H2 Huth & Harris Wine Merchants: 4/5 stars
Taste: 4/5 stars. Every dish we ordered was flavorful and had strong components, and the lobster pasta was a standout.
Service: 5/5 stars. Our waiter was helpful and knowledgeable (and answered all my questions about the menu).
Ambiance: 4/5 stars. The dining room was kind of dark and empty, but things seemed a lot more entertaining in the bar.
Concept: 3/5 stars. Nothing particularly unusual here, but I’m happy to see this place alive and well downtown.
Pricing: 4/5 stars. I get that high-quality food isn’t cheap, and the pricing here is in line with what you’d expect at other upscale restaurants.
Walking down the stairs and into the basement cellar that is H2 Huth & Harris Wine Merchants made me forget that I was in downtown Canton in the middle of winter.
H2 Huth & Harris Wine Merchants opened in late 2017 in the former Peter Shears building in downtown Canton.
Aside from the historic surroundings and upscale food, H2 last spring offered a robust pets-on-the-patio event on the weekends, which is part of the reason we picked the bar and restaurant to review for this issue.
First things first: If you plan to go to H2 for dinner, know that it’s going to be pricier than other places you might visit in the area. (That’s not a strike against the restaurant, just a thing to be cognizant of so you aren’t surprised when you see your bill.) Entrees, which include a 4-ounce filet and a rack of lamb, range from about $25 to $40.
My date, Ryan, and I were seated in the dining room of H2, which has low lighting and a handful of tables pushed up against the walls, several of which were outfitted with cozy, oversized arm chairs. Our table was covered with a strip of butcher paper, and it took a lot of self-restraint to keep from pulling a pen out of my purse and doodling on the table.
We were in the restaurant from about 6 to 7:30 p.m., and we largely shared the space with only one other group. Things appeared to be a lot more lively (and well-lit) in the bar area, which was full of people for First Friday.
H2 has a large selection of wine, beer and cocktails. Unfortunately, this was wasted on me because I am no fun and break out in hives whenever I drink. Ryan ordered a Moscow mule ($10) and said it was good but not necessarily better than anything he’d had anywhere else.
As for food, we started with the baked brie appetizer ($9), which is wrapped in flaky puff pastry and served with crackers and pepper preserves. Bread and melted cheese is always a winner with me, and this did not disappoint. The portion was sizable—bigger than the palm of my hand—and between the two of us, we only managed to eat about half of it.
The menu also includes a selection of small plates, though I would categorize them as additional appetizers. We picked the chicken saltimbocca ($15), a sliced, stuffed-chicken that’s served with quinoa and topped with a chardonnay herb drizzle. I thought the flavors were strong, and it was fun to try something new.
Ryan ordered the pan-roasted Pekin duck breast ($28), which was probably the weakest dish of the night. He thought the duck was a little rubbery but was a big fan of the roasted parsnips and the colorful cranberry and macadamia wild rice.
I’d been thinking about the lobster cacio e pepe ($27) since I first spotted it on the online menu weeks earlier. The simple pasta dish, made with Pecorino and black pepper linguine, was the hit of the night. It was chock-full of chunks of lobster and so decadent that I had plenty of leftovers to take home.
H2 Huth & Harris Wine Merchants is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays and from 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations are available at the Canton location (427 Tuscarawas Street E) by calling 330-805-3212.