I love pasta, all kinds of pasta but I could never create the art that is handmade, homemade, or from scratch pasta, ever. I, like many others, could sit and watch DIY videos for hours to “learn” how to make art from eggs, flour, water, etc. but know that I could never achieve a successful noodle, let alone a decent ravioli.
At one of the O.F.F. Markets, last year, I had one of the best ravioli that I had ever eaten. I happened upon Garrison at his booth and he was immediately so engaging. He asked me if I had ever had Russo’s Ravioli and I remember explaining to him that I was new to Cincinnati and was learning about all of the different things that were available. He kept up conversation telling me how he was now making the ravioli, taking over a family business along with a family member (his Mother, Diane). I watched as he flowed smoothly from the deep freezer to the boiling water where he cooked up a ravioli for me to try. It smelled wonderful, tasted fresh and the flavor was delicious.
I was extremely excited to later see the Russo’s Ravioli pop up at one of the last WestSide Markets for the 2018 season. I made sure to swing by and snag a card for future ordering because I was ready to try them all. Garrison let me know that I could get their handmade ravioli at the Gaiser Bee Farm, which is only a few minutes up the road from Cheviot.
When I reached out on social media to see if the mother son duo would be open to us sharing a little bit about their business, their inspiration, and what they are bringing to the table, I was over the moon to read what they had to say.
(Please note some responses are paraphrased slightly for fluidity)
In 2014, my grandfather Sam (my mom’s dad), passed away, his passing meant there was no one left to make our ravioli. In 2015, my mother and I made the crazy decision to continue on our family's business.
We didn't want to see our heritage and those family traditions, which had been in place since the 40's, collapse.There has always been someone in our family making our ravioli by hand and from scratch. My mom grew up in the Mt. Airy neighborhood and my Grandfather's restaurant was on the West Side, off Struble and Pippin road. I personally have warm memories of helping my Grandpa with deliveries when I was younger.
We currently have 4 different types of ravioli available:
Meat- Ground-beef, sausage, spinach and cheese.
Cheese- A unique blend of 3 cheese Parmesan, American, and Romano cheese.
Mushroom- Baby Bella mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, black pepper, garlic and salt.
Butternut Squash- Oven roasted squash mixed with cinnamon, maple syrup and nutmeg (A bit of sweet flavor).
"My personal favorite is the meat ravioli."- Garrison
Last year I had multiple people tell me how they remembered going to my Grandpa’s restaurant as kids and how they were really excited to see they could find our products again. If you happen to miss us you can find our products on the West Side of town at Gaiser Bee Farm off Kleeman Road, Stehlins Meat Market on Colerain Ave, Eberts Meat Market in Newport and we recently got into both Jungle Jim's locations!
When asked what he was most excited for with this season of the WestSide Market, Garrison had this to say,
"The West Side market is special to us, and Krystle and Cory have done such an amazing job setting up the market and getting people to support the West Side and small business. They have their hands in everything and it shows how much they care about this town. I give them a big thanks because that amount of work is not easy!"
I am sure that Garrison and his Mom would love for you to swing by the Russo’s Ravioli pop up this Saturday for fresh handmade ravioli. See you there!