I can’t believe I’ve just wrapped up my final Christmas break for my undergrad. And its weird, because three years ago, freshman me wasn’t anywhere close to ready to have to head back up to Kent (dreading it, really), and now, I can’t get there soon enough. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE being at home and with my family, but after relaxing for a month I’ve become a tad (extremely) bored.
But with the end of Christmas break comes the tradition of my back to school dinner. Last year, I picked Social House 7, before that, Casbah, and before that Monterey Bay. And this year, the pressure was on, because all of those places were pretty damn good. I stumbled upon Stagioni, a small restaurant in South Side… and I must say, I picked another winner 😉
We walked in and I immediately fell in love. It was very cozy, warm, and inviting. They had little space heaters that looked like fire places and I thought that was just adorable.
As far as drinks go, my dad and I split a bottle of Chianti (good choice Dave). And if any of you reading know my mom, the woman LOVES a dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives. Guess what she ordered?
So the appetizers on this menu were what sold me. We honestly could have ordered one of everything and made a meal of it. So we finally narrowed it down and decided on the Made To Order Mozzarella with prosciutto, olives, roasted peppers, balsamic and olive oil, the Butternut Squash Arancini with sage-pumpkin seed pesto, and the Sautéed Mushroom Polenta. Out of the three, the mozzarella was the most disappointing, not bad, but just not spectacular. As far as the polenta goes, I was surprised at how good it was. The mushrooms had a good flavor, and the texture of the polenta itself was creamy and delicious. Now, the arancini… WOW. Honestly probably the best thing I ate all night. But I’m a huge fan of butternut squash and risotto so I dont really see how they could have gone wrong! (Side note: my dad is regretting not ordering the greens and beans, so I guess we have to go back)
For the entree, I was really torn. I knew we were going to have a lot of appetizers so I didnt want to order anything TOO big. Luckily, their pastas came in half sizes so it was perfect. My mom went with the Tagliatelle with bolognese and parmesan. Very simple and very good.(PS. Sorry mom, the pic of your dinner was too blurry :/) I finally decided on the Ricotta Gnocchi with sausage-rapini ragout and parmesan. The ragout was the best part of the dish, and I was happy that the gnocchi were light and soft. My dad picked the Tomato Braised Meatballs with escarole, cannellini puree, Calabrian chili, and parmesan. The bean puree was actually really different and I liked the concept. The meatballs themselves were also great (and yes I know this because we obviously have to try everyones dinner)
And you guys didnt think we were going to pass up dessert did you? Mom and I spilt an apple cinnamon pound cake that was to die for, really. The homemade whipped cream was the bomb. Dad wanted the Nutella mouse.. I dont know what else you want me to say because anything with nutella cant be short of amazing.
Im with my dad on this one. I absolutely would go back to Stagioni. We had such a great time and a great meal. I love this little tradition that we unexpectedly developed, but I’m so glad we did. Yes I am excited to get back to Kent, but having this much time at home is absolutely wonderful ❤