This article is sponsored by our friends at Beaver County Auto in Chippewa and Rochester Manor+Villa.
Toward the end of December, we did a family lunch at Beaver County’s newest restaurant, Radici, located in downtown Monaca. I’ve been wanting to get there since it opened two days after Thanksgiving, and the long Christmas break was a perfect opportunity. Most folks will identify the building that once housed Pacentro’s, which has since relocated to Hopewell Shopping Plaza. Monaca’s downtown is in need of a serious revitalization, and Radici will go a long way in helping to bring back customers to its central business district. I asked Mancing why he chose downtown Monaca for his location. “Our county has struggled to grow for over a half century. The depressed industrial condition combined with the inability or unwillingness of leadership to encourage any kind of growth of new business has crippled our economy. That is why it has been extremely refreshing to know that Monaca is on the cutting edge of changing all that. They have a municipal government that is actively working to revitalize the downtown area and a bevy of successful small businesses already. As long as they properly encourage new business to come here we could be witness to the Monaca Renaissance.”
The inside of Radici is bright, clean, and minimal. Their menu for lunch and dinner is the exact same, and it’s broken down into six categories: appetizers, soup and salad, handmade pasta, sandwiches, beverages, and desserts. I’ve heard some great things about their baked wedding soup, so we went ahead and ordered four of them to start. The baked wedding soup was to die for. Mancing came up with the brilliant idea of using Mancini bread and parmesan cheese to top the soup, and then bake it for a few minutes. Think a crock of French onion soup, except it’s wedding. We all raved about it. And according to Mancing, it’s his best seller. Our table then ordered two egg and pepper sandwiches on a Mancini roll, and I ordered the homemade tagliolini pasta with pork Bolognese sauce. The egg and pepper sandwiches were out of this world. Mancing uses sweet and poblano peppers, seasoning, and a generous portion of scrambled eggs to make this sandwich a twist on an old classic. My pork Bolognese was very good. If you’ve ever had homemade macaroni, you can immediately tell the difference between that and store bought. Radici’s homemade macaroni, in this case tagliolini – a long, thin pasta – was plated below the Bolognese sauce. The dish was flavorful and fresh. Radici has a few other pasta dishes that look mouth-watering, such as the chicken Marsala cream and the seafood pasta, seen below. Another best seller is the chicken fettucine alfredo.
One of the most unique things about Radici is the homemade pasta. You don’t find this everywhere. It’s not Pasta Barilla. Pasta making is a labor of love. A throwback to a previous generation of Italian-Americans. Mancing makes his pasta every other day so it’s fresh for his customers. And you can tell.
Mancing’s Italian roots come from the Calabria and Abruzzo region, which makes the name “Radici” have even more meaning for his restaurant. Mancing told me, “Radici has two meanings in Italian: roots and radishes. I promise you though my restaurant is not named after radishes! It is named after roots however, because the word continues to take on serious meaning as Radici continues to grow and adapt as a restaurant. I was raised in Beaver Falls, and now I live in Daugherty Township. I raise a family here. And because I’m here, I’m blessed by being surrounded by an abundance of local small businesses and various resources that stick to their roots and truly make Radici possible. The kind of restaurant that it is – a one-of-a-kind, locally sourced and ultra-fresh Italian restaurant.”
My wish is that Radici’s menu reflect those Italian roots even more, like adding menu items such as arancini (stuffed rice ball coated with bread crumbs and fried) to the appetizer section, or cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) as a pasta dish, two things no restaurant in Beaver County currently serves. I would imagine over time, once Mancing has a few months under his belt at Radici, that the menu will change and rotate slightly.
With that being said, I think customers need to be patient with new restaurants. If you have a bad meal or experience, don’t be too quick to judge. It takes time for restaurants to be adequately staffed, find good help, and work out any kinks. Radici has only been open six weeks, and I know Mancing and his staff are trying their best to accommodate everyone.
The bottom line here is that Radici is an up and coming restaurant in Beaver County. I think you will walk away satisfied and craving more once you’ve been here.