Apparently, Chovy’s in Meadville is the place to be on a Monday night. The restaurant is gigantic and was packed. This was my first time dining at Chovy’s and there was a lot to take in on our way to the table. Statues, stained glass and many pieces of art lined the walls and made for a very welcoming atmosphere. When we got to our tables, the first thing I noticed was how much stuff was on the table. I had to move three drink menus, a bottle of wine and a stack of plates to see Amanda across from me. Our server, Ebony, briefly told us about the specials for the evening and then left to get us some drinks. The menu, like the restaurant, was huge. Everything sounded great.
Ebony returned with some fresh-baked sesame and rye breads along with homemade dipping oil. She told me the dipping oil typically goes fast and once it is gone, the kitchen does not make more that day. I asked her for suggestions and she helped me narrow down my choices. Amanda has been here before so she knew what she wanted rather quickly. Amanda ordered the Venetian shrimp and scallops with a side salad and I decided on the filet Toscano with the soup of the day and a side of spaghetti with red sauce.
The soup of the day was “California Medley.” It was a creamy cheese base with large pieces of cauliflower, broccoli, potato and a few other veggies. I ripped up pieces of the rye bread and they made a great addition to the soup. I could have easily eaten another cup. Amanda’s salad with the house dressing was delicious, too. The dressing was a light, cheesy home made Italian. Again, I probably could have eaten a salad along with my soup, it was so good.
All of the pasta is cooked to order so we knew we would have a wait, but our food actually came out in good time. Ebony arrived with our meal, offered us freshly-grated cheese and then left us to eat. Amanda’s bowl was filled with pappardelle noodles, pan-seared shrimp and scallops tossed in a lobster champagne cream sauce. The pasta was amazing. Pappardelle noodles are around an inch wide and can be feet long. Though not made in house, it was incredibly fresh. The seafood was also fresh and perfectly cooked and seasoned. The scallops just melted in your mouth and went perfectly with the champagne sauce. I thought the sauce could have used a pinch of salt, but was a fantastic dish.
My plate was piled high. Two 4 oz. filets were piled on a bed of spicy sautéed greens and mushrooms, all served over garlic cheddar mashed potatoes. Everything was then topped with crumbled bleu cheese. The combination was unique and delicious. The crumbled bleu with the steak and spicy greens really was a flavor explosion. The filets were both beautifully cooked to a light medium and like the scallops, melted in your mouth. If it would have been appropriate, I probably would have licked my plate clean.
Amanda had her leftovers boxed up and then we moved on to dessert. We wanted to order the crème brulée, but because it was on special, they had run out of it. We went with the Tuscan turtle sundae which was French vanilla ice cream, pecans, chocolate and caramel syrup and whipped cream. The bowl was huge and we probably shouldn’t have finished it, but alas, we did.
If I can expect the same high quality service and food every time I return, I will gladly make the 40 minute drive from Erie to Meadville more often. Thank you, Ebony, for the fantastic hospitality and recommendations. I can not wait to come back and try more from the menu.
Next week is the final stop on my ethnic food tour, so let’s make it a good one.
Until next time,
Andrew — Beard vs. Food