Olde Harbor Inn Exterior
Olde Harbor Inn overlooks one of the pretty inlets.
I'm so sorry I've been away! The fall soccer season is my busiest time of year, and the fact is that I just don't spend much time in restaurants for the first six weeks or so after Labor Day. But most of the last balls have been kicked, so it's time to start pulling my chair back up to the table. Quite a lot has been happening on the Akron dining scene the last 60 days, so here are some of the notable items.
There is a new chef at the Olde Harbor Inn on Portage Lakes Drive. Michael Ferris takes over the range from long-time Executive Chef Clayton Cundiff. Through two or three different owners, Cundiff did a great job establishing the Harbor Inn as one of the area's must try restaurants. Ferris comes from Vaccaros, and while he is still serving most of Cundiff's menu this month, he will begin adding in his own versions and dishes during the holidays. It's worth noting also that former dining room manager Thom Davis also is gone, so Steve Burroughs, the current owner, is spending a lot more time in the front of the house. None of this changes the fact that this dining room still presents the single best view in the Akron-Canton area. The food is good too...I'll be presenting my review later this week.
At the other end of the county, Shawn Monday and his wife have completed their remodeling and takeover of the former Vue spot in Hudson's First & Main Center, and renamed it One Red Door. It's open for both lunch and dinner, and I plan to get there as soon as possible. Really, I can't wait, because Monday has great credentials from two places really liked, Inn At Turner's Mill and Downtown 140. Speaking of Hudson, the Altomare family, which owns Hudson's Restaurant on the square, is opening a new location in the former Lone Star Steakhouse in Montrose. Unlike the one in Hudson, it looks like the new location will only serve lunch and dinner.
Heading on south down Darrow Road, the latest update from Deborah Parz puts the reopening of the Triple Crown Restaurant at right around December 1. Even more of a surprise to those of us near Tallmadge was the news that Nick Dadich, who owns Delanie's Neighborhood Grille just off the Circle, has made a deal to become co-owner of the former Brasserie River Grille in Cuyahoga Falls, which I recently reviewed here. Dadich and Chef Michael Fiala expect to swerve away a little from fine dining, and present more of a contemporary eatery. But since Fiala and another chef have history with the Wine Merchant, Turner's Mill, Russo's and Ken Stewart's, you know the menu will be chef-driven. They expect to be open by Thanksgiving.
On the “short order” front, Rockne Becker has renamed his original Rockne's in Cuyahoga Falls as Becker's, with a new concept and menu. There is a new name on the former Loyal Oak Tavern in Norton, which has re-opened as the Italian restaurant Amato's...I hope they got to keep the Loyal Oak wine cellar, which was once an award winning collection! John Kouvos, who sold the Big City Chop House in downtown Akron to the current 3 Point operators, has also renamed the Jackson Township location to the Canton Chop House. Adam Smith is the new chef.
Over the next couple of weeks, I hope to enjoy the start of the holidays by doing some features on some of the old traditional fine dining restaurants in Akron and Canton, and visit and review some of these new places too. Keep coming back, now that we're rolling again.
Here are links to some of the places mentioned above:
The Olde Harbor Inn: www.theoldeharborinn.com/
One Red Door: onereddoorhudson.com/
Both Hudson's Restaurants: www.3foodies.com/
Amato's Restaurant: www.nortonrestaurant.com/