Lil Rizzo's Mamma Mia! That's Italian!By Kathy Roberts — LO Profile Editor | Photos By Jordan Weaver

The Borders family has been in the restaurant business in the Lake area since 1985. Carol Borders opened the original Rizzo’s on Bagnell Dam Boulevard as a white tablecloth, fine-dining Italian restaurant. When she decided to open a more casual version of this establishment at the intersection of Highway 54 and KK, she named it Li’l Rizzo’s.

Carol’s son, Bill, and his wife Windy now own and operate two Li’l Rizzo’s locations: one on Horseshoe Bend that opened in 1989, and the other just south of the Premium Outlets Mall that opened in 1997.

The Horseshoe Bend location is a smaller, more intimate venue with a great view of the Lake’s main channel, and offers outside dining during warm weather. The Osage Beach restaurant is much larger and has a terrific bar area for watching sports. Both locations are unpretentious, fun and “Lake Casual,” and have been voted “Best Italian” at the Lake five years in a row.

Because most of the recipes originate from “The Hill” area of St. Louis, you can expect to find many regional favorites on the menu such as Toasted Ravioli, Baked Mostaccioli, Cannelloni con Bianco and Lasagna, as well as several house specialty pastas.

For lunch they offer many pasta and house salad specials, sandwiches, soups and salads from which to choose. They have a broad menu with appetizers including soups, salads and award-winning wings; beef and chicken entrees, St. Louis-style thin-crust pizza and 20 different pastas; a $4.95 all-inclusive kids’ menu; sandwiches and homemade desserts.

Happy Hour is Monday through Friday 4-6 p.m., with great drink specials and half-price appetizers. Every Tuesday the award-winning wings are only 45 cents each, and Thursday is the $8, five-topping pizza special.

Shrimp Scampi

  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon Chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • ¼ pound Shrimp, peeled (41/50)
  • 1 tablespoon Diced green onion
  • ¼ cup Diced tomatoes
  • ⅛ cup Wine stock (recipe follows)
  • 10 ounces Cooked cappellini
  • ½ tablespoon Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Parsley flakes

Lil Rizzo's Mamma Mia! That's Italian!

In a large sauté pan over high heat add olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and butter. When butter is melted, stir, then add shrimp, onions and tomatoes and sauté until shrimp is firm. Add wine stock and cooked cappellini. Plate and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley flakes. Serves 1.

Wine Stock

  • 16 ounces Water
  • 3 ounces Chablis
  • ½ ounce Chicken base

Combine ingredients in sauce pot, heat over medium heat while stirring. Makes enough for 4 servings.

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