Food

The Moro the Merrier

Moro’s Kitchen provides a unique spin on Italian cooking

Moro’s Kitchen isn’t your ordinary Central New York Italian restaurant.

Sure, you’ll find meatballs and red sauce and pasta and polenta. Those traditional favorites, inspired by the classic home cooking of Italian mothers and grandmothers, are taken in a fresh new direction by executive chef Ed Moro. You’ll also find special appetizers like an Italian take on foie gras with figs and balsamic strawberries, and tuna crudo (raw fish, Italian style) with olives and capers.

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Moro’s Italian Kitchen, sister restaurant of Moro’s Table in Auburn, is making and selling a lot of pasta: pappardelle, ravioli, rigatoni, spaghetti, agnoletti, you name it. Yet beef, pork, veal, poultry and fish and seafood get their due, too.

“It’s a really food-driven restaurant, but upscale casual,’’ says Moro, co-owner of both restaurants with his wife, Beth. “We want people to come and have a good time.

“We’re Italian, but a lighter, more modern style,’’ Moro says of the casual, flexible menu. Breads and desserts are made in-house. Enjoy a glass or two of wine at the bar and share a platter of cured meats and cheeses or an order of zucchini and roasted pepper bruschetta. Or order a more formal dinner, with entrees, side dishes or a plate of pasta to share.

Just be sure to make a reservation. Moro says the Italian Kitchen has been doing a brisk dinner business, and that lunch has been slower to catch on. Part of that, he says, probably stems from the fact that Moro’s Table is open for dinner only. Heading into fall, Moro’s Italian Kitchen will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays for lunch and dinner, and closed Sundays and Mondays.

The new restaurant is a re-imagining of the space formerly occupied by Garage Eatz and Joe’s Pasta Garage, on Fennell Street. The Moros have completely remodeled the space, adding a small, marble-top bar and giving the dining room a bright, sleek look.

If you’re after an espresso, cappuccino, latte or something sweet, like gelato, sorbeto, cannoli, tiramisu or olive oil cake madeleines, don’t miss Moro’s Dolce. This sweet spot, at the back of the restaurant, is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Gelato flavors change regularly, and have included pistachio, coconut, salted caramel and stracciatella. Oreo cookie was a big hit with kids.

Moro credits his dedicated staff, including chef de cuisine Max Hitchcock and chef de cuisine Allyson Ciampi (at Moro’s Table) with easing the transition and helping him and Beth juggle the demands of two restaurants. “We couldn’t do it without them,’’ he says.

Moro’s Kitchen is at 28 Jordan St., Skaneateles. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The menu is available for takeout. Occupying its own space in the restaurant is Moro’s Dolce, offering coffee, espresso drinks, house-made gelato and sorbeto, cannoli and more. Hours for Moro’s Dolce are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. For information and reservations, call 685-6116 or visit www.moroskitchen.com.

Margaret McCormick is a freelance writer and editor in Syracuse. She blogs about food at eatfirst.typepad.com. Follow her on Twitter, connect on Facebook or email her at mmccormicksnt@gmail.com.

Header photo: Thinkstock image

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