Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Taste Of Italy In Akron

Vaccaro's Trattoria
 All photos by: Melissa Arditti

Anyone up for some Italian food? It was a Saturday evening when we returned back from all the fun activities of the day and let me tell you, I was starving! So we looked at the plethora of restaurants that the hotel provided. They had everything from casual family dining to more upscale fine dining. We decided to browse through the listing that had moderate prices, after all, this was only our first stop on a week’s worth of touring the United States, and a majority of the time, we’re a bit of a frugal bunch.

I didn’t realize how busy restaurants are in Akron! The parking lot of Vaccaro’s Trattoria was packed. My dad dropped me off at the door to see if I could get us a table or not. A bit frazzled by the influx of people, the hostess told me it would be a few minutes, but she’ll see if something was available. We didn’t make a reservation in advance, so it was the luck of the draw at this point. After a bit of waiting and being bounced around to one area of the dining room and then to another, we were finally seated.

Service was decent. We were told the special features, which seemed as long as the actual menu. It may not seem like a big deal, but from past experiences going out to eat, it bothers me to no end when I overhear another table being told of the specials and myself and whomever I am with get overlooked. So this small gesture made me happy.

Our waiter was very well-mannered and explained menu items that honestly we had never heard of before. It was interesting to see the chefs come out from time to time and chat with other patrons. Obviously, there is a clear indication on who are regulars at this restaurant when they know you by name.

Although I will say that if you are searching for a quick dining experience, this is not the place to go to. We were getting a bit antsy after time was ticking away, but the quality of our meals ended up being worth the wait.

Here is my dad’s “Italian Wedding” soup. I’ve had this kind of soup many times before, but tasting a few spoonfuls, I cannot say that anything even compares. It had so much flavour and was very light. A perfect appetizer.

His meal was veal parmigiana, which had breaded veal scaloppini, egg angel hair pasta, aglio e olio mozzarella di bufala. (translated to: spaghetti with oil and garlic, and mozzarella made from the milk of domestic water buffalo). A dense carb-filled meal, but the veal was cooked well and he really enjoyed every bite.

My mom had her first taste of “Free-range airline chicken.” What is airline chicken? Well, it’s actually quite simple; a boneless chicken breast with the drumette part attached. It was served with corn bread, guanciale (an Italian cured meat), blistered grapes, mushroom ragout and swiss chard. The presentation was beautiful and the chicken was delicious.

I had a craving for seafood and so immediately I knew what I was getting; Jumbo Scampi and Agnolotti Pasta. It consisted of jumbo scampi, and I do mean jumbo, lobster agnolotti, chardonnay garlic butter, and julienne summer vegetables. If there is a dish that I would recommend here, this is the one. If you’re a seafood lover, once you bite into the pasta filled lobster, you’ll be hooked. I am actually getting hungry just thinking about it.

Finally, dessert. I cannot go into an Italian restaurant and not have tiramisu. Anything else makes no emotional sense to me, as this is my all-time favourite sweet. I’ve had tons of tiramisu over the years. Some have been orgasmic and others have disappointed. This particular tiramisu was quite tasty but the amount of mascarpone was a bit on the heavy side. However, the presentation was quite lovely to look at. We split this in three.

To finish off our meal, we ordered tea. I loved the gorgeous tea boxes that were presented in wooden cigar boxes. They had a variety of flavours, both organic and non-organic. This was a nice elegant touch.

Interestingly, there are also a few spots outside the restaurant that you can dine at. Definitely more intimate. I caught a little romantic evening taking place on our way out, as you’ll see in the first photo of the review.
Day one of our trip was certainly memorable and we commented that if food is this good in Akron, what is in store for us when we check out some other restaurants across the United States? Well, you’ll have to continue checking out Windsor Square, as I share more food reviews.

Award-winning and with 60 years of culinary history in Akron, Vaccaro’s is a perfect stop for your next classic Italian meal:

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