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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Russo's Part Creole Part Italian All Good!

It was a long time coming.  Nick and I had been wanting to go to Russo's for some time.  We even had a $25 gift card burning a hole in the sock drawer.  So we finally bit the bullet and decided to go on October 30, our 17th anniversary.  Russo's reputation has been great from the get go and it's really close to where we live.  Why had it taken so long for us to go!?  It doesn't matter now, it's all in the past.  Russo's we love you!

We had a 7:00 pm reservation in the dining room.  Russo's offers bar seating but they go fast because right behind the bar is the kitchen and you can watch the chaos and magic happen right in front of your eyes.  So since we were unable to get a bar seat, we got a table near the bar and were able to see some of the magic.  
I knew before we even got there that I had to have the Arancini appetizer.  I had them last year when Russo's had a booth up at Taste of Hudson and they were incredible!   In fact, it's a dish I've been wanting to make myself but have never gotten around to it.  Someday!   In case you're unfamiliar, arancini are balls of saffron risotto with either a meat or cheese filling in the middle, then they are breaded and deep fried.  Russo's describes their arancini as follows:  Rice Balls Flavored with Saffron and Stuffed with Mozzarella, Meat and Vegetables, then Breaded and Fried.  Served with Pomodoro Sauce.

Oh, I can feel your jealousy!   And yes, they are as good as they look!

But I have to admit, $8.99 for 3 arancini seems a bit steep to me, delicious as they are.  But while perusing the menu and the specials, I happened upon something that I love far too much and had to have.  Right at the top of the nightly specials, there it was... roasted garlic heads served with a basket of bread and at $3.50, this was the bargain of the night!   I had this before, many years ago when I was in Massachusetts for a friends wedding.  The restaurant we went to for the rehearsal dinner, Vinny Testa's, served roasted heads of garlic floating in a seasoned olive oil and a basket of bread.  I swore that if I ever owned a restaurant I was going to do this!  It's the best thing ever.  So I was more than thrilled to see this on Russo's menu.   You get your roasted garlic with a little shrimp fork so you can dig the cloves out of the head and spread them on your bread.  Oh yes, I died and went to garlic heaven!

Quite honestly, I could have made this my meal and been perfectly content.  But alas, more deliciousness was to come!  We both ordered specials that night and started off the main event with a simple salad that was beautifully and perfectly dressed. 

I ordered half an almost fully boned roasted chicken in a tangy sauce with garlic mashed potatoes and twice dipped onion rings for $22.99.

It was incredibly delicious.  Seasoned and sauced to perfection, tender, juicy and full of flavor.  I seriously don't think I ever had as succulent a piece of chicken as this.  And after the arancini and my bread coma, I ended up bringing most of it home.  Mmmm Russo's leftovers.

Nick also ordered a special, his was a large cut grilled pork chop on a bed of squash puree with collard greens in a sugar cane sauce for $26.99.

Everything was gorgeous and perfect.  The collards were tender and flavorful.  The pork was cooked to absolute juicy perfection.  The squash puree was delicious and beautifully balanced.

Our final bill without any drinks, just water, was $66.53.  Russo's is not a place we will frequent, but oh yes we will be back!   Sadly, Russo's no longer serves lunch, but if you're in or around Peninsula, Ohio at dinner time, I highly suggest you give them a try.  Russo's is located at 4895 State Road
Peninsula, OH 44264 and their phone number is (330) 923-2665.

Buon Cibo mia Amici.

1 comment:

cath said...

My gosh Kath you know how to make a person salivate! It looks scrumptious! I do have to say that no one cooks collard greens like southerners do...I can make you into a true southerner with mine! :D thanks for sharing this culinary adventure!