Meet Guillermo- Community Supporter and Owner of Russo’s New York Pizzeria
By Nick Rama, Link Local Food Ambassador
Guillermo Medellin has four Russo’s locations -Conroe, Spring, Tomball & The Woodlands. The Russo family is known for their New York style pizza, but they are about so much more than just pizza. Russo’s offers an authentic Italian menu that uses recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation all the way from the Naples and Sicily.
Guillermo is all about serving his local community and has lived in the area for over 17 years. He is heavily involved in community events and even goes to his kids’ school to serve pizza. Guillermo has managed to bring some of the best Italian food along with New York style pizza, with a large wine and beer selection in a casual and family friendly atmosphere. Guillermo is very hands on and goes above and beyond with everyday operations of all of his locations, making sure everything is taken care of meticulously. Once you have tasted the food, all of it comes through in flavor.
Making things easy and convenient, Russo’s offers Catering, Delivery, Dine-In, Take Out, Lunch, Dinner and even Online Ordering. Be sure to follow them on social media for their monthly Chef specials. Happy Hour and lunch specials are also available.
Russo’s New York Pizzeria Interview Questions:
When did you buy the first area Russo’s New York Pizzeria and what made you decide to expand to four locations?
I purchased it in 2009, not only as a business opportunity but as a way to get involved with the community. I saw an opportunity with the growing market in Conroe and South of The Woodlands, in different markets but with enough proximity for me to stay close and remain local. My family has been area residents for almost 20 years.
Anthony’s Russo’s father phrase was “If you can’t make it fresh, don’t serve it!”, as a local owner of four Russo’s locations tell us what you do to continue this tradition?
We make our fresh dough 1-2 times a day and prepare our sauces from scratch 2-3 times a week or to order. Pizzas and pastas are cooked and prepared to order.
How is the Russo’s that you run involved in their local community?
We participate in supporting local schools, churches and non-profit organizations on their fundraising events in many ways. We are also members of all the local chambers of commerce.
Each Russo’s has their staple menu items, tell us about your local Chef Specialties and some of your past and future specials?
During April we are featuring our delicious Milanesa Palermitana-Breaded thin steak topped with homemade pesto sauce and melted all-natural, 100% mozzarella served over a bed of Parmesan Risotto. Coming up in the following weeks we will be featuring a new special as well as our $8 Pasta bowls for lunch. At our Spring Marketplace location, we will be introducing weekend specials that include a Salmon and a Steak entree.
One of Russo’s specialties is your pizza, what makes the style of brick oven pizza different or better and what should someone expect that has never had your pizza?
We start with freshly made dough with all-natural flour and topped with homemade pizza sauce and 100% all-natural mozzarella cheese that we source from a small farm in Wisconsin. Brick ovens provide a stone surface that sears the pizza bottom while cooking creating a better texture that combined with our dough recipe creates a pizza with a clean crisp flavor.
Tell us about the Chef?
All recipes are created by Chef Anthony Russo, the son of Sicilian parents and a New Yorker himself who has shared the recipes his family has enjoyed through generations and brought the traditional New York pizza to Texas! Locally we execute his recipes with experienced kitchen staff.
What is your personal perfect meal here, start to finish here at Russo’s?
I would start with an original Eggplant Rollatini appetizer or with either our amazing tasting Tomato Basil Soup or Rich Clam Chowder.
If I’m in for pizza, the Florentine Neapolitan pizza which has an Alfredo sauce and is topped with artichoke hearts, spinach, roasted garlic and kale is my favorite choice. This paired with a pint of fresh Bombshell Blonde or Birra Morretti draft beers.
If feeling more for a pasta, a simple fresh Spaghetti with Meatballs is outstanding or our flavorful Chicken Pesto Pasta. Paired with a glass of Meoimi Pinot Noir
For lunch I enjoy our Chicken Avocado Salad very much or a Chicken Portobello Flatbread Sandwich and a homemade Tortellini Brodo or Minestrone Soup.
For dessert, either our homemade Tiramisu or our Rich Truffle Chocolate Cake would be my choice with an Illy Americano.
The Kuykendahl at W. Rayford location has a full bar, what are some Russo’s original cocktails?
Yes! We just started our full liquor bar some weeks ago with signature cocktails like Fresh Blueberry Coconut Mojito, Russo’s Lemontini or Lime Cucumber Cosmo. We feature other popular cocktails including a nice selection of whiskeys and bourbon.
What Local breweries are featured at all of your locations?
We love to feature local breweries that include Southern Star, Cyclers and will soon include B-52 and Bearded Fox. Also, Houston’s Karbach and St Arnolds.
Tell us about your monthly wine dinners?
At our Spring Marketplace location, we host monthly wine 5-course dinners featuring a particular winery. We invite a winery or distributor rep to come and talk about the wine and the winery while enjoying it paired with some of Russo’s favorite dishes. Next dates include 04/19 and 05/17. You can reserve a spot by calling us at 832-639-6500.
Start your meal with some homemade Garlic Knots, Mozzarella Fritti, Insalata Caprese, Russo’s Homemade Meatballs or one of their outstanding Eggplant Rollatinis (Stuffed eggplant with ricotta, mozzarella, and basil, lightly breaded and fried served in a tomato cream sauce).
Next up, choose from one of their many pasta dishes including spaghetti and meatballs with Russo’s Chianti-braised meat sauce or homemade marinara sauce or classics like Lasagna, Fettuccine Alfredo, Carbonara, Ravioli and Baked Ziti. Russo’s has added more authentic Italian dishes to their lineup, such as Gnocchi Bolognese, Tortellini a la Vodka, Chicken Cannelloni, and Shrimp Fra Diavolo to name a few.
Popular signature entrees are Chicken Parmesan, Chicken Marsala, Chicken Piccata, Eggplant Parmesan and Pasta Di Mare (Sautéed shrimp, clams, mussels, and calamari, swirled in a spicy Pinot Grigio marinara sauce, served over freshly-made spaghetti). All of Russo’s sauces are made from scratch and served over perfectly cooked al dente pasta.
We can’t forget what made Russo’s famous; New York Style Pizza, available in their signature crust (Made with all-natural flour, no additives, no preservatives, Sicilian extra virgin olive oil and zero trans-fat), Neapolitan-Style or their impressive 28” giant party pizza that feeds ten. Build your own pizza with five different sauce options and 39 different toppings, or one of their specialty pizzas, Margherita, Italian Works, Chicken Rustica, The Mulberry, or the New York Village (Crumbled Italian sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, beef, mushrooms, black olives, roasted peppers and Wisconsin Mozzarella, with Russo’s pizza sauce). One dozen other options are available on the Chef Russo inspired pizza menu, with original combinations, a few notable ones the Italian Market (Prosciutto di Parma, pepperoni, red onions, ricotta cheese, Wisconsin mozzarella and Russo’s pizza sauce, drizzled with pesto sauce), Truffle Mushroom (Fresh Portabella mushrooms, Wisconsin mozzarella and truffle olive oil sauce, topped with fresh arugula) and the Rocco’s Pizza (Chicken sausage, pancetta ham, fresh kale, roasted peppers, Wisconsin Mozzarella and ricotta cheese sauce).
End your meal with a sharable New York Style Cheesecake, Truffle Chocolate Cake or their famous house-made Tiramisu.
We like to ask what’s the locals eating, what is your top sellers for each location:
Appetizers: Garlic Knots, Mozzarella Fritti
Entrees: Spaghetti with Meatballs, Fettuccini Alfredo
Pizza: Mulberry, New York Village
Desserts: Tiramisu, New York Cheesecake
Appetizers: Garlic Knots
Entrees: Lasagna, Fettuccini Alfredo
Pizza: Italian Works, New York Village
Desserts: Tiramisu, Truffle Chocolate Cake
Appetizers: Spinach Artichoke Dip, Meatballs
Entrees: Fettuccini Alfredo, Chicken Pesto Pasta
Pizza: Mulberry, Margherita
Desserts: New York Cheesecake, Truffle Chocolate Cake
Appetizers: Garlic Knots, Mozzarella Fritti
Entrees: Fettuccini Alfredo, Spaghetti with Meatballs
Pizza: New York Village, Pepperoni
Desserts: Chocolate Truffle Cake, Carrot Cake
5 words to describe Russo’s New York Pizzeria?
Fresh, Natural, Delicious, Local, Family.
Nick Rama is a food writer, Local Food Ambassador for Link Local. In addtion, he also shares his restaurant experiences on Nick’s Local Eats at NicksLocalEats.com and the Q Up The Burgers Facebook page. Nick enjoys helping the small business owner, supporting his community with fundraising for food banks, and planing tasting events with locally owned mom and pop restaurants.
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