A couple enjoys remembering moments and learning about each other.
My wife, Melissa, and I moved to Green for family reasons. The schools are great, the housing values prime, the community nurturing. Little did we know that we’d moved to the perfect dating spot as well. Green has great places to eat, gather and have plenty of fun without the kiddos. Just to prove it, we left them home with Grandpa for a few hours one recent Friday night.
We started out at the Nauti Vine Winery on South Main Street. The place used to be Bob’s — one of the Portage Lakes staples. Like my wife and I, Bob’s grew up. It’s now a sophisticated wine bar that is a fun, rustic hint of Napa Valley replete with plenty of wine options and exciting food options as well.
Melissa and I went for two wine flights — hers were sweet whites (from sweet to cupcake, as I lovingly refer to my wife’s wine palate). Mine were classic reds, including an interesting sweet cabernet that was surprisingly good. I’m more of the bold cabernet, heavy tannin type, but the Nauti Vine’s blackberry cabernet got me thinking.
The caprese flat bread pizza came with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and a wonderful balsamic glaze.
Mostly, though, Melissa and I marveled at the inside of the place, while yearning for warm summer days when the patio would be viable. We would then be able to pull up dockside and spend a few hours sipping wine on the spacious cedar deck.
The Nauti Vine has heavy wood tables and chairs, a perfect stone fireplace and board games (yes, we saw couples busting out Scrabble). The place also welcomed folks who brought their own eats.
We sat and enjoyed our wine, pizza and, especially, company. Sitting and talking about our days current, past and future is awfully tough to do with children running around. Yet, when we’re alone, we always find ourselves coming back to telling our favorite kid stories.
After about an hour spent trying to figure out how many times we’d be sneaking off to enjoy more of Green’s Napa-inspired winery, we left for a late dinner at the Bistro of Green.
The Bistro (3459 Massillon Road) is tucked into a plaza next to Handel’s Ice Cream. Having honeymooned in and visited Paris several times, we always enjoy the Bistro’s hints at sophisticated continental cuisine. None more so than the onion soup. When we’re in Paris, Melissa and I get Soupe a l’Oignon everywhere we go to eat — comparison shopping. The Bistro’s is right there for rich, bold flavor, and it brought me right back to the Left Bank, even though I was eating it on the left bank of Massillon Road.
Melissa and I both went with our Bistro favorites — Bistro Mac and Cheese for me (infused with bacon and ham — amazing) and lobster ravioli for her (the lemon cream sauce is to die for).
We spent the rest of our evening talking about our days, and spending every free moment learning more about each other.
An hour later, we were back home to two sleeping kids with the warm, fuzzy memory of just how much fun a date is, which inspired one primary thought, “Let’s do that again.”