There's nothing even slightly metaphorical about the name of Beau's on the River. With a glassed-in dining room jutting out over the rapids on pillars, it's about as literally on the water as a place can get without being a boat.
This sister restaurant to Beau's Grille opened only in May 2013, and while the views may be all new, the cooking has been a long time coming. Akron native and executive chef Billy Thurman started working in the restaurant business at age 14, and by age 25, he attained his first position as executive chef at The Twilight Cafe in Florida. Eventually, he moved back home to be closer to his mother and sisters, and he brought his wife, children, and 18 years of experience along with him.
Chef Thurman puts that experience to work in the kitchen at Beau's on the River, where he helps craft an expansive menu of inventive fine dining. He coats ahi tuna with coconut sticky rice and pairs grilled chicken with lime cream and corn salsa. And of course, as guests dine, floor-to-ceiling windows frame the majesty of the tumbling falls and the hungry phalanx of fish fighting against the currents for fallen crumbs.
Chef Ivan Lefkowitz has been doling out his diverse repertoire of homemade dishes for more than 30 years, enticing the palates of prestigious clientele such as President Bill Clinton and members of The Temptations and the Cleveland Indians. The dexterous chef whips up breakfast platters, sandwich trays, gourmet dinners, and specialty buffets for special events that range from weddings to pig roasts. He can also furnish parties with delivery, serving, and event-planning services, along with tableware, decorations, and piñatas filled with enough travel-sized packages of dental floss for every guest. In addition to catering, Ivan and his kitchen crew simmer up hearty dishes at their own diner location. Deli-style burgers and sandwiches meet with homemade soups upon the restaurant’s tabletops and booths, and beneath the colorful umbrellas of its outdoor patio.
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.
Sushi on the Roll Sushi on the Roll's adroit chefs carefully wrap vinegar-sprinkled rice, nori, and fresh seafood into creations that won the restaurant Best Sushi on the 2010 Fox 8 Akron-Canton Hot List. Classic maki favorites such as an eel or salmon roll satisfy piscine cravings, and spicy rolls such as the Moffa, layered with spicy tuna and shrimp tempura, work their pleasing pyromancy on palates. The eatery's chefs also host periodic hands-on Sushi 101 classes, which divulge the secrets of making nigiri and maki rolls as well as how to grab a good night's sleep by stuffing pillows with perfectly fluffy rice.
A nonprofit, java-centric venture, Urbean Café brews and serves steaming cups of locally roasted coffee in order to support Urban Connection, a community-outreach program designed to provide employment training to disadvantaged members of the community. The café menu stars fresh, Akron-roasted beans in a stimulating selection of coffee concoctions ($1–$4), alongside a tasty supporting ensemble of seasonal sandwiches ($3.50), soups ($2), muffins ($1), and more. The eco-friendly café building boasts solar-power panels, geothermal heating and cooling, and a noticeable absence of stove-burning stoves. The mobile Urbun Cart makes it easier than ever to guzzle a tummy-warming drink while enjoying the all-over warmth that comes with helping others.
Formerly known as Casa Mimi, Casa Perfetto has served up family-style Italian cuisine since 1967, when Frances and Antimo "Mimi" Perfetto opened the restaurant with brother and chef Giuseppe Perfetto. Originally determined to become the first pizzeria shaped like a Jetsons house, Casa Perfetto has trained its focus on Italian comfort food that sings gentle ninna nannas before tucking diners into sheets of warm lasagna. The menu reads almost like a family album, with photos of relatives adjacent to their favorite dishes, like the pasta Caruso, a heaping dish of chicken livers, mushrooms, and marinara sauce over cappellini ($14.95). Fluffy pillows of handmade gnocchi come tossed in carbonara, sprinkled with mozzarella and flanked by tender meatballs ($14.95). Fresh chops and seafood can be had for $14.95–$29.95. Picky eaters will appreciate pasta alla vostro gusto (pasta to your taste, starting at $9.95), which lets them combine cappellini, linguine, or rigatoni with their choice of sauce, vegetable, and meat options to build the ideal pasta mate.