Things Are Poppin at Russo’s Italian Kitchen

By on October 2, 2013

South Tulsa is quiet. At least in the review “business”, South Tulsa area doesn’t have much that we know about. Many reviews seem to gravitate towards downtown, Brookside, and the likes. There’s a new Italian place in town though that’s only been open a couple weeks and it’s making some noise already in south side; Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen. A small franchise from Texas, this casual, fun, family restaurant is tossing out great dishes and tasty pizzas with very fresh ingredients for a fair price.

Located at 89th and Yale, the establishment was already packed in this super lively and bouncy atmosphere. The acoustics were a tad loud, but it wasn’t the music or staff, it was the warm and happy buzzing of families seated all around enjoying their food and conversations. That’s always ok in my books. The staff and management were running smoothly, quickly, and efficiently from the looks of it. A nice tempo that was rather impressive being this place basically just opened. There was a wait of about 20 minutes and when seated our waitress was immediately on top of things.

A small selection of beers and nice selection of wines on the beverage list. Marshall Brewing on the list. Never can go wrong with that! Tonight though, we chose the house chianti. Not bad at all. Scrolling through the food menu, which is a bit large, my wife chose the eggplant parmesan ($8.95) and I chose a medium sized chicken rustica pizza ($16.95). The kiddo got a large slice of pizza as well. My parents ordered a pizza and pasta too. Plus salads. For those gluten-free folks, they offer plenty of gluten-free alternatives/versions as well.


The eggplant parm was very fresh; eggplant, mozzarella, romano, basil, all served on top of spaghetti with a racy and house-made marinara sauce that just seemed to pop!


The chicken rustica pizza had spinach, roma tomatoes, chicken, basil, feta, mozzarella, extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh garlic. The crust was thin, crisp outside, and nice doughy inside. A very nice balance and consistency, this pizza was awesome! I seriously ate the whole thing. Oh, I feel so ashamed, but it was that good.


They cater a few of their desserts. Two of them they make in-house though; the cannoli’s and the tiramisu. Not like I need dessert. I just ate some bread, a salad, and a whole pizza. Go big or go home, I guess. I ordered the tiramisu ($6.95). It’s one of my favorite desserts. I just had to. The wife and kiddo split a chocolate explosion cake ($6.95). The tiramisu was extremely pleasurable and just topped off my night. Soft, most, and delicious. It’s one of the better tiramisu’s I’ve had. The chocolate cake was great too, though a tad rich for my liking.

Oh man, I was a porker. I didn’t care though. It’s hardly something I do, but I was stuffed and miserably happy. Everyone else at the table loved their food too. My only complaint, and this is nit picky, is the salads could have been presented a little better and with a bit more care/attention. They seemed just thrown together. Anyway, the manager made his rounds checking on everyone’s needs. He got a cheerful earful from us. We were all happy. We will be going back for sure. And soon!

Russo’s Italian Kitchen
8941 S Yale Ave
(918) 779-4600

Jeremiah Ramey: Author –

Lover of craft beer and great food. Eat local and drink local, my friends.

About Jeremiah Ramey


  1. Scott

    October 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Yet another chain restaurant. The meals are typical chain restaurant, in that they are significantly Americanized. Still it’s pretty good. Russo’s competes squarely with Olivetto’s and Zio’s (both within a few miles), and I think it’s better than those. Especially the pizzas. Let’s start there though. I had the margherita pizza. Crust was nicely textured, flavored and had a nice crisp. On this particular pizza though, there was too little cheese, too much crust (the edges are quite wide, as you can see in the above picture…the margherita has significantly less cheese). In other words, not a balance. It’s a square pizza cut into 9 slices, with a tablespoon-sized daub of cheese in the middle of each large piece. I won’t order that again. The gnocchi had a nice sauce but the gnocchi itself was overcooked and mushy. Service staff and management were active and friendly. The place is relatively noisy. As is common these days, stained concrete floor and many hard surfaces. The dining room, bar and pizza oven area are in one big room. As Jeremiah mentioned, good and typical place for families. For a quiet date for two, I’d head to KEO (next door) or Villa Ravenna. I plan to go back to Russo’s and try another pizza besides the margherita. I’d rate it above Zio’s and Olivetto’s, it’s direct competitors.

    • Jeremiah

      October 6, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      Scott…thanks for the comment and your detailed review too. I would definitely rate them above Zios and Olivettos as well. Also, spot on with family atmosphere and not a “date night” atmosphere. As for a chain, slightly disappointing we can’t get more local joints to pop up, but this one was very good in our first-time experience. Definitely reply back with your next visit.

      On a side note, we just got back from Austin, TX. Ate at many, many places. All completely fantastic. It’s amazing when you venture out of town and realize what your home lacks.

  2. Phil Harris

    October 7, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Went there for Sunday brunch a couple of weeks ago. I had the Little Italy flat bread sandwich and my wife had the Pollo Lucia flat bread sandwich. We both could only eat half as they were huge and a bargain at under $10. We could easily have split one with an appetizer or salad. They were quite tasty and thought they would make great lunches the next day; but alas, they don’t hold up too well in the fridge . Not the restaurant’s fault, just a warning if you don’t have a huge appetite. Sunday brunch also features $8 bottomless Mimosas. Great way to sit at the bar and watch football. We will definitely go back for another visit.

    • Jeremiah

      October 10, 2013 at 7:22 am

      Thanks, Phil. Sounds great. I was thinking of trying the brunch too. For a small franchise, its really not a bad place at all! Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>