One of Omaha’s best, Spezia Italian

Sophia Sgourakis, Staff Writer

If you are craving Italian food, but also a phenomenal steak, and seafood, Spezia is the place for you. Located on South 72nd and just north of I-80, it is right in the midtown of Omaha.

From the outside, it is just a rectangular, flat restaurant. However, something noticeable from the outside is “Spezia” in a light-up print against the brick, along with a giant tomato lite up. The variety of food they offer is also advertised from the outside. When pulling in, parking is the only downside. With limited parking lot space, parking spots are very tight which leads to the rows of cars being significantly close. The restaurant is almost always busy, whether it is a Tuesday night or a Sunday morning for brunch.

When entering the restaurant, you are first greeted by the host stand, and straight ahead is the bar with open seating. Because I have only been to Spezia in the evenings, the restaurant is usually quite dark. To the right of the entrance, there are booths along both sides of the wall. And to the left are more tables open to the middle with booths circling it. The colors in the restaurant are neutral, and even dark which fits the mood of the restaurant. The tables are already set up with appetizer plates and silverware in order to be ready for any guests who enter.

The waiters are very friendly. They welcome you in and ask a couple questions like if you have been in before or if you are celebrating anything in particular. Waiters and waitresses are dressed classy, with black plants, a collared button-down shirt, and typically a tie or bowtie. Their uniforms give off the fancier ambiance.

When my family and I attend Spezia, it is typical for us to start with a couple appetizers, including calamari and the antipasto platter. The calamari is fried perfectly to give a crispy outside and even a pretty well cooked fish inside as well. With the calamari, slices of banana peppers and lemons are served on the same plate which gives the calamari a sweet taste. Although I’m not a huge fan of meat and cheeses, there are a few items I love on the antipasto platter. One of which is pieces of toasted bread, that are perfect for dipping in sauces such as dried mustard and hummus. Although the waitress failed to name every item on the platter, I was able to figure the meats and cheeses out on my own for the most part such as salami, ham, prosciutto and brie. To bring the whole platter together, Kalamata and green olives were scattered on top. Overall, a great prep for an upcoming meal.

Every table will also receive fresh rolls of bread. To go with this, the waiter will pour olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette and parmesan cheese into a bowl to go as a dipping sauce.

For my meal, I always stick to the Italian sausage and roaster pepper flatbread, and every time it is a solid pizza. The pizza is cut into uneven squares, which leads to uneven distribution of the toppings. This means the outside parts of the pizza are solely a little burnt crust and just cheese, while the middle pieces are covered in large pieces of sausage and skinny strips of peppers. It’s a good thing I love cheese pizza, because I find several pieces of pizza with solely cheese. It’s also a good thing that the flavor of the pizza makes me want to order this pizza every single time.

By the end of 2 appetizers, and typically 5 meals, my family is usually done ordering more food. Not only because we are served sufficient amounts of food, but also because the price will add up quickly. Because you are at an Italian steakhouse, you are usually prepared for an expensive meal. Spezia is definitely a restaurant for most people specifically for a special event such as birthdays and anniversaries.

But when you are enjoying yourself while feeling welcomed, getting an Italian meal, and enjoying the aesthetic around you, it is no problem to treat yourself to a pricey dinner.