33 West New York St., Aurora, IL 60506
Phone: (630) 375-0426
Wed-Thu: 5pm-11pm (kitchen closes 9pm)
Fri-Sat: 5pm-2am (kitchen closes 10pm)
DAILY HERALD REVIEW
33 West Trattoria makes the most of its Italian inspiration
Izidora Angel | Daily Herald Correspondent Review
The classic “trattoria” falls in the middle ground of the dining spectrum - definitely not haute cuisine, though not exactly informal either. But the concept of that middle ground doesn’t begin to do justice to what Chef Amaury Rosado aims for, and achieves, with his new 33 West Trattoria.
Foodies will know Rosado from his other, rather haute, French-centric Naperville establishment called Chef Amaury’s Epicurean Affair, which features five-course dining and is only open on Friday and Saturday nights. Thus, it would seem that 33 West Trattoria, a six-day-a-week operation with lunch and dinner in the heart of Aurora’s downtown, is Rosado’s attempt at going mainstream. As with anything involving Rosado, however, even mainstream has a special touch.
Basking in the lights of the nearby casino, 33 West Trattoria sits among other newish restaurants on the bank of the rather picturesque Fox River. The space it resides in possesses many loft-like qualities, accented with cherry red hardwood floors and bar stools and abstract canvasses on the exposed brick walls.
Rosado isn’t going for authentic Italian, but rather Italian-inspired, which the locally sourced meats and produce (as opposed to imported) indicate. Exceptions to this are the wine and beer selections, the former being dominated by Italian harvests, and the latter arriving in small batches from areas as varied as Italy (Moretti La Rossa) and Oregon (Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale).
The dinner menu is contained on a single page, with a handful of dishes in each category.
Among the starters, a cheese, prosciutto and salami plate included highlights such as a coffee-rubbed Asiago, an aromatic, almost transparent saprossata and a soft, pink prosciutto.
The single soup on the menu - a very tantalizing cannellini bean - was out for the night, so we went instead with an arugula salad, which consisted of plump cherry tomatoes, snowflakes of mozzarella, pine nuts and perhaps a splash too much of balsamic vinaigrette.
Pasta choices featured ravioli, spaghetti and fettuccine, and at the recommendation of our server, we went with the ravioli. Word got back to us that they had to make it right there on the spot from scratch (this included crafting the dough for the ravioli itself), since the last portion had already been served. What we got was a half-dozen fluffy pillows of just-made, doughy ravioli with sunchoke, ricotta and sun-dried tomato filling drifting in a delicious fennel and herb broth, with a swirl of fava bean purée on top.
The meat selection offered such selections as a bone-in, apple balsamic-glazed pork chop and a Black Angus filet mignon, but we sided with the fish: a pan-fried, solidly flaky parmesan-crusted cod next to a mound of the richest, most flavorful polenta we have ever tasted. It was all rounded out by a silky caper cream sauce.
The dessert chef herself came out to make sure we were enjoying her celebration-worthy rendition of tiramisu, while the smooth El Rey dark chocolate cream got lightened up by an artful stroke of raspberry coulis.
Your average trattoria this is not: It’s nice to see a place that reinvents mainstream with charisma and style.