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Friday, June 24, 2011

Presti's Cafe and Deli - Littly Italy

Presti's is one of those places we go to every time we are in Little Italy.  It doesn't matter how full we are or how late at night it is, we always get a dessert and an espresso.  This time we were with 4 other people so there were lots of desserts.  I was waiting at the counter for all the goodies and everyone else started eating so sorry for the half eaten pics!  We also got some thumb print cookies but the picture didn't turn out.  This first one had cream and strawberries, I don't remember what it was called.  Everyone liked everything!
I love their tiramisu, TBG thinks its the best around.
Half eaten cream puff
Espresso with hazelnut syrup

Presti's also has food, but we have never gotten it.  The service can be a little slow if they are busy.  The counters get crowded and it's hard to tell who needs help.  Sometimes they have gelato which is pretty good.  We usually get that when they have it.  I like the atmosphere, the front is all windows so you can sit and watch the streets of Little Italy while you sip your espresso.  The prices are pretty average for a bakery.  They have a large stock of Italian desserts, breads and coffees. 

Service____ 8 Chipps
Food____9 Chipps
Atmosphere____8 Chipps
Beer List____0 Chipps
Wine List____0 Chipps
Value____7 Chipps

Presti's Café and Deli on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Valerio's - Little Italy

Calamari and stuffed pepper app
TBG and I love Little Italy.  We went to Valerio's with my family and had a great time.  We started with a bottle of wine.  Then we ordered the stuffed pepper and calamari appetizers.  Both were spicy and good.  The calamari was cooked perfectly.  The calamari was tender and both tasted fresh and handmade.  The sausage tasted high quality.  The spicy red sauce was great with the bread.  Some people at the table got the house salad.  It was mixed greens and a nice red tomato with a balsamic dressing.  Very tasty and also fresh.  Next the meals came out.  The first one was a spaghetti ai frutti di mare, which had scallops, clams, shrimp and mussels with a white wine garlic sauce.  The next entree was a lobster tortolloni, it had large pieces of lobster on top.  This was our least favorite dish.  It did not taste like it was made there.  The next entree was the osso bucco.  It was a large veal shank with roasted red pepper risotto.  This dish was our favorite dish of the night.  The veal was tender and tasty, the risotto properly cooked and seasoned.  Of course TBG liked the bone marrow and even got my brother to enjoy it as well.  The last dish was a portobello ravioli.  It was good, the cream sauce was a little rich but most people seemed to like it.  The portions were huge.  We even brought some food home.  Throughout the night we also consumed 2 bottle of red wine.  The selection seemed good but I was unfamiliar with some of the types of Italian wine.  They had equal amounts of red and white and most were around $40/bottle.  The server was awesome.  He is from Sorrento and was helpful, knowledgeable, and did not hurry us.  The atmosphere was modern Italian.  It was very clean and very cozy with large pictures of Italy on all the walls and columns.  The bar is small, but most people come to mangia anyway.  The prices were more on the expensive side, but the food quality was good, and portions were large.  

Service____ 9 Chipps
Food____9 Chipps
Atmosphere____8 Chipps
Beer List____3 Chipps
Wine List____8 Chipps
Value____8 Chipps

Valerio's Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sugo Modern Italian Bistro - Cuyahoga Falls

Confit Chicken wings.  We ate 3 before I remembered to take a pic!

Sugo has only been open a few months and you can tell.  Maybe this isn't a good way to start a post for a resturant that I really enjoyed, but it wasn't what I expected.  The outside is offputting.  It does not look like a nice Modern Italian resturant.  I have faith that will change as they establish themselves as a great resturant.  There is already a small grape vine growning from a pot near the door.  Inside is a little better.  They have painted and hung some cool pictures.  There were a lot of tables and a long bar in the small resturant.  We went on a Wednesday which is retail wine night.  The wine list is not that impressive and I did not think it was cheap for a retail wine night.  We had trouble picking which wine we wanted so the waitress let us sample a couple.  We finally decided on a somewhat dry red.  But...Lets move on to the food!  We could not decide what to get to start because everything sounded good.  The waitress suggested the Confit Chicken Wings.  They were very tasty.  The texture was great, and they were moist.  The menu says they are tossed in "angry" chili sauce.  We did not think they were spicy at all.  The gorgonzola dipping sauce was not needed, but also tasted good.  TBG ordered the Osso Bucco which came as two courses.  The first (which is the whole reason he ordered it) was a plate of bone marrow with bread, fig jam, and a pickled vegetable mix.  He loved it.  There was more sides than he really needed for the bread, but still good.  Then came our bread.  The olive oil and seasonings were awesome.  The bread was fresh and light.  I don't always eat the bread because it fills me up, but it was good.  I wish we had more time to enjoy this course before our entrees came out, but then I probably wouldn't have been able to eat ANY of my entree.  The rest of TBGs meal was veal over risotto.  I felt the risotto was slightly overcooked, but I'm probably a risotto snob.  The veal was good.  I ordered the Braciole.  I again had to ask the waitress because so many things sounded good.  She said the Braciole was the most popular so I went with that.  Let me just tell you, I hated this dish.  Hated it because I couldn't eat more!  Usually I am ok with eating a few bites, enjoying the flavors, then letting TBG finish it off.  We both walked out stuffed AND with a doggy bag of Braciole.  This dish consisted of two huge pieces of filet mingon stuffed with italian sausage cooked in sauce served over gnocchi.  I loved the sauce.  It had just enough sausage flavor to it and the gnoochi were cooked perfect.  The service was good.  I expected rookie service since they have only been open about three months, but she was very knowledgeable about the menu and very helpful when we needed her to be.  The food came out in reasonable amounts of time.  There were not many people in the resturant, so at times we may have gotten our food too fast, but that's ok.  The prices were reasonable.  I was surprised by the amount of food we got.  They also have a bar menu of sandwiches which I would love to try. 


Osso Bucco

Sugo Modern Italian Bistro on Urbanspoon

Service____ 8 Chipps
Food____9 Chipps
Atmosphere____6 Chipps
Beer List____5 Chipps
Wine List____5 Chipps
Value____8 Chipps

Friday, June 3, 2011

Flip Side - Hudson


As soon as TBG and I walked in the door we felt at home.  The decor was perfect for the meal we were expecting.  The beer list was good (even to his standards!).  We both got draft beers and they came in the proper glasses.  The whole place is smaller than I expected, but we didn't have to wait for a table.  We were there at dinner time on Memorial Day weekend so I actually expected a wait.  I ordered the Shawn Burger.  It came with a fried egg (perfectly gooey), carmalized onions, bacon (perfectly cooked, not chewy), spicy pickles (awesome!), and provolone cheese on a fresh bun.  The burger was cooked nicely and the whole thing was wonderful and very messy!  TBG got the Curry Lamb Burger which I actually liked better than mine.  It was fresh tasting with a curry yogurt sauce and cucumber slaw on top.  The burgers do not come with anything so we got an order of Mikey Fries which have truffle oil and Grana Pandana cheese on top.  They were very good.  I like my fries crispy and these were perfect.  Next time we would have to get an order each!  There are plenty of other things on the menu I would love to try.  The menu included a variety of meats to put on a sandwich including vegitarian.  The prices were reasonable for such quality food.  The service was good until the end.  A large party came in and there were only 2 waiters for the whole place.  We weren't in a hurry so we did not care, but it could have been an issue on such a busy weekend. 

Service____ 8 Chipps
Food____8 Chipps
Atmosphere____9 Chipps
Beer List____8 Chipps
Wine List____5 Chipps
Value____8 Chipps

Flip Side on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Eye Opener - Akron

The Eye Opener is not just a normal breakfast place.  They have twists on traditional breakfast items like the PB&J waffle which is what I usually get at lunch time.  It is a Belgium waffle with a peanut butter sauce and locally made jelly.  I always pick the mango habenaro which is wonderful.  I have even bought a whole jar and brought it home.  TBG likes it too.  They do have sandwiches for lunch, but I like breakfast so much!  TBG got the Ribeye round up.  He liked it and said it tasted fresh.  The chips are homemade.  The atmosphere is bright and clean with old pictures of Akron all around.  The service is usually a little slow, but the last time was perfect for a half hour work lunch.  The price is pretty good for what you get.

Service____ 7 Chipps
Food____7 Chipps
Atmosphere____7 Chipps
Beer List____0 Chipps
Wine List____0 Chipps
Value____8 Chipps

The Eye Opener on Urbanspoon