HOLIDAY BREAD LOTTERY BRINGS BUSINESS TO LOCAL RESTAURANT
Playing the fates and testing your luck doesn’t have to involve harshly-lit nights and 20 dollars down the slot machine at some casino.
It can be much more delicious.
Until December 31, Moni’s Pizza and Pasta is having their Second Annual Great Holiday Bread Lottery — a luck of the draw of tasty, unrivaled proportions.
“I saw a middle-aged man excitedly burn his finger by clawing into the hot bread brought to his table to check if he had won,” shared John Foster, co-owner of Moni’s.
Chef Rachel Foster hides a piece of tortellini pasta into a roll or two when she bakes bread in the morning. The customer who finds it in their complimentary roll wins a ticket that’s redeemable at any time for two Moni’s pizzas of any size, with any toppings.
One winter, a couple got engaged over warm Moni’s rolls.
“The man asked us to hide the engagement ring in the bread so that the woman could ‘win’ lottery with the ultimate prize— him!” John said. “They have been married and come back to share meals many times.”
It’s a perfect snapshot of Moni’s identity. They’re a locally owned restaurant, focused on cooking phenomenal food, cultivating a welcoming ambiance and fostering a growing relationship with the community.
John and Rachel Foster hadn’t exactly planned on being restaurant owners when the chance to acquire a classic Italian restaurant cropped up in their path. Still, it wouldn’t be too much a detour for Rachel, who is an award-winning chef with 14 years of industry experience or John, who carries a robust entrepreneurial streak.
Moni’s in Edmond was the Oklahoman venture of Moni and his son Brett Kaba, who owned a restaurant in Dallas by the same name. After a couple years of running the Edmond branch, their family decided to migrate back to Texas.
In doing so, they were in search of local investors to take over the enterprise. The Fosters turned out to be the inheritors they were looking for. After negotiations and collaboration between the two families, Moni turned his restaurant over to the couple in 2014.
Since then, the Fosters have taken Moni’s and sculpted it almost beyond recognition.
A Little Change and A Lot of Progress
“We’re completely independent from the original Moni’s in Dallas and have made our restaurant very different as time has gone on,” said John. “Pretty much every facet of the restaurant has been upgraded in our ever vigilant quest for excellence.”
The list of changes the Fosters have made since taking over runs long: They’ve replaced frail, leather-clad tables with cherry oak tabletops and refinished chairs and booths to match. They also added artwork, good Wi-Fi, thousands of dollars in kitchen equipment, and about 15 employees.
“We increased sales by about three times and spent more money on creating a nice ambiance.” John said.
And of course, they’ve gone to great lengths in reworking the recipes and food and wine menus.
“You might as well ask a father which child is his favorite!” joked John.
He cites the spicy, garlic-y flavor of the Linguini Broccoli with Blackened Chicken as his go-to meal. Then he boasted everything from the pizza (double pepperoni, onions and sometimes jalapeños) to the Risotto di Rachel (grilled salmon with a spinach and roasted walnut risotto) and the Chicken Rollatini (chicken breast stuffed with cheese and basil served in a creamy pink sauce with mushrooms.)
Moni’s is located at 17200 N. May Ave. Visit Monisokc.com or call 405-285-5991 for more information.