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Monday, October 31, 2011

Isaly's II - Stow

 Isaly's is hidden away behind CVS on 59 in Stow. It is not huge inside, but is bigger than a lot of breakfast places around here.  The kitchen is open so you can watch your food being made.  The atmosphere is average, I like the open kitchen and the old knick-knacks, but some could use dusted.  The black and white tile floor makes it feel a littly like a 50's diner. The coffee is very good, they have a grinder sitting next to the coffee maker behind the counter.  I ordered the breakfast sandwich, one of my own staples to make at home.  This bagel was perfectly cooked and did not have the waxy texture some bagels have on the top.  The bacon was cooked perfect, not chewy or too crispy.  The egg probably could have been runnier, but all in all I was impressed with the sandwich.  TBG got an omelet with hashbrowns and sausage gravy.  The hashbrowns were good.  TBG said it would be good after a night of drinking.  The service was great, but they were not busy.  The prices are reasonable.  The food is good quality.  I would recommend going if you live close.

Service____ 6 Chipps
Food____6 Chipps
Atmosphere____6 Chipps
Beer List____0 Chipps
Wine List____0 Chipps
Value____7 Chipps

Isaly's II on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gervasi Vineyard & Italian Bistro - Canton

Ever since this place opened about a year ago I have heard great things.  I also heard it was expensive and since The Big Guy and I do not care much for Ohio wine, we had been putting it off.  Finally we went on a double date with my brother and all 4 of us loved it.  First off, the place is huge.  I did not get any pics of the outside, but did steal the picture below from their website.  There are two buildings from the parking lot, one is the Marketplace, the second and largest is the restaurant.  We walked into the Bistro first and inside is gorgeous.  All wood inside it feels like an elegant barn with pretty ornate wood details.  The Bistro has 3 levels: The lowest opens out to the outside in the back and is below where we walked in.  It looked like mostly tables.  Half of the main floor (where we walked in) is the wine bar and associated seating.  The top level is a loft area with cool vintage chairs and couches.  All these levels are joined by a open spiral wooden staircase in the middle of the floor.  Reservations are recommended for the table seating in most of the restaurant, but we walked in at dinner time on a Sat and sat upstairs on the couches.  We got served right away and enjoyed our private little party in the loft.  We started with a red wine sampler.  The wines were better than expected.  The vines you pass as you drive up the long driveway towards the parking lot are too young to make wine.  The wines were drank were sourced from California and other places.  We chose our fave and ordered a whole bottle for the table.  The flights were not too expensive and the bottle of wine was reasonable.  There were not other wineries offered, but we did not miss it.  Next we ordered the mussel appetizer.  It was great and a pretty good size.  Some of the dishes on the menu are meant to be shared.  The prices seemed high until you realized that it was actually for two people.  The menu is changed every season to use the freshest, most seasonal ingredients.  I love this, it also gives me a reason to go back.  I want to try something every season!  We were there when it was still the summer menu.  For dinner TBG and I split the short rib dinner.  It was big enough for the both of us (surprisingly!).  The short ribs were very tender and tasty, the mashed potatoes creamy and real.  I do not normally like onions, I just stand them, but the caramelized onions in this dish were amazing.  There were a lot and I tried to get some on every bite.  We loved every bite of this meal.  Our dates got the lemon chicken pasta and the creamed lobster pasta.  Theirs were also good.  The pasta was nicely cooked, the sauces not overwhelming.  The lemon chicken was seasonally refreshing.  These were meals for one and were still pretty big.  For dessert we ordered the chocolate cakes.  It came with 4 little cakes with some ganache on top and fresh berries.  It was perfect.  It went well with the rest of our red wine and was the perfect bite of chocolate to end the meal.  The service was great.  She had to keep running up those spiral stairs and we were never left wondering where she was.  The food also came out in a timely manner, we were actually done earlier than we wanted to be.  All in all I thought the prices were reasonable.  Not something you could do every week, but the food was worth the money.  After dinner we ventured outside.  There is a piazza outside with a more casual menu and it's own bar.  There was live music out here the day we were there too.  He was pretty good.  Past that is the bocce ball courts pictured below and the lake.  To the right of that picture is villas you can rent for the night, or weekend for a romantic getaway.  To the left of the lake is the private party area.  There was a wedding going on the night we were there.  It would be a beautiful place for a wedding.  Behind the party building are the grape vines that would make awesome wedding pictures.  Maybe TBG and I will renew our vows there ;)  After we had enough ooing and ahing at the outdoors we went into the Marketplace.  On the way we passed a small cute building that was actually the outdoor bathrooms.  When you walk in the store you see all their bottles of wine to buy.  The second part of the store is unique wine and cheese related gifts.  There were some typical things and also some high end things like Italian pottery and reclaimed wood cutting boards.  We will definitely be back and I recommend anyone who likes wine, Italian food, or just sitting outside to go to Gervasi Vineyard. 

Service____ 9 Chipps
Food____9 Chipps
Atmosphere____10 Chipps
Beer List____4 Chipps
Wine List____8 Chipps
Value____8 Chipps

View of the bar from the loft
Gervasi Vineyard and Italian Bistro on Urbanspoon
One small part of the beautiful outdoors

Thursday, October 27, 2011

B Spot - Strongsville

As you may or may not already know TBG and I really like Iron Chef Michael Symon.  B Spot is another one of Symon's awesome restaurants.  There are a few locations and this is the second one (not counting the Q) that we have been to.  I really liked the decor in this one, I am not really sure how to describe it but it was very hip and warm at the same time, lots of personality.  The bar is a pretty good size.  We were there early on a Sat so there were not many people around.  I was not that hungry so I only got a vanilla milkshake.  It was very good, very rich and flavorful.  I ended up eating most of TBGs fries so we ordered a second order.  The burgers do not come with fries but I recommend getting some.  They are so good, crispy with fluffy insides and well seasoned with rosemary and sea salt.  The burgers are really good even if it does not look like it from this picture.  This time TBG got a Philly Witt which is flipsteak, cheezewhiz and onions on a burger.  As always the burger was great and the ingredients complimented it.  Those pickles on the plate are from the pickle bar and are all different kinds.  TBG said they were really good.  The price is not bad for the quality of ingredients and care they are put together with.  The beer list is not large, but the beers listed are above average.  

Service____ 8 Chipps
Food____8 Chipps
Atmosphere____8 Chipps
Beer List____8 Chipps
Wine List____5 Chipps
Value____8 Chipps

B Spot Burgers on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Blue Door Bakery and Cafe - Revisit

The Blue Door Bakery and Cafe used to be Golden Goose - original post here.  The outside still looks the same except for the blue front door.  The inside got a fresh coat of white paint, new bakery area, and new advertisement tables.  You can see parts of the table under these pics even though I cropped portions out.  I am not crazy about the tables, but it is better than the worn out tables cloths they had before. I am happy to say the bakery is still great.  There is a specials board in the front of the restaurant and I would recommend getting something from it if eating in.  I ordered the stuffed french toast and it was wonderful.  Creamy inside, fresh raspberries on top with slivered almonds throughout on nice thick pieces of fresh bread.  TBG ordered the western omelet.  It had ham, Chihuahua cheese, and peppers with a spicy sauce on top.  He also enjoyed his breakfast, said everything tasted fresh.  The omelet came with a fresh english muffin as well.  They serve wonderful Angel Falls Coffee.  The staff seemed a little confused with the reopen and the owner was seating people instead of in the kitchen.  The restaurant was full when we were there but not overly busy.  I would recommend coming here if you are looking for fresh local food or a good fresh bakery.  The homemade granola I have yet to try is beckoning me to come back soon!

Service____ 6 Chipps
Food____8 Chipps
Atmosphere____6 Chipps
Beer List____0 Chipps
Wine List____0 Chipps
Value____6 Chipps