For my day job, I get to travel from time to time, and in the middle of February, I spent a week in Akron, Ohio. Granted, this was in the middle of THE ENDLESS SNOW, so I didn’t get to see much beyond the hotel.
Fun fact: Since there’s SO MUCH SNOW in Akron, (Akron is super close to Cleveland, which gets its share of lake effect precip), they don’t refer to snow days as “snow days.” They call them “calamity days.” I find that adorable.
My last night in Akron, I finally got a chance to take in some of the town, and had dinner at an AMAZING restaurant called Crave.
What I loved…
THE FOOD: The food was PHENOMENAL! Everything on the menu was a unique take on the expected American cuisine, but not so far off that it was unrecognizable. For an appetizer, we had these risotto balls with crab and baked goat cheese in a puttanesca sauce served with garlic ciabatta. For my main course, I opted for the pappardelle pasta with wild mushrooms, fennel, oven dried tomato, Cipollini onion, and topped with broccoli pesto and Asiago. So good.
THE WINE LIST: I was BLOWN AWAY that they had one of my favorite wines, Troublemaker, which is a blend Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Zinfandel and a wine that I don’t see very often. They have it at my favorite Astoria wine bar, Winegasm, but I’ve never seen it anywhere else. Diverse selection.
THE AMBIANCE: Granted, by the end of my trip, I was excited to eat anywhere that wasn’t the TGIFridays in the parking lot of the hotel, but I really dug the vibe here. Soft, comfortable but definitively urban, with the exposed brick accents and industrial touches. If there were a way to smuggle those Chihuly-eqsue light fixtures home with me…just sayin’.
THE PRICES: Super reasonable…but then again, I’m a New Yorker. $7-13 for Appetizers, $35 or under for Entrees (with the expected seafood and steak at the higher price points).
If you find yourself in Akron, do yourself a favor and make a reservation.