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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Restaurant of the Weekend: Christopher's Aurora Bistro

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 8:08 AM

It’s been a tough winter, and while the calendar says spring is finally here, you couldn’t prove it by looking out the window. Don’t fight it. Just take it as an excuse to keep enjoying hearty, rustic fare this weekend –dishes like braised short ribs, lamb shanks, and osso buco, which make cold weather almost bearable. Take the fabulous osso buco roulade we found on the menu at Christopher’s Aurora Bistro: Luscious bits of pulled-from-the-bone braised veal shank mixed with garlic, herbed cheese, and demi-glace, gently poached inside sheets of homemade egg pasta, then set adrift in a pool of more demi-glace. Like god’s own cannelloni, the dish was so rich, so robust, and so downright irresistible, it was a religious experience. No wonder it’s a mainstay on chef-owner Christopher Shydlowski’s cold-weather menu. ... Of course, Shydlowski’s chops extend well beyond braised veal. Also starring on his current menu: roasted chicken crepes, New Zealand spring lamb, grilled Lake Erie walleye, scallops au gratin, and Muscovy duck-confit risotto, to name a few of the creative, well-conceived offerings. And while prices aren’t exactly rock bottom (entrees fall mostly in the $22-$27 range), they represent a good value, especially when you factor in the handsome setting, friendly service, and tasty touches like the freshly baked bread and brisk sorbetto intermezzos. All this is brought forth in a beautifully restored, Western-Reserve home, done up in Early American décor, and a featuring a full complement of amenities, including a well-written, user-friendly wine list of more than 180 labels, drawn mainly from small, boutique wineries. Before you know it, spring weather really will be here. But at least this weekend, while the March gloom still lingers, Christopher’s Aurora Bistro makes a cozy, warm retreat. Christopher’s Aurora Bistro is at 204 S. Chillicothe Rd. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Dinner is served from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Call 330-995-2776 for reservations. And click here to read our full review, from 2004. --- Elaine T. Cicora Read Elaine Cicora's restaurant reviews, food news, and comprehensive dining guide on the restaurant page at clevescene.com.

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