Donavito’s evolves into a barbecue, catering mecca
Valley Deals 365 - Donavito's
An interview with Alan Donatelli, Owner/Executive Chef at Donavito's. This video feature is from Valley Deals 365, a partnership between The Vindicator and 21 WFMJ-TV. Visit Valleydeals365.com to view this and other deals.
2 $10 vouchers for $10
Donavito's Restaurant & Catering Co.
Offer available March 27-April 2, 2019
Location: 139 South Bridge Street, Struthers
Hours: Open Monday-Saturday at 11 a.m.; closed Sundays
Fare: Italian classics, barbecue
The Deal: ValleyDeals365.com
Watch our interview with Donavito’s owner Alan Donatelli on vindy.com/valleyfood
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By Corey Crisan
In Partnership with 21 WFMJ-TV
STRUTHERS – You do not have to travel to St. Louis, Kansas City or Nashville to sample locally sourced and slowly smoked barbecue. The tastes of the south reside in our own backyard, at Donavito’s in Struthers.
“My barbecue is all wood fire (smoked),” Donavito’s owner and executive chef Alan Donatelli said. “I put 10 hours into a slab of ribs. With what I’m doing, I sold 20,000 pounds of ribs last year, and I’m an Italian restaurant. It’s something I had to put on the menu.”
What if those ribs, along with chicken, pork and brisket, were smoked in your backyard? Donavito’s does it.
“I’ll come up on-site with one of my smokers,” Donatelli said. “I’ve got one sitting back here, and I can put 1,000 pounds of meat on it. Coming onto someone’s property and smoking there, cooking there. There’s nothing like it.”
That smoker Donatelli mentions can be hitched to a trailer, enabling him to roll his catering service to just about any function.
“I’ve gotten into a great niche with the on-site barbecue,” Donatelli said. “It’s cooked right there at your house or your business. It doesn’t get any fresher than that. People love seeing the food cook in front of them.”
Donavito’s does not just cater and smoke meat. It is also a destination for Italian classics in Struthers. Chef Donatelli’s signature dish is ‘tortellini n pink,’ created with his own spicy pink alfredo sauce and topped with grilled chicken, blackened chicken or shrimp.
“There’s something down here for everyone,” Donatelli said. “My menu’s really large. Our consistency is strong. We have some of the best food in our community around here, but I feel like we can go anywhere and our food can compete.”
Donavito’s menu of Italian classics ranges with numerous chicken, seafood and veal options. As Donatelli says, Donavito’s menu is a large one. Check out 19 appetizers, along with numerous salads, chicken dishes, pasta dishes, and barbecue options ranging from pulled pork, kielbasa, brisket, turkey and corned beef.
“I graduated from culinary school, but I made everything with my own style and twist and it’s been my forte,” Donatelli said. “When I meet somebody and sit down with them, I ask them what they’re in the mood for, and I go from there. Every category has so many great dishes. I feel 100% confident in everything on my menu.”
Donatelli is one of the rare restaurant owners who also holds a position as its executive chef.
“I work many hours a week,” Donatelli said. “I’m very hands-on. That’s how it works. That’s how a menu like this does work: the care, the love and the passion behind it.”
In addition to the on-site barbecue, Donavito’s offers on-site catering for small or large parties. Its service tailors its menu on an individual basis, meaning virtually anything that is on the Donavito’s restaurant menu can be brought into a party setting. Large or small parties can be held in Donavito’s banquet room attached to the restaurant. Most barbecue options are available by the pound, while appetizers, salads, pasta and chicken dish are offered in small and large sizes.
Donavito’s is open Monday through Saturday at 11 a.m. It is closed on Sundays. For the full menu and catering information, visit donavitos.com.