Inside HoneyBaked Ham, chefs uphold the same traditions that Harry J. Hoenselaar created more than 40 years ago. Back then, he chose individual hams, cured them in his secret marinade, and smoked them over hardwood chips before offsetting the earthy flavor with a crisp, sweet glaze. To this day, the staff makes the signature bone-in hams one at a time and glazes them in the shop.
To go with the meats, the kitchen whips up classic side dishes and desserts, such as the sweet-potato soufflé. For less formal feasting, party trays and packed lunch boxes fuel business meetings, backyard grad parties, and lengthy end-zone celebrations.
Party planners at Maximum Events specialize in decking out dessert tables in delicious sweets personalized with eye-pleasing icing. A changing selection of cupcakes may include such tasty classics such as vanilla cake with buttercream frosting or chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. Unlike black velvet, which makes for a great bathrobe but tastes like fabric, the red-velvet cupcake makes for a poor bathrobe but delights diners with a rich red crumb and a velvety cap of cream cheese. Selecting a variety of inventive flavors such as the raspberry champagne or coconut-pineapple meringue treats taste buds to sweetness and the best kind of spice—variety.
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.
While some restaurants aim to invent the next big dish, others work on perfecting the classics. TJ’s Amber Restaurant falls into the latter category, with chefs spending their days preparing hearty American comfort food. Though they can grill up a fantastic burger and create mouthwatering open-faced meatloaf sandwiches drizzled in gravy, the chefs’ real specialty is fried chicken. After breading wings, thighs, and breasts, they fry them to perfection and load them into buckets. Then, they pair the crispy chicken with jojo fries, slaw, or hot rice to create a meal so deliciously American that squadrons of hungry F-22s have already swarmed in to devour your meal.
Independently owned since 1964, TJ’s is known for its choice steaks and gourmet seafood, but the dinner menu also includes pastas, salads, and original bistro fare. Prince Edward Island mussels are sautéed with fresh basil, oregano, and garlic, run through free-weight power drills, and served in a white wine and lemon broth to make the perfect starter ($8.99). TJ’s noteworthy prime rib is available Fridays and Saturdays and is slow-roasted, dressed with au jus, and served with garlic whipped mashed potatoes ($14.99–$19.99). Other choice steaks such as the filet mignon are available nightly ($21.99). Halibut ($18.99) and salmon ($15.99) can be baked, pan seared, shaken hysterically, or blackened and served with various sauces including spicy rémoulade and orange tartar sauce. The wild mushroom and whole-wheat penne tames voracious appetites and keeps outlaws from roaming the streets of Tombstone ($11.59), while field greens provide a healthy foundation for roasted salmon and fresh buffalo mozzarella ($11.59). TJ’s also serves a lighter lunch menu with delicious bites such as the m & m burger topped with mushrooms and mozzarella ($7.59) or the mediterranean chicken pizza ($8.59). A vegan menu is also available upon request.
Jim Cucuzza serves as both co-owner and chef at Bongiorno's Family Ristorante & Pizzeria, where he crafts traditional Southern Italian food in a casual, family friendly environment. Just because the dining room and heated outdoor patio welcome casually-dress patrons, though, doesn't mean the food isn't gourmet. In fact, one of the compliments Chef Cucuzza regularly receives is the suggestion that he should be baking dishes like his chicken and sausage arrabiatta in some swank New York hot spot. Occasionally, diners will quietly confess that his homemade gravy trumps even their grandma's recipe.
For guests who don't know where to start, Chef Cucuzza recommends checking out a few of the menu's hidden gems. His suggestions included the halibut romano—encrusted with a cheese and bread crumb coating soaked in lemon butter sauce—or the calamari steak appetizer, a hearty slice of squid sauteed in with homemade tomato sauce. Though Jim's favorites are seafood-focused, he promises that the menus "[have] something for everyone. Everything I cook is to order, [using] fresh ingredients."
And by everyone, he even means pint-sized diners. The chef puts together a children's menu featuring kid-friendly Italian favorites. Meanwhile, adults can enjoy a happy hour every Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., accompanied on Fridays by live music on the patio during warmer months.
Cuisine Type: Italain
Reservations: Not necessary
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11–25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: veal
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out: Parking garage
Outdoor Seating: Yes