When you hear about Italian food in Missoula, where is it usually from? Everyone talks about Ciao Mambo, but what if you’re looking for something a bit more casual and cheap? Romeo’s is a small Italian bistro across the street from Pattee Creek Market. It’s a family restaurant with warm tan walls and small accents that remind you that you are about to eat some Italian inspired food. It’s a small place, and honestly, it’s not screaming authentic. While sitting in the booth you can see and hear the Pepsi soda fountain where the waiters get your drinks. You can also hear the sounds of the kitchen staff making your food.


Alfredo sauce is the glue that holds any good pasta together. It’s generally rich with notes of garlic and parsley and loads of cheese. My hopes for Romeo’s alfredo weren’t high, but I tried to remain optimistic. They have some lunch specials under $8, so my friend and I jumped on those. I ordered the Chicken Alfredo Wrap while he got the Meatball and Mozzarella Wrap. A carb haven? Don’t mind if I do.


The chicken was basic like any additional chicken you pay for at an Olive Garden. It didn’t taste seasoned, but that wasn’t the worst part. I expected a thicker alfredo sauce, not the watered down version in my wrap. The noodles were actually pasta shells, which is uncommon for an alfredo, but the shells worked perfectly for the wrap since they were so small. At one point I just stopped eating, and half of the wrap came home with me. I just couldn’t tell if I liked it enough to keep eating. The Chicken Alfredo Wrap had one thing going for it though: it gave me a carb-induced food coma.


Honestly, wait for Missoula to get a better Italian place. Missoula has great concerts with some pretty big names and should consider upping its food game to match. Sure, go to Romeo’s if you want an inexpensive taste of Italy. But if you’re looking for a flavorful experience, pass on it. The service is fine and the atmosphere is what you’d expect from any standard bistro. Skip out on Ciao Mambo too, it’s just one step up, and it’s not close enough to the authentic Italian food experience you deserve. Treat yourself to some Italian food fit for the Queen, just don’t have it in Missoula.