Michigan’s Best Local Eats: Salvatore’s Restaurant Brings Mom’s Italian Recipes to the West Side of Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – If you’re craving authentic homemade Italian fare and a packet of garlic breadsticks, Salvatore’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria on the west side of Grand Rapids is the perfect fit.

The restaurant, which has been in the family since 1976, offers all the classic Italian dishes imaginable, as well as seasonal specialties.

“It’s a quaint little family restaurant,” said Jim Tinervia, who owns Salvatore’s with his brother. “We’re friendly to young families, professionals, it’s very low-stress and low-key. It’s just a nice little place to hang out.

Located at 654 Stocking St. NW in Grand Rapids, the restaurant’s menu features bruschetta, salads, homemade breadsticks, baked sub sandwiches, Sicilian steaks and other Italian specialties. The pasta menu includes ravioli, manicotti, cannelloni, lasagna, linguine, and fettuccine alfredo.

A customer favorite is the chicken parmigiana, which can be ordered on its own or as part of the “parmidgiana platter,” which includes chicken, eggplant, and parmigiana meatballs, all served with a side of spaghetti.

A takeout order of fettuccine alfredo from Italian restaurant Salvatore. The menu has many choices of pasta and other Italian dishes. (Audra Gamble/MLive)

The family restaurant prides itself on its recipes, including homemade breadsticks and sauces. Most of the recipes come from the Tinervia brothers’ mother, Zina Tinervia.

“Our marinara sauce and all of our sauces are made with our own recipes,” Tinervia said. “We cut all our meats by hand, we prepare and bread everything by hand here. The recipes are those of my mother’s ancestors and our family.

Tinervia’s favorite item on the menu is the manicotti, made with homemade pancakes and stuffed with beef or ricotta, then cooked in tomato sauce and mozzarella and served with garlic bread and a choice of soup or salad.

Treat

Authentic Italian desserts including cream puffs, cannoli and tiramisu, pictured here, are available at Salvatore Italian Restaurant in Grand Rapids. (Provided by Salvatore Restaurant)

The Tinervia family immigrated to the United States from Sicily in 1971 and have been serving Italian cuisine to the Grand Rapids community for over 45 years.

“We’ve been in the same place here for generations,” Tinervia said. “When we started, the kids of this generation became our customers and now we are literally three generations of West Siders coming to us. We know a lot of families in the area and are very family oriented.

For Salvatore first-timers, Tinervia recommends the “Taste of Grand Rapids” pizza, which won both People’s Choice and Best Pizza in West Michigan. The pizza is topped with ham, fresh basil, onions, sausage, Sicilian sauce, Romano cheese and a mix of spices.

Salvatore's Italian Restaurant

Diners enjoy Italian cuisine at Salvatore on the west side of Grand Rapids. (Audra Gamble/MLive)

Most menu items are $17 and under and half orders of pasta are $12 and under. Affordable prices are a priority for the restaurant.

“Our kitchen, we’re trying to do white-tablecloth restaurant quality on a blue-collar family budget,” Tinervia said. “We try to serve the area as best we can.”

A full menu is available online at salvatoresgr.com. In addition to on-site and take-out catering, the restaurant also offers a catering service. Salvatore’s is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Contact the restaurant at 616-454-4280.

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Rozella J. Cook