ROCKTON - It took five years for the Marsili family to find the right property to make their dream of opening an authentic Italian eatery come true.
Scorchy Cafe Italiano, 202 Main St., opened on Aug. 28 and owner Jill Marsili says Stateline Area residents are welcoming the business with open arms.
"We love Rockton, we always have," Marsili said. "We like the community. We could never find the right spot, and it just so happened that it was in Rockton."
The restaurant seats 70 in its well-lit, naturally spacious dining area. Crews worked for months building an L-shape bar, converting the space from its former use as a bakery. Marsili said 24 staff make the operation run smoothly.
But what makes the place special is the menu, she said.
The restaurant features dishes based on family recipes from Jill's husband Jim's grandparents, who came to the United States in 1937 from Italy.
"It's important because I don't think you can get anything like that around here," Marsili said. "People like authentic recipes. We've traveled everywhere and we wanted something different. We like that we can offer that. We think they would be happy about it."
Marsili said early favorites include the from-scratch family recipe meatballs, the cacio e pepe, spaghetti, pecorino cheese with black pepper sauce, and the house-made minestrone.
The menu offers a range of pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, chicken, pork, fish and appetizers, with soup and salad options.
"We've had so many compliments on the place and the food," Marsili said. That makes you feel really good."
Both Jill and Jim said they were thankful for the village's response.
"They've been so helpful for us and have done whatever we needed quickly," Marsili said. "It's so different from other experiences you hear about with businesses elsewhere."
Coming soon to the restaurant will be a video gaming room. Once the gaming room is open, the bar will open at 10 a.m., she added.
Scorchy Cafe Italiano is open from 4 - 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.