Italian River Restaurant Features Traditional Favorites

WARREN, Ohio – The area’s newest Italian restaurant features a traditional menu and a comfortable dining room that can accommodate families and large groups.

Italian River restaurant opened about a month ago at 1556 River Road NE. Owners Pablo Martinez and Jose Garcia are the owners of Italian River. Martinez is also the owner of El Jalapeno Mexican restaurant in Niles.

They transformed the interior of the building, which formerly housed the River Road Tavern, to give it a cozier atmosphere that is inviting to families and groups. A wall and greeting station was added that splits the formerly open room into a dining area and a bar area.

The bar was made smaller and booths were added on both the bar and dining sides.

Garcia is the manager of Italian River. He is a 15-year veteran of the Mahoning Valley restaurant scene who most recently worked at an Olive Garden. The goal of Italian River is to offer a new place to experience traditional Italian food, Garcia said, and the public has taken notice.

“We have had an overwhelming response,” he said.

Italian River staff officially cut the ribbon on the new restaurant Monday.

Opening during a pandemic is difficult, Garcia acknowledged, “but people here are community-oriented and we are doing everything we can to keep it safe for everybody.”

The menu at Italian River carries all of the time-tested Mahoning Valley favorites. Chicken comes in several styles: parmigiana, marsala, Francaise, cacciatore and alfredo.

Lasagna, baked ziti, manicotti and baked gnocchi complement the traditional pasta dishes, which can be had with tomato or vodka cream sauces. Italian River has a variety of salmon, shrimp, crab and shellfish dishes, as well as veal, steaks and prime rib.

Specialties include Seafood di Mare, a mix of calamari, mussels, clams, shrimp and scallops sautéed in garlic win sauce and served over linguine.

River’s Crab Chicken starts with a chicken breast and adds alfredo sauce, crab meet and asparagus, served over angel hair pasta.

Cavatelli New Orleans is kicked up with a spicy Cajun cream sauce.

Italian River also offers pizza and calzone; a lunch menu with burgers, subs and wraps; desserts, including tiramisu; and popular Italian appetizers, including Italian greens, fried calamari, shrimp scampi bruschetta, stuffed hot peppers and stuffed mushrooms with shrimp.

There are also soups, salads, a children’s menu and a full bar that features flavored margaritas, classic cocktails and sangria.

Italian River employs 13 and has a seating capacity of 70 to 80, with another 20 seats on its patio, when weather permits.

The restaurant is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Pictured at top: Manager Jose Garcia behind the bar at Italian River restaurant in Warren.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.