If anyone is worried about the state of the economy, you would never know it by the festive crowd of well-dressed hipsters mixing it up inside Ohio's first Brazilian churrascaria. The house specialty is an endless parade of fresh-off-the-grill meats, carved tableside by a crew of peripatetic "gauchos." A meticulously maintained buffet offers salads and more, while elegant, a la carte desserts are worth saving room for.
One of the region's few remaining "special occasion" spots, Chez Francois offers a clubby waterfront setting, formal service, a menu of French classics, and a formidable wine list.
It's easy to imagine a gaggle of heavy-set, cigar-chomping underworld figures hunkered over dry martinis and enormous steaks at this downtown Akron institution, but even today's suburbanite will enjoy the juicy steaks, chops, and seafood that make up Diamond Grille's simple, timeless menu.
Dark, handsome and predictably pricey, this upscale steakhouse (part of a California-based chain) does the expected fine job with slabs of USDA Prime beef, as well as turning out some clever reimaginings of standard appetizers, side dishes and desserts. Solid wine list, with more than 100 wines available by the glass.
While the atmosphere at this Hyde Park location may be a smidgen less elegant than at its Cleveland-area counterparts, the Prime dry-aged steaks here are second to none. For unforgettable flavor, pick the thick Kansas City bone-in strip. At 20 ounces, this juicy hunk of beef will almost certainly require a doggy bag, but it's one of the best steaks around.
This Tower City location is elegant without being stuffy, and the menu is a meat-eater's delight, with a wide selection of steaks and chops. Service is attentive and efficient. The restaurant maintains an impressive wine cellar.
Shop, then drop into this high-end, high-priced steakhouse for giant slabs of U.S.D.A. prime beef, oversized side dishes, and freshly made desserts. Or simply enjoy a drink and some apps (lobster bisque, oysters on the half-shell, or crab cakes, perhaps?) in the handsome bar or on the seasonal sidewalk patio.
One of Akron's top restaurants, clubby Ken Stewart's serves a large menu of seafood (the house specialty), steaks, chops, chicken and pastas, as well as dozens of daily specials. Prices can be high, particularly on specials; portions are massive; service is polished; and preparation is solid, if not always au courant. Impressively large wine list.
Sophisticated but fun-loving, beautiful but sassy, Michael and Liz Symon's Lola is the hottest spot in town, with a tightly crafted menu of contemporary American fare, rife with elegant and amusing touches. Depending on the season, offerings might include beef-cheek pierogies or smoked Berkshire pork. And leave room for dessert: Lola turns out some of the most creative sweets in town. Notable wine list.
One of the last remaining grande dames of the regions formal dining scene, this elegant Italian restaurant offers impeccable appointments, attentive service and a luxurious menu of steaks, veal chops, seafood and pasta. Yes, it is expensive. But the chance to put on a suit and feel like a grown-up? Priceless.
Housed in a 160-year-old Pennsylvania Dutch barn, this steak house is anything but old-fashioned. Owner Ron Larson spiffed up the interior in ways that will pleasantly surprise diners expecting doilies and drapes. The two-story barn features a first-floor lounge with open kitchen and a spacious loft dining room. First-rate steaks and chops share the menu with less conventional steakhouse fare, like smoked chicken, pasta Bolognese and horseradish-crusted grouper.
Zdenko Zovkic has given the usual staid steakhouse scene a smart, contemporary twist, turning this high-profile restaurant into a svelte, sexy destination. While the steaks, all USDA prime, are the real stars, the lengthy menu goes well beyond to include luxurious fish and seafood alternatives. Meantime, seats in XO's uncluttered lounge are prime space for sampling the neighborhood's urbane vibe.
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