First-time visitors to Chowder House Cafe often fixate on the dining room?s walls?or lack thereof, as every square inch has been painted over with electric flowers, guitar players, crowned kings, and other artistic testaments to the caf??s funky and unconventional outlook. This same outlook makes its way onto the menu, which features the namesake clam chowder alongside salads, sandwiches, and dinner entrees similarly inspired by the sea. Aside from the Sunday brunch?s traditional omelets and buttermilk pancakes drenched in fresh Ohio maple syrup, a crab cake benedict celebrates the weekend atop a toasted ciabatta roll. Regardless of the time of day, a considerate BYOB policy accommodates the sailors who often stumble into the caf? with unlabeled bottles of clam juice.
For Domenic Fragomeni and Chad Leek, the quest to open a restaurant began on a basketball court. The two met during a pickup game of hoops in 2008, during which they discovered that they both had a passion for entertaining guests and getting trounced by the Harlem Globetrotters. Their friendship eventually blossomed and led to the foundation of a casual fine-dining spot in downtown Akron?a place where busy professionals can grab a quick bite during lunch and diners can savor a gourmet meal for dinner.
The duo's menu of hand-cut steaks and fresh seafood springs from the saut? pan of Chef Josh Pere and the old-world recipes of Olympia Fragomeni; more than 20 inventive martinis flow from the shakers of a team of experienced bartenders.
Recently revitalized under new management, Triple Crown Restaurant stocks stomach arsenals with an array of steak and seafood menu items that explode in a shower of meticulously crafted flavors. Juicy Atlantic salmon dart lithely between reefs of Cajun seasonings jutting into a sea of garlic butter ($18.99). Sic steak knives and gourmand guard dogs on a sizzling Angus Reserve beef filet mignon ($28.99 for an 8 oz.; $32.99 for a 10 oz.), or delve into the vegetable lasagna's multilayered strata of garden-torn sustenance ($12.99). Culinary designers pad chicken oscar pillows with downy crab-meat stuffing before nestling cuisine cushions atop sheets of béarnaise sauce ($16.99) and this season's hottest china pattern.
One of Akron’s oldest Irish pubs, Kevin O’Bryan’s menu showcases authentic Irish dishes in addition to inventive spins on American classics. Signature starters such as Vinnie’s pizza dip, a baked concoction of cheese, tomato sauce, and pepperoni designed to be excavated with grilled ciabatta bread ($6.99), vie for gastronomic supremacy with hearty sandwiches that include the Classic Prime burger ($7.99) and the Chicken O’Bryan—grilled chicken and ham canoodling on a toasted ciabatta roll ($7.99). Traditional tastes of Ireland include the fish 'n' chips ($8.99) and the grilled chicken boxty, which is swaddled in potato pancakes like the orphan left on Mrs. Butterworth's doorstep ($7.99). Although this Groupon can't be redeemed for alcohol, the pub's happy hour stretches 2 p.m.–7 p.m. every day, with bartenders pouring discounted draft beers ($2), mixed drinks ($3), and wines ($3).
Restaurant entrepreneur Ken Stewart traveled to Italy to gather the ingredients and recipes that he would use to build Tre Belle's illustrious menu of authentic Italian dishes. For appetizers, taste buds do tarantellas in anticipation of spicy stuffed peppers ($9.95), or the equally enticing artichoke with lemon aioli ($9.95). As aromatic as it is flavorful, the signature Tre Belle deluxe pizza ($14.99) is a circular tabletop of dough fixed with sausage, banana peppers, mushrooms, olives, mozzarella, and fresh basil––cooked over a wood fire for a distinctly delectable taste and instant pizza-based nostalgia. The Chicken Milanese ($15.95) is a sautéed and breaded bird adorned in a George Clinton style headdress of arugula, tomatoes, lemon, and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. A glass of Pinot Grigio ($7.95) makes a loving companion to an order of lamb ragu ($15.95), pappardelle pasta mingled with savory sauce and cooked in lamb stock.
At Club Beauty, wander up and down the cheetah-print stairs of the two-story salon and spa for a day of pampering. Head to the pedicure station, where guests relax on the cushioned-topped bench built into the gray tiled platform and soak their feet in the footbath below. Nearby, a purple velvet dining chair relaxes clients during standard and shellac manicures, and a white brick fireplace is the perfect spot for quickly melting off old polish. The vibrant red, modern chairs in the salon area host clients getting haircuts, extensions, and blowouts.