Gervasi Vineyard Bistro 
 Canton, Ohio        Date of Visit  10/30/10 

A good friend of ours is hitting the road, going on tour, so it is unlikely we will see him often for the next span of life.  They were kind enough to invite us to a night out to share some time before he leaves. Well we had a great time doing our temporary good-byes and getting to hang out with his new family, most of which was of course due to them. The place they chose to get together also turned out to be a real find. New facts learned from the evening…there is a winery in Canton Ohio…the winery has a restaurant attached…the restaurant is huge…and nice…I mean it is expensive expensive…but they serve some pretty tasty stuff. Apparently the odds of getting a reservation is tantamount to the odds of Fredo returning from the fishing trip at the end of the Godfather II. We were lucky enough to score some plush chairs and couches in the first come-first served “loft” which many people hope for given the number of folks who traipsed up the steps only to find even the loft packed.



The GV Artesan Piatti with lots of options

After pulling down the long drive way through the rolling front yard past a carriage house you find a lot of parking in front of some stately buildings. The building didn’t appear that big but once you enter through a door fit for Goliath you find a space that really doesn’t belong in Central Ohio, at least the way I think of Central Ohio. Rich woods, vaulted barn ceilings, wrought iron, everything is very well appointed. The loft is set up for small plates and wine which we did for a few hours. The wines have more depth than I have been accustomed to in Ohio wines, although they do offer some eye-crossingly sweet whites. We nibbled on nearly all of their appetizers and a couple of pizzas all of which follow. The GV Artesan Piatti is an Artesan Selection of Italian Meats and Cheese including Parmesan Reggiano, Bel Pease, Gorgonzola, Mortadella, Soprasetta, Sopressata with fennel, and mustard, Ohio honey, and pickled onions. The offerings are pretty standard, nothing that would surprise you on a charcuterie board but with plenty of options for mixing and pairing. The bread itself was crunchy and seasoned with a garlicky salt. From the Garden Verdure list we tried the Almond Stuffed Dates, Roasted Portabellas, and Artichokes with Lemon Thyme. If you like the veg to start with these were pretty tasty. The two pizzas we shared were the Guiseppe with Sausage, Banana Pepper, Tomato, Provolone and the Autumn Pizza with Prosciutto, Porcini Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, Sage Cream Sauce, Ricotta Cheese, and Aged Provolone. The pizzas were cracker thin and crisp with pronounced flavors.

Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli

The Pizza Guiseppe

Garden Verdure with Chokes, Portos, and Dates
  The only disappointment of the night was the Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli with Toasted Pine Nuts, Sherry Vinegar Reduction, and Parmesan Cream. The pasta sheet itself took al dente to an all new level being difficult to get the knife through let alone chew, not to mention the raw flavor which was distressingly distracting from the filling and sauce. The real hit from the night all around were Theo’s Sicilian Chicken Wings topped with Rosemary, Chilies, Aged Parmesan, Olio Verde, and Onions. I think we were all wary once the wings arrived. They were absolutely mounded with stuff. Wings are supposed to be crisp and saucy not buried under a salad. These are one of the crispiest wings I have ever gnoshed upon, the layers of other ingredients did nothing to detract from their crunch. The little chunks of flavor made this a very unique and delicious wing experience. I tried small bites of their Mascarpone Cheesecake (good), Gelato (also good), Nutella pizza (really good), panna cotta (tangy and looser than expected but good), and a stiff chocolate cake. All told a really good evening. So to Ogre, Beef, Waternoggin, Big Country, Keith…you know who you are, Happy Trails…Wine, Wings and stories on your next stop home!
Awesome Wings

Good Luck Big Country

Some Desserts, Photo by Tyler



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