If you’ve ever tried to replicate a chef’s recipe at home, you’ve probably discovered it isn’t easy. And frozen pizza and pasta can’t compare to restaurant fare. When it comes to creating authentic Italian dishes, unless you own a wood-burning stove, a pasta machine or make the meals from scratch, most of us just can’t compete with the pros.
It’s no wonder, then, that Wood and Wine in Avon is so successful.
Owners Jim Andrews (owner of Jackalope Lakeside in Lorain) and former American Greetings executive Ron Miller created an authentic Italian restaurant, with an emphasis on authentic. As part of the floor-to-ceiling renovation of Dianna’s, the restaurant’s predecessor, the owners installed a wood-fired oven. And they did it for a reason — the secret to achieving a true Italian pizza crust with its woodsy, smoked flavor is the oven. It must be fired to 900 degrees, and pizzas must be turned out quickly, typically in 2.5-3.5 minutes.
Wood and Wine’s owners also recognized that freshness is crucial. Produce and pastas are all local, based on availability. “We are sourcing our ingredients from local markets and buying from Ohio City Pasta,” explains Wood and Wine’s manager, Chris Church. The sauces are all made in-house and from scratch.
The result is a menu filled with flavorful items, including pasta served with alfredo, bolognaise or puttanesca sauces, linguini with red or white clam sauce and shrimp and scallop sackatini (a cheese and spinach noodle pouch created by Ohio City Pasta). In addition to being used for pizza, the wood-fired oven lends its smoky flavor to cedar-planked salmon. The half chicken is also cooked in the oven, pulled off the bone and served with pasta and assorted vegetables.
“We have a plethora of desserts,” Church adds. While Wood and Wine makes its own cannoli, the majority of the desserts are created by Slices in Lorain. An assortment of cheesecakes, Oreo cake and German chocolate cake are a few of the goodies on the menu.
While food is showcased here, wine is equally important. True to its name, Wood and Wine’s wine locker/cooler room holds 1,600 bottles. “We are planning to allow our customers to rent their own wine lockers,” Church says. If guests are craving a certain vintage the restaurant doesn’t carry they can bring it and store it. The wine lockers, he explains, are similar to humidors, designed to retain the appropriate temperature and moisture. Wine tastings are scheduled on a regular basis and wine dinners will be offered in the near future.
The restaurant seats about 200 people with plans for a patio to open in summer, 2012. The average dinner for two runs from $40-$80, depending on the wine selection, of course. Reservations are available for parties of five or more and are suggested, especially on weekends.
8790 Chester Road, Avon, 440-934-9463, Monday-Saturday lunch buffet 11 a.m. $8, dinner 4-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday