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.
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
Peppermill Pub and Grill combines fabulous fare, delicious drinks, and wonderful WiFi to create an all-around accommodating and alliterative experience for diners. The restaurant's executive chef, John Wright, brings his 10 years of experience at the fine-dining restaurant Chez François in Vermilion to tempt your taste buds, serving up a full menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, daily entree specials, and lunch-buffet bites for those on the go. Start with a savory order of sausage-stuffed banana peppers coated with homemade tomato sauce and cheese ($8.99), or a serving of fresh spinach and artichoke dip with hand-cut tortilla chips ($8.99), before letting your teeth traverse the table to a main dish. Peppermill chicken primavera is a house specialty, with grilled chicken, spinach, roasted red peppers, artichokes, and kalamata olives tossed with herbed olive oil ($15.99). People who like to disguise their protein as a bun will enjoy the inside-out burger, sneaking American cheese, lettuce, and tomato between two quarter-pound beef patties ($8.29).
When Frank Cangemi first opened Miles Famers Market in 1971, it was a seasonal, open-air market that only sold fresh fruits and vegetables. Frank would arrive at the Northern Ohio Food Terminal at 3 a.m. every day and proceed to hand select his stock of fresh produce, carefully choosing veggies without bruises and punting overly ripe cantaloupes. This hand selection and attention to detail is something he still does to this day, even though Miles Farmers Market has expanded to a 21,000-square-foot shopping space that also houses a deli, a butcher, and a bakery.
Its cheese department hosts more than 400 varieties of cheese, which complement varietals from a wine section that Wine Spectator hailed as “outstanding.” Its bistro not only makes up quick bites but also full dinners to go. Its staffers help foodies navigate the aisles and are on hand to offer tips that range from how to ripen an unfamiliar fruit to how to successfully wash food in the dishwasher.
Yet, even with all of this, it’s the dedication to having the best produce that really draws in shoppers. For more than 40 years, Miles has fostered partnerships with local produce growers such as Burnham, Spiegelberg, and Rittman Orchards, as well as Ohio Fruit Growers. These alliances allow for a vast selection of organic and local produce that may have been ripening on the vine or stalk seven hours before hitting store shelves.
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.