Michigan’s Best Local Dishes: Teddy Spaghetti Shares Family-Friendly Italian Recipes With Muskegon
MUSKEGON, MI – Homemade Italian food is a labor of love at Teddy Spaghetti in Muskegon.
Owned by Ted Cerniglia and his daughter Francesca Giddings, Teddy Spaghetti serves authentic Italian cuisine handcrafted from family recipes that date back almost a century.
“It’s our way of sharing our family history. We love to cook, so if we weren’t doing that in that capacity, we would just be doing it at home, ”Giddings said.
Muskegon Restaurant traces its history back to 1939, when Cerniglia’s grandparents opened a restaurant in Rockford, Illinois. Cerniglia branched out in 1986 when it opened the Pine-Apple Café on the corner of Pine Street and Apple Avenue in downtown Muskegon.
In 2009, Teddy Spaghetti opened at 3032 Heights Ravenna Road, where patrons can dine under an ivy-draped trellis in the Italian cafe-style dining room.
It serves a robust menu of pastas, pizzas, calzones, salads and more with recipes from family cookbooks complemented by handwritten notes and recipes handed down from generation to generation.
“We just took it all, learned and spent decades perfecting it,” Cerniglia said.
A basic lasagna dish is topped with meatballs made from scratch, six cheeses, and spaghetti sauce for $ 11.75.
Home of grilled ravioli, Teddy Spaghetti serves stuffed ravioli mixed with breadcrumbs, deep-fried and topped with gravy for $ 9.95 or a large portion for $ 13.95.
“For me, there is nothing better than someone who comes in, has a meal and immediately we see the fruits of our labor,” said Cerniglia.
Cerniglia says they offer “lots of signature items,” but Rome’s Rage is unique to Muskegon County. A dish of penne noodles topped with a spicy vodka sauce can be enjoyed for $ 9.99.
“You can get vodka sauces, but you can’t get one like this,” Cerniglia said.
Giddings joined Teddy Spaghetti full time after graduating from Aquinas College with a business degree three years ago. The youngest of five, Giddings started washing the dishes at the age of 10 and knew by grade six that she wanted to run the restaurant.
“As Italians we move with food, so everything we do revolves around food. It’s what brings our family together, ”she said.
Giddings found archival photos of his family and posted them throughout the restaurant to show the story behind the artisanal dishes.
Cerniglia says the restaurant is “more than food” by carrying on the family heritage.
“The people who came before us,” he said. “We are proud to continue this tradition and pass it on to a community that responds to it. “
Teddy Spaghetti is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and closed on Sunday.
More information can be found on the restaurant’s Facebook page, teddyspaghettis.net or by calling 231-777-8337.
More on MLive:
New hotel for Grand Haven north entrance approved by city council
Cajun seafood restaurant opens in Muskegon County
A list of events to commemorate the 20th anniversary of September 11 planned in Michigan