You know a restaurant is going to be good when as soon as you walk in you start to salivate — or be reminded of a great restaurant you visited in the past. That was the case for my husband, Bobby, and me on Saturday, December 16, 2017. We had just come from a magic show Bobby performed in Barberton (yes, he is a real, live magician you can check out his website here). Bobby never eats before a show and, therefore, neither do I.
By the time we were heading back to Wooster, we were pretty hungry. We had already decided that we were going to try “that restaurant by Dairy Queen” on State Route 3. Neither one of us could remember its name — although I’m pretty sure we won’t ever forget it now. It is called Digsby’s.
We walked in and the aroma of pizza baking filled our senses. Bobby said, “this smells like a real pizzeria. It smells like a pizza restaurant in Boston.” I agreed that the scent was appealing. I like pizza, but not as much or as often as Bobby.
We decided that we would split our meals. I ordered the fettuccine alfredo with chicken and broccoli. Bobby decided he would order a cheese pizza — of course. We also ordered a side of meatballs, because really, can you go to an Italian restaurant with Bobby and not get meatballs? (He contemplated ordering a meatball sub, but we had already ordered too much food.)
The alfredo came with a salad. We asked for an extra plate so that we could share it. It was not your typical side salad. It wasn’t made with iceberg lettuce, but what I think was a spring mix.
The salad, pizza and the fettuccine were all delicious. I liked that the fettuccine came with plenty of alfredo sauce. The meatballs were really good, too. Bobby said that they reminded him of Polcari’s (an Italian Restaurant in Saugus, Massachusetts, which you can read about here). We were really impressed with the entire meal. So, like Bobby always does in restaurants that we thoroughly enjoy, he asked our waitress, Millie, if we could talk to the manager or owner. Millie said she was the manager, but the owner, her mom, was in the kitchen. Bobby assured her it was to let her know how good everything was (and that I write a blog). Millie suggested we talk to her mom. “She’ll like to hear that you liked the food.”
When she came out, she introduced herself and said her name was Anita. Since that is my middle name, I’m always excited to meet someone with that name. As we talked and shared how much we enjoyed our meal, we got to hear about how she came about having Digsby’s. (Which by the way, is named after a much loved dachshund she had owned previously.) She actually comes from a long line of restaurateurs, as she is a Yacapraro, from Wooster. Her brother owns Bosco’s Pizza Kitchen (See Bobby’s review here) in Wooster. Her father, Carl, currently owns East of Chicago Pizza in Wooster and was an owner of When in Rome (also in Wooster; it used to be a Jake’s Restaurant and is now Certified Angus Beef’s Education & Culinary Center).
Once she told us that, it all made sense! We really enjoyed When in Rome. At the time it was open, we actually lived in Southwest Ohio, so we didn’t get up to the area that often. But we tried to go to When in Rome when we were here. We thought the place was beautiful and the food was excellent, too. So it stands to reason that the food at Digsby’s would be just as good. Anita said that she brought some of the recipes from When in Rome to Digsby’s. Most everything is made in house from the meatballs to the spaghetti sauce. I told her how much I enjoyed the salad. She laughed and said, “Iceberg lettuce is not allowed in this restaurant.”
As we talked, Anita’s husband, Jerry Winkler, came in. She had him come over and then we had the opportunity to hear about how everything fell into place in 2016 which lead them to open Digsby’s. Anita was retiring from teaching at St. Mary’s in Wooster and looking to get back into the restaurant business. Jerry drove by the plaza and saw the previous restaurant was closed and there was “for lease” sign in the window. He called Anita. They agreed to inquire about it and within weeks they were working on getting the place in shape. They spent the first two months of 2016 getting the restaurant cleaned up and ready. In fact they had wanted to spend time training their new waiters and waitresses before opening, but because of the extensive remodeling the place had needed, they couldn’t. They had to open sooner rather than later. They shared some of the stresses they experienced in the first week or two. While the stories sounded stressful to me, they seemed to enjoy reminiscing about how far they had come from then. Anita explained that though the beginning days were a little rocky, they never experienced a slow down. She said that they didn’t even advertise when they first opened, but the first week the crowds came. And it has been continuing like that since March 8, 2016. (Incidentally, Jerry is retiring in a couple of weeks from the Seville Fire Department where he served as Chief for more than a decade. He expects to be spending much of his time at the restaurant after the new year.)
While we had thought about coming to Digsby’s over the last 18 months, we had never actually made it. In fact, it was Bobby’s friend, Brock Yoder, who had turned Bobby onto the restaurant several months ago. Now, we’re a little sad that it took us so long to get there. Thankfully, though, since Anita has the restaurant business coursing through her veins, I’m sure we’ll have plenty of chances to go back and try more items from the menu. Something I would suggest you do, too.