Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria
There’s something about long-standing traditions and recipes handed down through generations that are a staple in excellent Italian cuisine. Like, without the family secrets and vibrant personalities, the food just wouldn’t have the same depth and delicious appeal. It’s as if the story is part of the flavor, and you’re getting the inside scoop with every bite.
A Hearty Heritage
For the Muhs family, owners of Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria in Edmond, their story started in the Castiglione region of Italy. After they migrated to Oklahoma in 1895 for the booming coal business, food became a central part of their lives. Granny Rose provided for seven children, cooking pasta and fried chicken, and even brewing a homemade beer, ‘choc,’ which she sold to people who came to eat in her home. Granny had spunk…and skills.
In 1953, the family established a restaurant in Krebs, OK, then launched Gabriella’s in S. Padre Island in 2003, and then brought Gabriella’s to OK in 2009, opening on 63rd St. in OKC. Outgrowing that space brought the family to Edmond in May this year, and loyal fans and excited newcomers lined up to get their fix of the country-style, homemade Italian fare.
Handcrafted and Homemade
For most of us, if we open a package, assemble something in a pan and apply heat to it, we’ve cooked! We might even call it ‘homemade.’ For Gabriella’s, handcrafted ingredients take ‘homemade’ to an entirely different level. Chef Vicki’s son Brandon says, “We use 25 natural ingredients, made fresh daily, that form the foundation of everything we make.” Just as their grandparents and great-grandparents did it, they make their own Alfredo and marinara sauces, pizza dough, meatballs, ravioli, Italian sausage and even their own mozzarella. “Many of our recipes come from our Krebs, OK restaurant,” Chef Vicki notes. “These are fourth-generation items, our signature dishes.”
Feast by Land and Sea
One of the most popular dishes is Gabriella’s Five Layer Lasagna, with everything except the ricotta made in-house. Their brick oven pizzas are another must-try, featuring specialties like hand-cut pepperoni, homemade mozzarella and sausage, and honey truffle oil. Their Shrimp Fra Diava is another winner—literally. It was the 2nd place winner in the 2004 Shrimp Cook Off in Port Isabel, TX. With your first bite of the gulf shrimp in tomato and white wine broth, you’ll know why. New to the menu, the Spaghetti Western is spaghetti on chicken fried steak. Yes, it’s a real thing–a tasty combo you’d never imagine! Brandon recalls, “Vicki served it to us as kids every Wednesday night before church. It’s the food she raised us on.”
A Family Affair
At Gabriella’s, no family member is left behind! At the helm of the operation, momma Vicki is the chef, and husband, Duane, is the master craftsman. He designed the Edmond restaurant with impeccable functionality and nostalgic charm. Michael, the oldest son, makes the pizza dough and has made the Italian sausage in-house for over 20 years. Son Brandon handles marketing and operations and daughter Ashton Gabriella has been making brick oven pizzas since she was 14 years old. Behind the large, comfy bar at the heart of the restaurant, daughter-in-law Heather crafts distinctive cocktails.
At Gabriella’s, even the staff members who don’t share the Muhs name are considered family, and you won’t leave without feeling a little like family yourself.
Enjoy Gabriella’s for dinner Tues.-Sat. 4pm-10pm at 3601 S. Broadway in Edmond or visit gabriellasokc.com.