If you’re a big fan of Gordon Ramsey and probably spend Saturday nights catching up on the latest episodes of Hell’s Kitchen you might remember Mama Maria from the 6th season.
The restaurant was a disaster, with John struggling to hold up his father’s legacy and sales drastically declining but after a thorough revamp by the kitchen King himself in 2019, the restaurant has never been better.
Mama Maria is an extension of Sal’s pizzeria. John’s parents, Sal and Maria, bought Sal’s back in 1970 and ran the place up until the early 90s. John joined the family business when he was just 14 and in 1990 he took over from his parents.
Things went well for John and he expanded to the space next door, after the unfortunate passing of his mother he renamed the restaurant after her, and Mama Maria was born.
After Gordon Ramsey’s visit, news about the restaurant has been nothing but good, the food is fresh and delicious, the space is lively and modern and the staff is super delightful.
307 Court Street Brooklyn, NY 11231, USA.
Mondays – Sundays: 12:00 – 10:30 PM
Mama Maria is a cozy spot to enjoy authentic Italian food in Brooklyn. The interior features a vibrant turquoise color, brick walls, art pieces, and lovely hanging lights.
The tables have unique newspaper prints with past articles about the restaurant and pictures of Sal and Maria. There is also a delightful painting of the historic Brooklyn Bridge above the fireplace.
There is a bar right beside the dining space to enjoy wholesome drinks, and cocktails or maybe just grab a beer if you’re above 21.
The entire place comes together to be a modern space with a homely feel. It’s a simple, casual location to have dinner or lunch with your family and friends.
There are a few silver seats at the front of the restaurant to enjoy some lovely outdoor dining in the summer or spring.
The atmosphere is very New Yorkie, and not just because they a literal art piece on the walls that says ‘’Brooklyn’’, well the restaurant has been in New York for some time, and maybe it picked up a few things.
Mama Maria is a great choice if you’re thinking of having Italian for dinner in Brooklyn, the interior isn’t very large so I wouldn’t recommend it for large groups, it’s also not a very fancy location, it’s a simple spot to enjoy some delicious food.
Hell’s Kitchen (Mama Maria’s kitchen nightmares)
Forget everything you heard about Mama Maria before 2019, well not everything just between 2016 – 2019. You might be thinking about where you remember this restaurant from, they are the famous Italian restaurant from the 6th season of Hell’s kitchen.
Gordon Ramsey gave the restaurant a visit and reviewed the food, service, and the general appearance of the place. He noticed the food was all frozen and some of the desserts were moldy.
There were a lot of bad reviews about the place before his visit and a customer was even carried out by an ambulance after eating the lobster tail, but I want to tell you it’s a whole different place.
After the golden touch by the Kitchen King, Mama Maria had never been better. Gordon Ramsy re-did the interior, making it a more modern, enjoyable space. He also made some necessary changes for kitchen hygiene and brought back all the former customer favorites.
If you had an unpleasant experience before the revamp I urge you to give the restaurant a second chance because you definitely wouldn’t regret it. If you’re skeptical about getting the lobster, it’s totally safe and very delicious now, no one has been taken to the hospital again ever since.
You can watch the episode here to see all the changes that were made and how much better the restaurant is now.
Before their revamp, tales about Mama Maria weren’t so great. They served frozen food and customers complained about stale, bald flavors.
I wouldn’t lie at the beginning of the episode I had made a mental note to cross them off my “Italian restaurants in Brooklyn list“, but when Gordon Ramsey was done with places, I went over for lunch the next week and the experience was amazing.
The food was awesome. I haven’t been to Italy but a single bite of the Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca made me feel like I was dining on the streets of Val Garibaldi.
The meals are made with authentic Italian recipes passed down from his parents and fresh ingredients.
Click here for the menu.
Their menu offers Brick oven pizza with recipes from the 70s, cold and hot appetizers, Pasta, seafood, steak, Vitello, chicken, salads, dessert, and lots more.
They also run a “create your own” option for oven pizzas, where you can pick the toppings of your choice.
The menu runs across all your Italian favorites and the meals are made fresh in the kitchen. Everything tastes just the way your aunt Giulia would make it.
Mama Maria offers very fair prices for quality Italian gourmet, the rates are very affordable and you can enjoy an entire pasta meal for as low as $11. As compared to other mainstream, upscale Italian restaurants, Mama Maria serves their meals at pocket-friendly rates for everyone to enjoy.
If you’re on a budget but still craving some delicious Italian food you can give them a visit. I suggest budgeting between $25 – $85 depending on how many courses you want to get.
Here’s a quick round-up of the prices
|Pizza||$12 – $20|
|Cold Appetizers||$12.50 – $16.50|
|Hot Appetizers||$13.50 – $16.50|
|Salads||$11 – $17|
|Pasta||$11 – $29|
|Chicken||$18.75 – $20.75|
|Vitello||$21. 75 – $38.75|
|Beef||$19 – $35|
|Sea food||$18 – $32|
|Desserts||$3.50 – $5|
Sal’s pizza stores are the sister restaurant to Mama Maria and they are located beside each other. The wonderful pizza store was opened back in 1970 by his parents and has served delicious gourmet oven pizza ever since. The restaurants still serve their pizza hot and fresh like its ’79.
The pizza store, like Maria’s, is a simple space, with a moderate dining area and lovely outdoor seating. The outdoor space features a canopy and a few seats. It’s a lovely spot to enjoy some delicious pizza in the fresh air during the warmer season.
They are also mechanical horses at the front for the kids to have some fun with when they visit. Their menu offers many unique options for pizza pies and oven pizzas at some of the best rates you’ll find in Brooklyn.
They are a great spot to take the kids for lunch or just go on a casual outing with a partner and dine on authentic Italian Pizza.
Does Mama Maria serve alcohol?
Yes, their bar serves a variety of drinks and spirits for adults older than 21. You can enjoy a delicious cocktail or just grab a beer.
Is Mama Maria child friendly?
Yes, you can bring your kids to Mama Maria, they can enjoy playing on the mechanical horse outside and enjoy some delicious Italian food afterward.
What to get at Mama Maria?
Mama Maria offers a variety of delicious Cuisine, you can order the oven pizzas, the sauteed chicken with mushroom, minestrone, Spaghetti Carbonara, and lots more.
How’s the Lobster tail?
If the last thing you heard about it was the hospital incidents, well you should know he’s doing great and the lobster tail is a whole lot better now. The ingredients are bought fresh and cooked probably
Does Mama Maria serve Vegetarian meals?
Yes, there are several vegetarian options on the menu like the Cavelo Nero salad.
Do I need reservations for Mama Maria?
No, you don’t need reservations for Mama Maria, all walk-ins are accepted.