There were more snow days in the Cincinnati winter of 2013-14 than any in recorded history. The dark days of the season were still upon us and sunshine was a vague memory of many, many months ago. That was the backdrop for our dine-around event on March 10,2014 at Tano Bistro in Loveland, Ohio, a small town 45 minutes northeast of Cincinnati. This quaint, neighborhood gem of a restaurant is tucked away in a row of shops near the Loveland Bike Trail making it appear as if it came right out of a Rockwell painting of rural Americana. Professionnel du Vin Carmen Parks thought this would be just the thing to lift us out of our winter blues.
Upon arriving at the restaurant, we parked amidst piles of snow that were resisting the encroachment of spring. When we entered, we were immediately greeted by a smiling hostess framed by a purple entry wall. To our right was a gorgeous well stocked wooden bar on which we placed our bottles of wine for this “dine-around” event. The dining tables were flanked by bright modern contemporary paintings of musical instruments reminding us that the restaurant has a well-attended jazz brunch once a month. Chef/Owner Gaetano Williams greeted guests with a welcoming smile and graciously posed with many Chaîne members for pictures. Mr Williams gained a loyal following during his time as executive chef at the local McCormick & Schmick’s. In 2008, he established Tano’s Bistro which has been wildly successful as a favorite among the locals and a worthwhile drive for many of us not so lucky to have this establishment nearby.
Our evening started out with passed appetizers including prosciutto wrapped asparagus, stuffed mushrooms, and black bean hummus. Many of us paired these offerings with an array of sparkling and still white wines brought by our members. We were then seated and served salad of gorgonzola, dried cranberries, and almonds in a white balsamic dressing which went incredibly well with a variety of Chardonnays. As we sampled the salad, Chef Williams told us of his latest project, Take Home Tano. This is a gourmet food takeout center at a nearby location. There, they serve takeout food he refers to as “fresh, wholesome food for the frenzied family.” At this center, families can order and pick up “take and bake” meals including appetizers, sandwiches, platters, and gourmet entrees. It has been a huge sensation so far and is continuing to grow in popularity. Chef Williams answered a few questions from our members and then served his take on surf and turf – a scrumptious duet of sliced filet mignon and sea bass. My wife and I tried some exquisite Pinot Noir selections that definitely fit the bill for this course. Finally we were treated to a gourmet doughnut course which was out of this world.
We all thanked Professionnel du Vin Parks and Bailli George Elliott for giving us a respite from our waning winter at this warm, inviting restaurant. My wife and I are already planning our next dinner and we live 45 minutes away! From our standpoint, the drive is nothing compared to the reward that you find when you become part of an evening overseen by Chef Williams and the crew at Tano Bistro.
Graig Smith MD, Vice Chargé de Presse