At Piatto Italian Kitchen, 2920 NW 63rd St., owner Ennis Mullaliu treats his guests like family. He’s spent his career in the hospitality industry, and his customers are loyal. They’ve followed him throughout his journey. But it all started in his own home, where he learned the art of hospitality from his mother.
“When I was a kid, I can remember having guests over, and my mom would always encourage them to eat more, and to take food home with them,” he said. “It’s in my family’s DNA; we’re very warm and welcoming in our house and in our restaurant.”
Mullaliu arrived in the U.S. in 2000, a refugee from the Kosovo War. He and his family had sought asylum in the U.K., and eventually – through Catholic Charities – made their way to Edmond, Oklahoma. Mullaliu said his family and his cousin’s family were the first Kosovo refugees in Oklahoma.
It didn’t take him long to find his calling in the restaurant industry, and he has spent over two decades working among and learning from the industry’s finest, including Chef Kurt Fleischfresser.
“I wasn’t born in Oklahoma, but it’s my home,” he said. “I have learned something new every step of the way, and it’s brought me to where I am now.”
Piatto is described as a “98 percent scratch” kitchen. All the pasta, sauces, dressings, and desserts are made in-house. The warm, welcoming décor and ambiance make for a comfortable and classic Italian dining experience.
Mullaliu recommends the Pork Sugo, a main course of Italian pork ragu with house-made rigatoni pasta. The pork is braised and cooked for three-four hours to enhance the flavor.
Finally, nothing wraps up a classic Italian meal like house-made tiramisu.
Mullaliu said he loves coming to work every day knowing he gets to make his guests happy. His customers choose Piatto because they want to support him, his wife and their two children.
“There are so many restaurants, but they choose us,” he said. “I’m very fortunate and blessed to have met so many Oklahomans through my journey, and I will continue to do that.”