When Toscana disappeared back in September, Italian food fans in Concord were left with empty stomachs and an empty space in Todos Santos Plaza.
But the new year has brought new fare. Ravioli's Italian Market Place opened its doors Wednesday at the 2151 Salvio Street location after moving across town from Clayton Road. It left behind a legacy of rave reviews for freshness, quality and service with a smile.
The restaurant, which served two years at the Clayton Road location, offers a "fast, casual dining experience," with entrées starting at $9.99. Regulars of the old spot will notice an increase in the prices, which formerly started at $7.95 for entrées like ravioli, spaghetti or polenta dishes.
The new menu includes a number of add-ons that can add up, such as a wider choice of sauces at $3 each. Sandwiches and large salads start at $7.99, and the dishes on the "Market Place Favorites" menu range from $12.99 to $17.99. Pizza starts at $11.95 and the calzones are $15.95.
But the prices are still generally cheaper than Toscana's menu, which ranged from $13 to $22 for a main dish.
Ravioli's is owned by Ernie Campora and his mother Carol Rackel, who have roots in Calabria in Southern Italy. Campora says that business was booming over on Clayton Road and that Ravioli's outgrew the location.
The new restaurant is bright and spacious, with a large patio ready for the warmer seasons. There are five beers on tap — Lagunitas IPA, Coors Light, Blue Moon, Duvel and Peroni — priced at $4 to $7. Opening hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
Ravioli's Italian Market Place has a "really nice customer following," said Campora back in September, adding that he is optimistic about the restaurant's future in the plaza.
On opening day, the whole family showed up to help out in the kitchen, including Campora's daughter — a little girl with a fishtail braid, proudly wearing a "Ravioli's" t-shirt.
Have you tried Ravioli's Italian Market Place? Share your review in the comments.