Missing a little Italian food in your life in Seoul or need a place to take the special lady in your life? Check out Il Mazzio (일마지오) in Myeongdong (명동) to get your Italian fix. There are many chains in Korea, even as far as Busan. The place opens at 11:30 am on the weekdays (12 pm on weekend) and closes at 10:30 pm.
The restaurant had a nice atmosphere with many waiters for the size of the place. There were classical piano tunes and a mildly lit environment. The menu is quite extensive with red and white sauce pastas and risottos ranging from 10,000 won to 15,000 won. They have pizza, salads, and wines as well.
The real attraction to this place is their all you can eat pizza special. If every member of your party orders an entree dish, you’re given unlimited pizza of whatever 3 choices they offer that day. They had Hawaiian, cheese with honey, and pepperoni pizza. The pizzas were margherita style, so very thin and delicate. They give you a tricolor column to indicate if you still want the pizza to be served to you. Green means more pizza, red means please stop the neverending pizza madness.
They were definitely very creative with their dishes as I’ve never had these variations before in pizza. Then again, Korea is a land where they have Mr. Pizza serving sweet potato crusts and tons of random ingredients on their pizzas, so this is pretty conservative.
The squid ink pasta and a red-sauce risotto were ordered for around 15,000 won each.
The squid ink pasta was beautifully presented with masago on the top of a weave of spaghetti surrounded by clams, shrimp, mussels and of course squid. The sauce was a bit on the dry side, but the seafood was good and the pasta was cooked properly. There was no hint of fishiness.
The risotto on the other hand was somewhat tasted somewhat fishy initially and the acidity of the tomato sauce was quite strong as well. Shortly the fishiness would fade away, but I don’t know if that was due to the overpowering acidity. I wasn’t a big fan of this dish.
While edible, neither entree was outstanding and would probably try something more traditional and easy to make. The pizza bar (I really like pizza) and the atmosphere definitely saved the experience. While not nearly as comparable to what I’ve had in the states, this is still a decent place to go for when you have an Italian craving. It will probably take a while for Koreans to perfect pasta as well as their chicken.