Assuming The Risk

When I was a little boy, (moved away when I was 9) there was a pizzeria in Hillside, NJ  that for me, was the benchmark of what pizza should taste like.  Whenever I had pizza, I compared to that store.  A few years ago, I went back there with Alicia’s Uncle Joe, a real war hero, for lunch . . over 40 years since I had last been there.  Unfortunately, the pizza did not taste anything like I remembered it and while it was a great visit with Joe, I was disappointed in the meal itself.

I was thinking about that disappointment when I suggested to my wife that we we make the 20 minute drive  to downtown Cincinnati and have dinner at Scotti’s.  img_0364

It was 1982-83 and while I  attended “mortuary college,” I was living/learning  at the now closed, Schaefer & Busby Funeral  Home.  The  vacant building still stands at  24 W. 9th St (between Race & Vine)  a monument to the historic, storefront funeral home that catered to the Cincinnati, social elite.

Being downtown, I had access to several places to eat. One of those places was Scotti’s, located just around the corner on Vine St.  I had gone there a few times, twice with a mentor, former teacher and still friend, Todd VanBeck.  The fond memories  of Scotti’s  stayed in the back of my mind through the decades and when we accepted the offer to move to Cincinnati, one of the first things I did was search the web and saw that it was still there.

The beautiful building, now stands empty.

The beautiful building, now stands empty.

When I told Alicia that the first restaurant  I wanted to go to was Scotti’s, I did so with a bit of trepidation as I didn’t want to let her down.  She readily agreed and when time finally came for a night out, I made the reservations and  assumed the risk of maybe having made a bad decision.

We arrived and my concerns evaporated  as we were met at the door  by Pasquale (whose aunt is the owner)  and began a great evening of dining, conversation  and observing.

Dining on great food.  Observing a room full of people enjoying a meal and each other and watching the family  servers interact with the diners.

Big portions and big value. It seemed that everyone leaving had a “to go” package because they couldn’t finish t all.  Myself included.

Time created the expectations. Reality erased the concerns and created new memories.

We will return. . . soon.

Several tables had just cleared, so I could get a nice photo

Several tables had just cleared, so I could get a nice photo

Can't argue with longevity.

Can’t argue with longevity.




About Ray V.

Living in Aiken, South Carolina, USA, I like to share what I am looking at, thinking about or listening to. I refer to this as the view out my window. Thanks for stopping by.
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2 Responses to Assuming The Risk

  1. Jim Kohl says:

    Ray: Hope all is going well in Cincy. BTW, your blog page still has George FH in the side panel under the heading Aiken Bloggers.
    Did you know Phillip Turner, a fire fighter in the county? He died in a two car wreck. (See today’s Aiken Standard)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jim. I read the AS online each morning and read that. I did not know him, but am saddened nonetheless. Where you see the reference to GFH is a list of tags I’ve used in the eight years I’ve been doing this. In the early years, I always tagged the FH so unless I delete the widget showing the tags, it will stay there. Thanks for taking the time to comment and heartfelt regards to my pals in Aiken ❤


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