With a modern twist on classic Italian cuisine, Tino’s Italian Kitchen is a one-of-a-kind, fast-casual restaurant in the Mahoning Valley. Located in the Niles Park Plaza, Tino’s Italian Kitchen uses fresh, homemade ingredients to create a unique experience for customers by allowing them to customize their own salad and pasta bowls. They utilize owner Stantino “Tino” Guerrieri’s family recipes that have been passed down for generations.

While Tino’s Italian Kitchen may be Guerrieri’s first restaurant, he is no stranger to the restaurant industry. At about twelve years old, Guerrieri’s family opened their own restaurant in Boardman. “I started working there as a busboy,” Guerrieri said, “and then just sorta fell in love with it.” 

Guerrieri then went on to open a hot dog cart while attending college after seeing the nightlife scene. When Guerrieri returned to Youngstown after completing his degree, he continued running his hot dog cart in Downtown Youngstown until finally gaining the opportunity to open his own restaurant.

What makes Tino’s Italian Kitchen so special is the choice to create your own salad or pasta bowl, or choose a pre-picked option from the menu. All salads and bowls are served with homemade, fresh bread that is made every morning, along with the meatballs, sauce, and other ingredients. 

There are over 3,000 different combinations of pasta bowls and over 1,000 different combinations of salads. You can also order classic Italian small plates as a starter or a side, such as hot peppers in oil or wedding soup. On Friday’s, Tino’s offers a variety of seafood dishes on its Friday Only specials menu.

When asked what experience Guerrieri wanted to create for his customers, he said, “We want people to walk in and familiarize themselves with old fashioned cooking, because we’re getting away from that.” He also mentions that many customers walk into the restaurant and feel nostalgic, as the smells in Tino’s Italian Kitchen take them back to family dinners on Sundays, or like their grandma’s house.

It’s important to Guerrieri to keep the values of his family alive through the food they serve, and hopes that the food at Tino’s Italian Kitchen will inspire customers to do the same with their own family recipes. Tino’s Italian Kitchen prides themselves on putting everything they have into the food they make, and everything is homemade. Homemade food with family recipes is a rarity in the fast-casual restaurant industry, but Tino’s Italian Kitchen is a hidden gem for those that love authentic Italian cuisine without having to make it themselves, or wait at a restaurant.