By Leigh Ann Rutledge
MINERVA – George’s Candlelight Bistro is as appealing to the eye as it is to the taste buds.
Located at 301 W. Lincolnway, Minerva, in a 19th century Victorian home, George’s Candlelight Bistro offers a family friendly environment and an intimate atmosphere.
John and Lisa George of Minerva opened the restaurant Nov. 6, 2017, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, daily specials and catering.
Cooking is a family affair for the George family. Both Lisa and John’s parents owned (at different times) the restaurant now known as Heartland Hill. Lisa was a waitress at the restaurant when she met John. The couple’s 18-year old triplets, Carlee, Jacob and Kaleb, help at the restaurant. Older daughter, McKayla, is married and works elsewhere but lends support when needed.
The bistro opens daily at 7 a.m. Breakfast is served until 11 a.m.
Diners enter under a columned entrance and walk into a waiting area with a settee, a fireplace and a plate displayed on the mantel showing the building when it served as a nursing home. Above the fireplace are the words “Enduring life with delicious food and a whole lot of Jesus”.
Booths and tables are arranged in the dining area. Several fireplaces are located throughout and televisions are available for diners.
The original carved trim lines the doorways and an elaborate banister leads to an upstairs banquet room. Door hinges are etched and an old glass light hangs in the banquet room.
“Family-food-Memories” line the front of menu. The bistro offers classic sandwiches, specialty sandwiches, a kid’s menu, pasta and dinners.
The “Bistro Nightmare Burger” consisting of a half-pound burger, topped with ham, bacon, mushrooms and the works is a favorite with the Philly Cheesesteak and Reuben.
The Georges have operated “Candlelight Catering” for nearly 20 years and John is known for his smoked meats, such as brisket and ribs. Saturday nights feature a selection of John’s smoked meats and prime rib and steaks.
Other features include: Pasta Night, Wednesday; Wing Night, Thursday, and Beer Battered Fish, Friday.
“All our food is homemade,” Lisa explained. “The salad bar items are made from both John and I’s moms old recipes.”
Along with salad greens, the salad bar features macaroni, potato and pea salad, pickled beets, coleslaw and kraut salad.
A variety of homemade cakes and pies is displayed in a glass case.
The tripletts, seniors at Minerva High School, help with the cooking and with customers. It’s a good fit according to Kaleb, who likes to eat and makes a good Alfredo. Jacob works the grill making “good” burgers. Carlee can be found bussing tables and getting drinks.
A bar sits off the side of the dining area which the Georges plan to turn into an old-fashioned soda fountain with hand dipped ice cream, root beer floats, banana splits and old fashion candies.
They also plan to add hand tossed pizzas to the menu.
“We welcome card clubs,” Lisa stated. “We have a small room off the dining area and a group of ladies meet there. Some play cards, others read or crochet.”
The family has a good time working together.
“We are enjoying it,” said Lisa and John. “We love our employees. If not for them, we wouldn’t be here.”
Both Lisa and John say the community has been very supportive of their venture.
Catering is also available by contacting the restaurant for details. The upstairs banquet room is available for groups up to 30 people.
George’s Candlelight Bistro is open Monday – Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are not required but are appreciated for large groups.
To order carry-out or make a reservation, call 330-522-4142. Check George’s Candlelight Bisto on Facebook for daily specials.