Back to D.B.A.

We recently headed back to Dante Bucuzzi’s D.B.A. in Akron and had the chance to try a few more items on the menu.

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Hawaiian Tuna Tartare – purple potatoes, poached egg, chive remoulade

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Hudson Valley Foie Gras – “bananas foster” pickled walnuts, crisp plantains

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Surf and Turf – braised beef short rib, seared scallops, celery variations

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Ricotta Cavatelli – sweet gorgonzola cream, toasted walnuts

We thought everything was good.  The foie gras was a little on the sweet side for our taste, and the scallops were just a tiny bit overcooked, but overall, it was a good experience.  We loved the cavatelli, and would definitely order it again.  There was a tanginess and a sweetness that made a perfect combination, along with the texture and nutty flavor from the toasted walnuts.  This place is a much needed addition to the Akron dining scene.  The vibe is lively, although a bit loud for intimate conversation.  We have been consistently happy with our dining experiences here, and we will certainly be back.

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Michael’s A.M.

We go to Michael’s A.M. in Akron for breakfast basically because of their eggs Benedict.  We’ve found that many breakfast places fail miserably at this dish.  At Michael’s, they know how to do it right.  The egg, of course, is the star of the dish, and should be poached to perfection.  So many times at other restaurants we have cut into that first bite only to be utterly disappointed when nothing oozes onto the plate.  The English muffin is also an important component.  It must be crispy.  The hollandaise sauce should not be too thick, and it absolutely must have a lemony zing to it.  Michael’s consistently delivers in all of these categories.  So if you have a craving for the Benedict, head down to the valley and visit Michael’s.  The service is always fast and friendly as well. 

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And by the way, our daughter thinks their waffles are pretty good too!

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Primo’s Deli

If you haven’t been to Primo’s Deli in Akron, you are seriously missing out.  For us, there is no deli around that comes close to beating out this hole in the wall that we’ve been frequenting for years.

Chips and dip – this creamy ranch dip is so addicting, you really have to try not to stuff yourself completely full before your sandwich arrives.

New York pastrami on rye – the quality of the meat, the perfect crunch of the bread, the creamy zing of the slaw…sandwich perfection!

Turkey sub – smoked turkey, turkey pastrami and turkey breast.  This delicious sub is one of the many you will find on the menu.

The beer selection is great as well.  There are coolers lining one side of the dining room where you can brouse and pick out a beer from their extensive selection.  If you have room after all the chips, beer and sandwiches, they also make a mean dessert!  The carrot cake is a favorite with many regular customers.  We always leave Primo’s completely satisfied!

Primo's Deli on Urbanspoon

Holy Mole

We’ve blogged about Ranchero’s Taqueria before, but we just had to let you know about their Friday night mole.  Wow!  The levels of flavor in this sauce are incredible.  This is the kind of dish that you can’t stop yourself from eating and eating long after you’re full.  It’s just that good.  As usual, the ingredients are all fresh and of high quality.  Since discovering this place, the thought of going anywhere else for Mexican food is …well, it’s probably not going to happen.


Ranchero's Taqueria on Urbanspoon

Dante Boccuzzi Akron (D.B.A.)

We are fans of Dante Boccuzzi’s restaurant in Tremont, so we had to check out his new Akron location soon after it opened.  It’s located where Vegiterranean used to be on the north side of downtown Akron.  They changed the decor slightly, but the patio is still the best place to be on a nice night.  We went with friends and decided to share everything so we could try more dishes.  The menu is similar to the Tremont menu both in set up and actual dishes.

Mussels “Hong Kong style” chile peppers, crab meat, cilantro lime

She said…I loved this broth, but was so disappointed that we did not have a big hunk of crusty bread to soak it up!

He said…What a great way to start the meal!  I really liked the Asian/Latin fusion of the dish.

Crispy Calamari and Rock Shrimp, fine scallions, chile spiced mayo

She said…This was just ok for me.  The saltiness just completely took over the dish.

He said…This dish was my least favorite of the evening.  While I liked the chile spiced mayo, the calamari was disappointing.

Green Spaghetti, garlic braised rock shrimp, spincah, poor man’s cheese

She said…I did not care for this at all.  I thought it was bland.  It tasted like buttered noodles that I would serve my 6 year old.

He said…The waitress raved about this dish, so we decided to give it a try.  While I liked it better than She, I agree that it was more on the bland side.

Arborio Risotto alla carbonara, house cured pancetta, soft poached egg, truffle puree

She said…This dish is right up my alley, and I loved it.  Creamy and decadent, I would order this again and again.

He said…The risotto was cooked perfectly and I loved the truffle puree.

Pappardelle alla bolognese, ragu of beef, veal and pork

She said…This was fabulous.  The pasta was perfectly cooked and the ragu was so flavorful.  I didn’t want to share!

He said…Agreed!  This was my favorite dish of the evening.  I can imagine having a huge bowl of this on a cold winter’s evening, however, it was pretty damn good on a nice summer evening as well!

Chicken, ratatouille tardet, roasted Ohio garlic

She said…I’m not usually a huge fan of chicken, but I was really impressed with this dish.  It was very juicy and flavorful, probably one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant.

He said…Of course when I ordered a chicken dish, She admonished me. However, I’m not adverse to ordering chicken out, especially if it turns out to be this delicious.  The chicken was moist and tender and the skin was crispy.

She said…OK, I admit it.  The chicken turned out to be a good choice!

Although there were some misses, overall we were very happy with our meal.  The service was very good as well.  We will definitely return to D.B.A.

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Ranchero’s Taqueria

You probably wouldn’t stop at Rancheros Taqueria on Cuyahoga Falls Avenue in Akron if you hadn’t heard about it from someone who’s been there.  In our case, my parents started going there before there was even a dining room.  They would sit at the counter and watch chef David cook up his authentic Mexican food.  They raved about it, so we had to give it a try.  It’s not a fancy place, but they have expanded to include a dining room.

Chips and Chorizo Queso

Chorizo Enchiladas

She said…Everything is fresh and made to order.  It may take a little longer, but it’s worth the wait.  This is authentic Mexican food, and makes me never want to visit a chain Mexican restaurant again.  The margaritas are strong too!

He said…This was my first time at the restaurant.  After hearing good things about it, my expectations were pretty high.  I was immediately drawn to the Chorizo Queso on the menu and I’m glad we decided to try it.  The chorizo in the cheese was generous and it was spicy and delicious.  Because the chorizo was so good, we decided to order the Chorizo Enchiladas.  The enchiladas were prepared really well, and the corn tortilla stood up to the boldness of the chorizo.  Overall, I had a great dining experience the first time around and I’m excited to try more of their food.

Chef David is very friendly and loves to chat it up with his customers.  He told us next time we stop in he’ll whip us up some non menu items with whatever ingredients are fresh and inspiring that day.  We can’t wait!  This is our new go to Mexican place!

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