first culinary contest dining in one of Omaha’s finest Italian Restaurants, Lo Sole Mio!
This is a series of articles on our “An Ideal Spaghetti Sauce” caper, comparing our mother’s authentic sauce to the finest Italian restaurants in Omaha. Gracious owners Don and Marie Losole welcomed us, along with daughter Julie.
When Italians meet each other for the first time, they govern themselves by an unwritten law that dispenses with formal introductions. In other words, we hug first and introduce ourselves later! This happened when we met the Losoles.
Eventually we got around to asking where on the genealogy tree our surnames collided so we could officially be family. Even though we discovered no family ties with the Losoles, the majority of Italians who grew up in Omaha are related, mandated back in the day that a nice Italian boy marry a nice Italian girl. But Marie reminisced about our mother, Nettie, and the visit to her restaurant several years ago. Our mother died in 2009 after a long illness.
Julie, our hostess, ushered us into the elegant dining room, and seated us at a cozy corner table. It was a Thursday night around 6:00 and Lo Sole Mio’s was packed. Our server arrived immediately and introduced herself. Before she took our order, she brought out a complimentary bowl of Lo Sole Mio’s signature sweet roasted garlic cloves with olive oil dipping sauce along with homemade bread and parmesan cheese. An attentive and respectful young man took his job seriously keeping our water glasses filled. We poured ourselves a glass of vino from the large family style wine bottle on the table and devoured all the free stuff whilst checking out the menu.
One of us ordered the traditional spaghetti and meatballs to compare it to our mother’s sauce. Remember the Marino Sisters are on a mission. I ordered the Pasta Alla Carbonara; my second to the youngest sister, Carol, ordered the Pasta Michelangelo; middle sorella, Cathy, ordered Pasta & Spinaci; and sitting in the family bow seat, Connie, ordered the dish that would get our full inspection and attention: Pasta Di Casa!
We all each took a large portion of the spaghetti and meatball dish from Connie. The moment of truth had arrived. We twirled the spaghetti slowly and deliberately around our forks. We commented with our eyes since our mouths were full, placing our forks down between each bite to dab the corners of our mouths with our cloth napkins like snobbish Neapolitans.
As we raised our glasses in the air, saluting and commending ourselves we’d escaped the house without our husbands—one of our cousins walked in! He didn’t spot us as he strolled past our table with a friend to the other side of the restaurant. My sister Cathy whispered to me while eating some Carbonara off my plate, “Did our cousin Louie just walk in?”
I couldn’t believe that the storytelling gods had blessed me with this coincidence of our “cuz” actually passing by our table! My sister Carol flagged the young man in charge of our water glasses and asked him to retrieve our cousin Louie over by the window. Upon hearing the Marino Sisters were in the establishment, and grinning from ear to ear, our cousin Louie waved us over. Louie introduced us to his dinner companion—a cousin on his father’s side! Of course we didn’t find this out until after we had hugged and kissed.
At the end of the evening, we posed for pictures with the Losoles. It was a lovely time. Oh, and the spaghetti sauce? Did it come close to our mother’s brew? It isn’t fair to say yet until we visit all the restaurants on our list. So stay tuned! Our next culinary experience will be in June.
I think our ancestors would be proud of the Marino Sisters and the Losoles. I envision them looking down on us nodding with approval like bobble heads. And our mother would be proud; honoring her and the sauce that keeps us together, and the joy we’ve received sharing it you.