Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
The Real Story is PVII
Having lived in the UK for a few years, Carol and I got to visit Italy, Germany, France and other European countries and we were blessed to dine at some of the great restaurants you can find over there. Thank goodness we were mature enough to appreciate the various tastes and flavors, from tripe to haggis and beyond. Though we often reminisce about those days, we’re blessed to live in Peoria because there are some wonderful dining spots right here in central Illinois.
We don’t dine out all that often anymore but when we do, we believe we have some great, albeit difficult decisions to make regarding which of our favorites eateries we want to visit in the Peoria area. There are some true gems out there and one of our favorites has been and is, PVII, the Italian restaurant tucked into an out-of-the-way strip mall on North Allen Road. Josh and Amy Utech have created an excellent destination eatery, resurrecting some of the recipes from Ponte Vecchio, the Sheridan Village restaurant that was opened in the 1990s by Tony D'Alaimo. Josh and Amy worked at Ponte Vecchio and when Tony sold the place, the Utechs decided to buy it and move to a new location. We loved Ponte Vecchio and PVII only enhanced the ambiance and menu. I’m really happy Josh and Amy made that decision.
Since this section of our website deals with wine, beer, and spirits, I want to mention that PVII has a great wine list, topped by this incredible California cabernet. Cakebread Cab has been one of our favorites since the 1997 vintage, which we discovered in 2000. It’s not an inexpensive wine, which is why we usually dine at PVII on Thursdays…half price wine night, a concept I applaud and truly appreciate.
The Cakebread family have been making wine in Napa Valley for more than 40 years and have become one of the most recognized and respected vintners in this country. The family of founders Jack and Dolores Cakebread continue their parents’ vision of consistent quality in the 21 varietals the winery currently offers. As I wrote, we have never been disappointed with any Cakebread wine we’ve had over the years and we look forward to future vintages, enjoyed along with the great food, service, and ambiance at PVII.
The menu offered by Amy and Josh is impressive, but Carol and I actually take advantage of the Utech’s unique willingness to accommodate their customers by calling ahead and pre-ordering a dish that is no longer officially offered by the restaurant…a magnificent chicken entrée called Valdostana. It’s one of the best dishes we’ve had and we’re so glad we can still get it, having first tasted it at Ponte Vecchio nearly 20 years ago.
Next time you want to have a special dining experience and a magnificent bottle of wine, find your way to PVII and experience the Utech’s hospitality and great culinary skills. Tell them Dan and Carol say hello!
For the PVII menu and other information, click HERE.
For a look at the Cakebread Cellars website, click HERE.
***UPDATE*** Sadly, PVII permanently closed in 2019. We still miss it.