Amato's Restaurant 
 Copley, Ohio        Date of Visit  09/12/10              No Known Website

Having made a single trip when it was known as the Loyal Oak Tavern we recently noticed that this corner restaurant in Norton Ohio had a new name on the front. Always looking for something new we stopped into Amato’s for dinner. The interior appears about the same, relatively dark and rustic with more of an Italian flair. A couple of folks were sitting out on the patio which resulted in the door repeatedly swinging open (don’t know if it was the latch or the lack of swing) and a dining room in which the flies outnumbered the diners. Our young server managed to handle her own throughout most of the night but was soon joined by a new guy who “followed” her while we were there. A clumsy oaf, both physically and socially, he spent a while telling a table across from us how he also works at a local franchised joint, and given his service aptitude it was clear why he is now picking up shifts here, I wouldn't inflict him on customers if I had a choice.



Complimentary Bruschetta


So how is the food? Definitely, a more Italian menu top to bottom. Steph was really in the mood for beef and ordered the strip with a baker and I ordered the chicken franchese. Before our anti-server appeared our original server dropped off some complimentary bruschetta. This was a pleasant surprise, with a peppery tomato topping there was a ray of hope. Warm rolls and cold salads kept the expectations intact.

We tried the Mozzarella Carroza and while it was functional this is where things started to slip. Unevenly heated and pasted with a soggy and salty breading, the appetizer missed some of the critical components to fried anything.

Then we got to the entrees. First the chicken. Slapdash in concept and production, it was a real disappointment. Gristly yard-bird slathered with the second most unremarkable wine, lemon and butter combo I have had to work to eat. With such flavorful ingredients it is astounding that the sauce is steamrolled not just by the chicken but by the pasta, a big plate of sloppy nothing.

Last Chance Before Things Go Sideways

Mozzarella Carroza, Could Use Some Thought and Care

Chicken Francese Absent of Thought and Care

The steak was no better, although the baked potato was not bad. The steak tasted like garlic. Steph is not a huge garlic fan, but I love it. It didn’t matter here however, as it was the only flavor in the entrée. It wasn’t necessarily that there was too much garlic, it was more likely there was no beef flavor in whatever lump of moo they carved this out of. If you don't know the USDA grades of beef go like this, from Best to Worst,...Prime...Choice...Select...Standard...Commercial...Utility...Cutter...and Canner. I don't have to guess which end of the spectrum this travesty came from, maybe they should add a garbage grade. After a few bites, Steph asked our new server for A-1. Now I have railed on about splashing good meat with A-1, now that Steph is a fellow food snob she agrees. Never forget however, that A-1 is a perfectly good addition for steaks that don’t taste like steaks, and when our server returned he leaned over the table and said, “I won’t tell the chef”. I barely held back saying please do, he should know what this !#@*%()!#@*&,  !)@)%)!(*,  dross tastes like, but I behaved.  The vegetables were tragically overdone and without seasoning and overall I don’t think we will return until there is another name on the front of the building. If this is the average service at Amato's, that should be next week. And next, I will expect to see our server with a paper hat, and flailing at that.


Looks so Good, but Just Horrible




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