Friday, June 28, 2019

Russo's Restaurant

For the next stop on my 2019 To Dine Challenge list, I headed to Peninsula to Russo's Restaurant.
Known for the eclectic menu of Italian and Cajun, I was interested to see how this mash-up worked.

I leaned towards the Cajun side, as you can't find that just anywhere in Northeast Ohio. I started with the Southern-Fried Green Tomatoes ($12) with Creole boiled shrimp and jalapeño remoulade sauces.
I felt the shrimp were really unnecessary and the texture wasn't pleasant, but the tomatoes were fried nicely and I enjoyed the two sauces.

My friend headed to the Italian portion of the menu. They do make their pasta in-house. The Wild Mushroom Pasta ($22) over pappardelle had sounded good to both of us, so I was happy to see her order it. It looked great, and she said she enjoyed it.
Again, I leaned on the Cajun side for my entrée and ordered the Corn-Fried Perch and Maine Diver Scallops ($28) with smokey baked mac-n-cheese, assorted grilled vegetables and chipotle pepper tartare sauce.
The scallops seemed out of place on this plate, and were under-seasoned and not cooked to my liking. I also had pictured them corn-fried as well based on the menu description. The vegetables were good, and I liked the zing to the tartare sauce. But the fish wasn't crispy as it should be. Soggy fried fish is just never appealing. The sauce on the mac-n-cheese definitely had a nice smoke flavor, but the mushy pasta and thick creamy texture of the sauce really reminded me of Velveeta shells and cheese. I could have passed on this entire dish.

So I walked away not really a fan of this spot, but I think the menu items could be really hit or miss based on what we had. They certainly have a loyal following and the restaurant and separate patio restaurant were packed on a Tuesday night. For me? It just wouldn't be worth the drive again. 

4895 State Road
Peninsula, OH 44264
(330) 923-2665


Nancy Heller said...

We've been there a few times and have yet to have an outstanding meal there. There is so much potential, but it never seems to all come together. I think if they were less ambitious with their menu, they'd have more success.

Kristian said...

Yeah, those shrimp look unappetizing. And why not put shaved and/or pickled jalapenos on top instead of green onion?

Bite Buff said...

Agreed, more focus and I think they’d have something. The Italian side of the menu seems to be a bit better executed. But glad to hear it wasn’t just me that had an off experience.

Bite Buff said...

Not a whole lot of sense on that plate, but a good concept that could be executed better.