vito’s italian grill

About four years ago, a man named Clyde Mart owned Vito’s in Aurora and chef Keoko Turner was running the kitchen. Through a mutual friend, Clyde asked me to help with his publicity and Jamie with some creative work (we both work in PR and advertising). After meeting with them both and sampling just about everything on Keoko’s new menu, we quickly and happily agreed to freelance for them. Keoko was (is) a very talented chef and impressed us both, especially with his braised short ribs, of which we compare everything to.

Sadly, Keoko moved to Atlanta and Clyde sold the restaurant. The new owner turned it back into more of a family Italian eatery.

We haven’t been back to Vito’s since the change until 6 or so months ago. While out running errands, we decided to stop in and see what has become of the place. Jamie had a pizza and I had the eggplant parm. I didn’t care for the eggplant (too greasy and a bit overcooked), but his pizza was really quite good.

On Friday night, we decided to pack up the baby and head back to Vito’s for a pizza. We started off sharing a salad (it’s really plenty for two), with a really good balsamic and shallot dressing, and a large pizza, half pepperoni (Jamie) and half prosciutto (me).

I wouldn’t award Vito’s as having the best pizza in town, but it is pretty good. The thicker crust is slightly chewy and the sauce a bit sweet but tasty. The prosciutto was perfect.

The atmosphere and service is great, too. It’s what you might imagine a small family Italian place to be – quaint and cozy with plenty of Italian artifacts sprinkled throughout.

While I haven’t tried anything on the menu aside from the pizza and eggplant, I can only assume the other items must be good because the place is always packed (or that others aren’t as picky about Italian food as I am). When we got there on Friday around 6ish, we had to sit upstairs because the downstairs was packed with reservations.

Even though Keoko is long gone, we like it there. It’s a nice place to go for a pizza, especially now that we have a little one.

5 Comments

  1. Naomi
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    We really like Vito’s, especially when they have live music!

  2. Wendy
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    We had a terrible experience there with our kids one night. Just about everything we ordered was loaded with raw garlic (and I love garlic). Cafe Toscano is a better option in Aurora for Italian, although I’m a little biased, since my husband is a chef there . . .

  3. Stuart
    Posted January 25, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Did you ever try any of his confections from the farmers’ market? I think they’re working towards opening something of their own in the confection space. I’d rather see him in a restaurant kitchen whether it’s his restaurant or not. I never tasted his food but it’s always nice to hear about a new venture from a good chef and there’s a limit to the chocolate that one person can eat.

  4. Kelly and José
    Posted January 30, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    My family loves Vito’s — and, I love how generous they are with their wine pours ;)

    However, if you are craving a superb Eggplant Parm entree (along with a lovely side salad) — Cafe Tuscano is definitely the place to get it. Not to mention, the portion is so big that you will have leftovers for the next day or so!

    Wendy – your husband truly is a wonderful cook*

    -Kelly

  5. Anonymous
    Posted February 9, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Great food. Love the guitar music throughout dinner. Romantic,different from other places in town.

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