Devore’s Hopocan Gardens serves Barberton-style chicken, which is locally raised, cut to conserve the tastiest bits of meat, lightly breaded for a natural, seasoning-free flavor, and deep-fried to a golden brown. The crisp, fresh taste of a classic white-meat combination (a breast, back, leg, and wing; $8.95) or a large dark platter (three thighs, two drumettes, and a back; $9.55) makes Colonel Sanders roll over in his roost. Most dinners come with a choice of three sides, such as hot sauce, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes. The menu of fowl-focused palates includes chicken buckets, hot wings, sandwiches, and paprikash (chicken stewed in a paprika sauce), along with freshwater pike, shrimp, and ham.
At El Jalapenos, servers bustle between tables and through kitchen doors carrying plates of queso fundido, chicken fajitas, and carnitas. Here, armed with margaritas and overstuffed burritos, guests can savor a Mexican meal that's as relaxing as a nap underneath a warm tortilla blanket. Slice into carne asada or La Oaxaquena—grilled steak served with poblano peppers, bacon, ham, cheese, beans, and rice. Or, grab a tortilla filled with pork al pastor, stir-fried peppers, and refried beans. El Jalapeno has vegetarian options, too, including spinach enchiladas and cheese quesadillas.
Executive chef Angus O’Hara delights diners in The Galaxy Restaurant's elegant dining and Wine rooms with a dinner menu home to choice steaks and seafood dishes and a lengthy wine menu. The house-made lump crab cake totes a sherry tomato vinaigrette and scallion oil ($9.95) in its quest for starter dominance over the white-wine-infused Prince Edward Island mussels ($7.95/half pound), noted for being the seventh in line to become King of England. The spicy Shrimp Diablo rests jumbo scampi and peppers on a well-starched bed of linguini ($19), and the Maine lobster tail garnishes a buttery cold water crustacean with drawn butter and fresh vegetables ($39). The 6-ounce filet oscar crowns a center cut filet with fresh crab meat, asparagus, and a béarnaise sauce ($25) arranged to mimic the Portrait of Dorian Gray. With more than 50 wines available by the glass, guests can find the perfect libation to pair with any meal, such as the Galaxy cabernet sauvignon ($5.50) or the Chateau St. Jean sauvignon blanc ($9).
The first Cleats Club Seat Grille was founded in 1996 in North Royalton—but since then, the colorful sports pub has expanded to seven franchise locations around Northeast Ohio. Perhaps this spread was due in part to their signature chicken wings, which are served traditional or boneless and drenched in one of 18 zesty sauces. Diners can even forego the typical chicken wing altogether for Cleats' Water Wings, which use crispy fantail shrimp. An expansive sports-themed menu also highlights rich pub grub such as half-pound burgers, melts, mac 'n' cheese bowls, and slow-cooked ribs.
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.