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Vinny’s Brings the Taste of Italy to Middlefield

Middlefield - Vinny’s Authentic Italian Eatery located at 15620 West High Street in Middlefield is sure to please any lover of Italian food.  Vinny’s offers its patrons mouth-watering Italian cuisine at a very reasonable price.  You can expect good, fresh food as well as friendly service.  Their hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30 am until 8 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11:30 am until 9 pm and Sunday from 12 pm until 7 pm.  They are closed on Monday.

Appetizers include fresh fried mozzarella, calamari, bread sticks and more.  Pick a pizza with your choice of toppings or choose from one of the specialty pizzas: White pizza, basil portabella, or meatball morsel.  You can even pick up a slice or two of cheese or pepperoni for lunch (between 11 am and 4 pm).  There are several wonderful entrees to choose from, including pasta, Chicken Picatta or Marsala, Veal Marsala, sautéed shrimp, lasagna and vegetarian options.  They also offer “sangwhiches,” salads, soups and a kid’s menu.   Sides include Italian Risotto-rice with cheese and mushrooms or with shrimp and spinach.  Be sure to leave room for one of the delicious desserts of Tiramisu, Cannoli, Spumoni, caramel apple cheesecake or chocolate confusion cake.  When you are there check out their specials too.

Blaze Tishko and Sam Crea, the owner’s of Vinny’s, have a wonderful and interesting story.  Both men ended up at Newbury High School, although not friends during school,  Blaze knew Sam’s younger brothers and visited the house all the time.  Sam’s mother owned a restaurant called Kitty’s Place.

After high school Sam became a police officer and then went into construction.

Blaze worked at a friend’s uncle’s restaurant in Little Italy.  There he started washing dishes and eventually started to do some of the cooking.  Blaze thought about chef’s school but decided to take a different path, hotel management.  This is when Blaze learned the business from all angles; he washed more dishes, waited tables, tended bar and worked room service in hotels from Cleveland to Columbus and back again.  He left the business for two years to tour America and Europe with his band.  After the tour, he met a woman, married her and quit the band for good.

That is when he started running a restaurant for his stepfather, and decided to move to Geauga County to raise his family.  Unfortunately, the restaurant endeavor did not work out, but Blaze soon found out he was going to be a father and decided he needed to have a trade job in order to raise his family.  He began work as a union bricklayer but did not particularly like it so a friend got him a job at Sand Ridge Golf Course.  After golf season, he got work at Fowler’s Mill as a server then moved into management, but ended up going back to work at Sand Ridge the next season.

Then came a job at Welshfield Inn which helped Blaze to hone his craft and learn the actual business of running a restaurant.  Unfortunately Blaze got cancer and had six months of chemotherapy that laid him up.  There were days he could not get out of bed for being so weak.  The people at Welshfield Inn really helped him through this rough patch.

Blaze then started working at Fowler’s Mill again.  It was there that he and Sam started thinking about and talking about opening a sandwich/pizza shop, this went on for a few years.  With chemotherapy done and a new zest for life, Blaze found this time to be right to make a change and he was ready.  Soon they found a location (the one they are in now), bought a pizza oven and opened Vinny’s on March 1, 2010.

Both Blaze and Sam are completely committed to adhering to strict Italian cooking and recipes as well as always providing the customer with a superior product.  You will not find a deep fryer or dried seasonings on the premises.  This is not fast food but it is great, fresh, authentic Italian food.  Food is in these guys’s blood and it shows in the quality and commitment they have.  It shows in the taste of the food and in the atmosphere.  They know what they are doing.

They are approaching the anniversary of their first year in business and have a loyal following.  If you want to learn more about Vinny’s, check out their website at www.vinnyspizzashop.com.  The next time you have a craving for authentic Italian cooking, why not try Vinny’s.  You will not be disappointed.