Add Aurora’s Café Toscano to the growing list of worthy suburban restaurants. The 60-seat trattoria, inside a former Arabica coffeehouse, opened quietly on December 6, with a mouthwatering menu of “authentic Italian” fare.
If nothing else, this is a restaurant that could probably succeed on savvy, alone. Long-time restaurateur Carl Quagliata (Ristorante Giovanni’s, and the former Piccolo Mondo) is an owner; veteran front-of-the-house man Michael Yih (Three Birds, Red the Steakhouse, and most recently Lola) oversees day-to-day operations; and in the kitchen, Gaetano Ricci, an Italian native raised near Rome, handles the large menu, where the options range from salads ($7 to $8) and antipasti ($12) to a 14-ounce, dry-aged New York strip steak ($29), pork osso buco ($24), and pappardelle with wild-boar Bolognese ($19). Pizzas are in the plans, too, as soon as the equipment becomes available.
To go with all this goodness, Yih says he is assembling a reasonably priced wine list that he calls “Forty under $40,” with a nice balance of both familiar and boutique labels. Not surprisingly, the slant is toward Italian vineyards.
Café Toscano is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday, and dinner, only, on Sunday. The restaurant is closed Mondays. Find them at 215 W. Garfield Rd., 330-995-2333; a website is still under construction. --- Elaine T. Cicora