Cafe 422 in Warren has been a landmark restaurant since 1939. Featuring delicious specials and authentic Italian dishes, Cafe 422 is one of Youngstown’s dinner destinations. A luxurious lounge and friendly staff, as well as an extensive wine selection keep guests returning to this traditional Italian hotspot.
Cafe 422 in Warren also has banquet rooms that are ideal for any special occasion.
Cafe 422 in Boardman, Ohio is the second location of the famous Cafe 422, located in Niles, Ohio. Open since 1939, Cafe 422 offers guests a luxurious atmosphere, traditional Italian dishes and full wine service.
Cafe 422 in Boardman also has a beautiful 180 person banquet room equipped with a built in bar, perfect for any special occasion!
8586 South Ave., Boardman, OH 44512
4422 Youngstown Rd. SE, Warren, OH 44484
Cafe 422 was started by two friends, Guerino Abruzzi and Orazio Rossi in 1939, tradition continues today, thanks to owner, Serdar Dede. With the continued popularity of the Warren landmark, Dede recently opened a second location on South Avenue in Boardman which is where I was invited today.
Manager, Kathleen Fabian greeted me and quickly seated me in the dining room. The restaurant is newly remodeled, gorgeous from one end to the other. A wall of wine in the lobby opens to the contemporary dining room. Light, natural wood tables, comfortable chairs, and an assortment of high backed booths. There is additional sitting in and around the bar as well as a beautiful patio to dine al fresco on those warm summer evenings.
According to Kathleen, the 3rd Thursday of the Month is a special “tasting night”. A special menu featuring good food and good drinks. You might want to make a reservation for these,seating fills up quickly. Lunch specials change monthly and the menus for both lunch and dinner have everything from appetizers and salads, sandwiches and steaks and seafood and pasta.
I meet the man behind it all. Serdar joined me and told me about his love for food and cooking. Born in Turkey, he’s worked his way up the restaurants ranks in Turkey, Chicago and now here in the Valley. He’s passionate about his restaurants, his staff, his customers. “I love what I do”, he says, but I knew that within minutes of us talking. He truly speaks from his heart.
He’s excited about the food and I’m excited try it. I leave the choices up to him so he insists I start with the peppers. Peppers, as in Cafe 422’s Famous Hot Peppers in Oil. Serdar tells me every fall they can 15,000 quarts! Now that’s a lot of peppers. Within minutes a big bowl of peppers and thick slices of fresh, homemade bread are placed before me. The bread is made daily, it’s light, airy and delicious. I can smell the garlic in the peppers and my mouth begins to water. They leave the seeds in to kick up the heat which is fine by me because I like them hot. One bite and I couldn’t stop. I ate half the bowl. A definite must order any time of day. Add a cold beer and you’ve got a meal.
Serdar headed back to the kitchen to get Chef Mourad Messai started on my next course. Little did I know there were many, many courses to follow. I had people bringing plates to my table from all corners of the room. I was definitely getting the royal treatment and I managed to taste everything and most things I double, even triple tasted. As one dish was taken away, another came right behind. I reluctantly allowed them to remove the peppers, knowing I could’ve eaten the entire bowl and another slice of bread, so they could bring out one after another of the following dishes.
Caprese Salad. This dish is fresh and lovely. Fresh mozzarella on top of ripe, red tomato slices. Both the same thickness giving you an equal taste of both working harmoniously with the fresh chiffonade of basil dressed in a sweet balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Beautiful colors, the smell of fresh basil and a perfect bite. A dish that will tease all your senses.
Staying with the appetizers. Out came two great, unique choices. Wood Fired Roasted Garlic with toasted baguette topped with shaved parmesan served on a wood paddle and the Shrimp Bruschetta. I reached for a baguette and smashed a few cloves of the garlic on top. The garlic is sweet, the baguette is crisp and you get this smokiness aroma and taste that I love. The Shrimp Bruschetta was just as amazing. Three thick slices of a baguette are toasted. Topped and stacked high with leeks, white beans, hummus, truffle oil, a lemon basil aioli and jumbo shrimp. This is a bite of heaven. The baguette is crisp on the edges but soft in the center. The perfect hint of lemon in that creamy aioli. Both delicious.
Moving onto the main attraction. Or should I say attractions. We begin with a Rack of Lamb cut lollipop style, medium rare and crusted with a blend of spices. The lamb will melt in your mouth and is delicious just as is, but take a dip in the Mint Lemon Aioli and my first thought, WOW! As I brought a bite to my mouth I could smell the lemon mint combination which is so light. The lamb is so tender and seasoned perfectly. Serdar mentioned that he loves lamb and with one bite I might have to agree with him. I love lamb too.
If you can’t decide between seafood and pasta the next dish is for you. Shrimp Marinara. Angel hair pasta dressed in a light marinara sauce thats blended with a light wine. Add chopped garlic, fresh clams and jumbo shrimp and you’ve got a dish that is sure to please. Another dish with ingredients that are perfectly blended. I would definitely order this dish again.
Something a bit lighter but equally delicious is the Crab Stuffed Orange Roughy. Tons of crab meat under a flaky filet topped with mozzarella cheese. It’s then drizzled with a light lemon sauce and a sprinkle of parsley. Every dish is just as good as the next. I don’t think there’s a wrong choice here. Everything is amazing.
Steak lovers out there, listen to me. You must come to Cafe 422. I would’ve been thrilled to try one, two would’ve been over the top. Not today. Serdar blessed me with three different cuts to try. Sigh. Thank you.
Filet Pizzaiola, a Char Rib Steak and a favorite of all beef lovers, Slow Roasted Prime Rib.
The Filet Pizzaiola is an 8oz. perfectly cooked filet that is cut in two and stacked on a toasted baguette. It’s topped with roasted red peppers, mushrooms and dressed in a red wine demi-glace. The meat is fork tender and the rich sauce is packed with flavor. A lot goes into this dish and I truly appreciated that with every bite.
The Char Rib Steak I think was my favorite of the three. A nice dry rub is put on the big, 18 oz. that gives it a sizzling crust, that is bursting with flavor while sealing in all the juices of this thick cut. This one is for the hungry diner and trust me, you’re going to love every single bite.
One more dish from the grill and a customer favorite I’m sure. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like Prime Rib. Cafe 422 will put a smile on your face with this one. A 12 or 16 oz. Slow Roasted Prime Rib that is fork tender and served with au jus. Order this and there will be nothing left on the plate. This is where that last piece of homemade bread will come in handy.
There’s always room for dessert right? Seriously, when you have an amazing chef is it possible to have good desserts? Kathleen brings me a beautiful Tiramisu and she’s smiling. Does she know something I haven’t learned yet? She says, “you have to have the tiramisu. It’s got caramel and chocolate.” Fork please. Wow! Wow! Wow! The best tiramisu that I’ve ever eaten. Layer after layer of sweet, creamy smooth, chocolately goodness topped with a fresh berry. I did say creamy right? One of the servers was clearing a table behind me as I took a bite. “I’m jealous,” he said. I said “it is so good. Grab a fork and join me.” He politely declined. I asked him with food this good how could you have great desserts. His answer, “we have a great chef and a great pastry chef.” Lucky me, I ate half of it and took the rest home for my bedtime snack along with a box of leftovers fit for a queen, a quart of those amazing hot peppers and a loaf of fresh bread.
This is what good food is. Classic dishes seasoned and cooked to perfection. All the flavors blend so perfectly. There is nothing that overwhelms. Every ingredient is subtle and you taste one after another clearly defining the role each plays in every dish. The portions are large and the plating is done to perfection. Your eyes will tell you how good this is going to be. Your nose will tell you how good this is going to be. One bite and your mouth will tell you “How good is this!”
There are some really good restaurants in the Valley but I think I’ve found my new favorite restaurant. Cafe 422. The food is better than good, the staff is friendly and pleasant and Serdar was a pleasure to talk with. I may never cook again but I will definitely eat again. Serdar’s calling is food and his food is calling me. See you at Cafe 422. It’s so good, they have to have two locations!