Mazzi's has been one Eugene's landmark Italian dining places for over 30 years. Entering the restaurant on East Amazon Drive off Hilyard Street is like a trip back in time -- sometimes I feel like it's a cross between a tiny traditional neighborhood joint in Little Italy and a bohemian 1960s coffee house in Berkeley. There are two or three fireplaces inside -- and all the requisite red and white checked tablecloths.
Mazzi's has a strong commitment to use local and organic produce when available. They make fantastic bread, calzone & pizza crust, so it's a shame not to try some of that while you are there! Minestrone soup (which, I believe, is vegetarian) and a green salad with some of that delicious bread...heaven! They also make pasta of all types in-house, including ravioli, fettucini and lasagne. The Italian sausage is also made for the restaurant. You'll find everything from pizza to spaghetti and meatballs to poultry and veal dishes on the menu. Fillings and toppings run from basic marinara to almost-too-rich cream and cheese. And how about a peanut butter & jelly pizza -- I know that used to be on the menu a long time ago, did it get taken off?
Weekly specials are often good choices. They usually feature fresh fish and at least one special vegetarian option. Seafood lovers beware: sometimes the fish is too well cooked. High end dinner is in the $16 range without drink or tip. Pizza between $8 for an individual and $20 for a large.
Mazzi's does have space to book parties in two semi-private areas. Service for those events can be uneven, and while they say the restaurant can accomodate 45 it may be a tight fit (depending on the size of your friends....) Also be wary of dropping by on game day -- this is a popular spot for people to gather after football, and the wait to eat can be lengthy. Reservations are taken for groups of 8 or more. They are open for lunch M-F (11:30 am to 2pm), and for dinner beginning at 5pm every night. Mazzi's seems to close early (I think at 9:30pm.)
PS - Cheesecake lovers will be happy with dessert -- it's very good. They also have tiramisu, plain old ice cream and spumon