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Luigi’s serves familiar fare at its new location

By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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When longtime local restaurant owner Terri Galli decided to move her eatery, she also decided to give it a make-over. Luigi’s Little Italy Italian restaurant in Downtown Auburn now has a new location, a new name and a new format. Galli has renamed the eatery Luigi’s Pastaria, and adopted a more casual approach to dining. “It is counter service now,” Galli said. “We take your order at the counter.” There are plenty of tables for eat-in dining or customers can opt for take-out service, including family packs for diners on the go. Galli said she made the change in response to tougher economic times. “It makes it a more affordable place for people to dine on a regular basis,” she said. Menu-wise, the entrees are gone and the focus is on pasta and lighter fare. But the recipes are similar and many are the same, she said. “We have everyone’s favorite pastas, salads, sandwiches and garlic fries,” Galli said. That includes the popular chicken pesto and eggplant parmesan sandwiches. There’s also the familiar minestrone soup as well as another very popular dish. “We have cioppino every day now,” Galli said. “It’s a permanent fixture. It was a huge request item.” Visitors will find familiar faces, too. “All of our cooks and staff are here with us,” Galli said. Teri and her husband, Lou — who passed away in 2007 — moved Luigi’s to Downtown Auburn from Grass Valley in the mid 1990s. After 12 years at the Lincoln Way location, Galli decided to make the move after she was unable to negotiate suitable terms in a new lease, she said. The new site is just a block away, on Harrison Street near the post office. Neighbors in the Harrison Avenue center have warmly welcomed the eatery. At the Liquor Outlet, Tomi Kiddoo, daughter of center owner Pete Aroz Sr,, said she has eaten at the restaurant since it first opened in Auburn. “I love having the food close by,” she said Wednesday. “My dad was good friends with Lou Galli.” But she doesn’t have any specific favorite dish. “It’s Italian food,” she said. “You can’t go wrong. It’s just good food.” Luigi’s was closed for about five weeks during the transition and remodeling of the new location. It reopened Oct. 14. The Journal’s Gloria Young can be reached at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com or comment at Auburnjournal.com.