Trattoria Toscana Enjoying Soft Opening Phase in New Gravois Road Space
Affton's cozy Italian joint made its official move to Sunset Hills this month, and owner Alban Ziu is enjoying the extra space. Chef Tika has introduced three new menu items.
For six years Trattoria Toscana, based in Affton, developed its reputation as one of the spots outside of The Hill to enjoy Italian dining (okay, it was according to Patch contributor Suzanne Corbett, but I bet several of you would agree.)
But owner Alban Ziu had a desire for more dining space. He said he’d been contemplating a move near Sunset Hills, then found an opportunity and what he called a ‘perfect space’ at 11686 Gravois Rd.
‘Perfect’ is apparently in the eye of the beholder. Their new address, which is situated just east of the Lindbergh-Gravois intersection, has hosted a slew of eating establishments—St. Louis Post-Dispatch proclaimed the space a record-holder among the city’s “recidivists for turnover.” Braswell’s 30 West Cafe, which opened this May, had already shuttered by the end of June, according to RFT’s Gut Check blog.
Ziu is aware of these previous missteps, but he thinks the space will work for his business.
“They [previous owners] didn’t know what they were doing,” he said, adding that most of the spots that occupied the space were never open for lunch.
The space upgrade allows Toscano staff to serve lunch and dinner in their main room, in addition to a private space that seats 60-80 guests, and a bar area.
Ziu also feels the restaurant is now more centrally located. He likes the visibility at the Lindbergh-Gravois intersection, and believes that clients from South County, Kirkwood, and travelers on neighboring interstates will have reason to stop by.
Ziu said they considered serving on Sundays once they opened their doors in Sunset Hills, but found that would be “too much.” Instead, Chef Tika added three signature dishes to the menu. Customers will notice the presence of an old favorite (spaghetti and homemade meatballs), Linguine alla Amy (beef tips, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, and white wine sauce with a touch of marinara sauce), and the Chicken alla Angelo (shitake mushrooms, sun-dried tomato, and prosciutto in a white wine cream sauce).
The restaurant has yet to set a grand opening date. Ziu wants his staff to get used to the new space and the new computer system. (Servers used hand-written tickets at their Affton location.)
His only complaint so far? It’s actually related to space—“The parking is better, but we need more.”