Black Friday shopping in our household was a bust. Not really needing anything, but curiosity getting the better of me, we headed out to the shops a little after 1 pm. After stopping at my favorite destination for shopping & scoring a Calphalon 12" stainless steel pan for only $29.99 I wanted more. (Not really) I was just interested in buying some lip balm and Eric wanted to check out the book store. The crowds at the Shower and Scrubs store were ridiculous so I left. At the book store I scoured over the cookbook section and found some interesting finds. Thomas Keller books were 50% off and I found an intriguing Jerusalem cook book with gorgeous photography and unique recipes, but alas the lines were too long. Oh well there is always online shopping which I prefer over any other kind these days. All that looking at food and dealing with the crowds had made Eric and I both ravenous so we decided to skip any further shopping and head straight for dinner.
I started a links & loves
page a while ago to save some of my favorite restaurants plus links of places I had stumbled upon and wanted to try in the future. For me it is better then a book mark and being a visual person, all my lovelies were there in one long alphabetized list. I love alphabetized lists. One place on my list that I came across and had yet to try was the Station Square Restaurant. When I hear Station Square my mind immediately goes to Pittsburgh, PA. However this place is in Youngstown, OH.
is beautiful and tells a little of the history of the place and the background of the owners and chef. This is what first made me want to try it. Husband and wife team purchased the restaurant in 2001. He was born and raised in Italy and she is from the area and was trained as a sous chef in Italy as well. Their menu is quite large with plenty to choose from whatever your diet, palate, or budget. They even offer gluten-free pasta, which is something close to my heart
! Their wine list is truly amazing and boasts the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. They also offer a nice selection of by the glass wine, draft and bottled beers. Eric was happy with his Great Lakes Brewery Dortmunder Gold draft which was only $3.25 for a 22 oz.
We started out with an appetizer, the parmesan calamari, which came with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce. The calamari was perfectly cooked, tender with a slight crunch from the light coating of breading. It was all rings and we both missed the tentacles but all and all it was excellent. Next came the house salads, mostly iceberg lettuce and one of each of the normal house salad vegetables, it was something I wouldn't have missed.
Our main selections for dinner: risotto carbonara and monkfish piccata were both outstanding. Both of these were on the extensive list of specials that were off menu. Eric ordered the risotto carbonara. We both enjoy risotto and have even made a few good batches at home but this was the best we have ever had. Tender risotto with a wonderful creaminess encasing each grain of arborio rice. Just like risotto was meant to be as if it was delivered straight from God. Mixed in were fresh peas and a healthy dose of crisp prosciutto or bacon. The whole dish was wonderfully creamy, rich, fresh and savory. The portion size was quite large, even after I had
a few several bites, Eric was unable to finish it.
|Risotto Carbonara |
|Before ready to dive in|
|After: Full and ready for a nap!|
My monkfish, or poor man's lobster as the menu said, was equally satisfying. My only regret is that I did not get the garlic mashed potatoes as a side. The monkfish appeared to be lightly breaded, pan fried and was served in a flavorful sauce with mushrooms, roasted red peppers and capers. The potatoes would have been a great vehicle for the sauce but sadly I chose the steamed broccoli. I tried to eat the sauce with my fork while Eric smiled and slightly chuckled at my persistence. It was that good.
We shared the house made tiramisu and Eric had his favorite drink, an espresso. When it comes to tiramisu I feel I am a connoisseur of sorts. It is my all time favorite dessert, I have eaten it many, many times and have actually made it from scratch custard and all. Station Squares tiramisu is exceptional. I loved it. Try it for yourself, that is all I have to say.
Next time you are in Youngstown, Ohio check it out. Don't be fooled by the exterior, remember you can't judge a book by the cover. It may be right off the interstate nestled in among gas stations and a Super 8 motel but the scents wafting through the doors tells you something marvelous is waiting inside. A cozy ambience with great wines, wonderful cuisine, and helpful servers is waiting. Try it out for lunch, dinner or a special occasion. Or pick up one of their soups or sauces by the quart and have a quick and easy dinner in the comfort of your own home. They also have special events such as wine tastings ( the last one was on November 15th with Wine and Dine Ohio) and live music on Thursday nights. I can't wait to go back!
|The End.... Or is it?|
Labels: restaurant reviews, Station Square Restaurant, Youngstown