Cugino's Outdoor Patio an Oasis in Grand Ledge
This summer, Michigan residents have been given their fair share of beautiful, sunny days. And with those sunny summer days comes a favorite pastime: spending time at a restaurant's outdoor patio.
When FOX 47 asked mid-Michigan residents to nominate their favorite outdoor patio spot, Cugino's Italian Restaurant in Grand Ledge had overwhelming support. And as the votes rolled in, Cugino's slayed the competition with 52% of the votes.
Stephanie and I visited Cugino's on one of those quintessential sunny August days, and were treated to an atmosphere of swinging music, the trickle of a water fountain, and tables full of guests.
Cugino's added the outdoor patio in 2009 - what was once a parking lot has transformed into a tranquil, richly-hued area that provides privacy on all sides with its red brick walls and stonework.
Mark Naccarato, co-owner of Cugino's with his cousin Pat (Fun Fact: Cugino means "cousin" in Italian), tells us that the patio has been a hit with Grand Ledge residents who enjoy eating al fresco in the warmer months.
For lunch, we sampled the calamari appetizer and Caesar salad before splitting the Mediterranean Margherita pizza. Our server and Mark both recommended Cugino's pizza, and it's clear why. The 10-inch was perfect to split after appetizers, and the freshness of the basil, tomatoes, and feta cheese made this take on the classic Margherita pizza a big winner.
We are already planning evenings out on the patio for our next visit, perhaps to sample some of Cugino's popular pasta as a dinner entree.
Congratulations to Cugino's Italian Restaurant, winner in our FOX 47 News Poll for Favorite Outdoor Patio Spot in Mid-Michigan!