Café Bricco
 Akron, Ohio        Date of Visit  09/28/12

The charter of the FHC Organization clearly stipulates all emergency meetings must include a meal so when I got a text about getting together early in the day I knew dinner was already set. If shadowy or nebulous organizations known only by acronyms make you anxious, this one only has three members and all three are highly unlikely to do you harm. The quorum convened in Fairlawn, close to the member who had to work latest and we decided to try Café Bricco right up the road in the Double Tree Hotel.



Familiar And Delicious Pita And Goaty/Spiciness

I have eaten in some pretty horrible hotel restaurants but our trip to Pub Bricco in the Valley wasn’t bad so this could be expected to go anywhere.

We arrived to a busy dining room and bar which had a healthy buzz all the way through the evening and had just started to ease up when we left around 9. Our server knew his stuff but we threw him quite a bit by being more involved in our meeting than we were in figuring out what we were going to eat. We finally picked appetizers and after he came back for the rest of the order twice, unsuccessfully, we had all forgotten we hadn’t ordered. We should have let it go. We were stuffed by the time we left.

Our server did know the menu, the wines list and the craft beers from the bar. He was cordial and did a fair job keeping up with the table and glasses etc. and even though we through him a bit he was patient and maintained his friendly disposition while we chatted away.

Peppers Didn't Do Much

Double Sausage Filling Didn't Help

Balance In A Difficult Dish

Very Well Done

We started with Pita Bread, Calamari and Anaheim peppers. The pita was the same Steph and I had partaken in down in the valley. Fried pita triangles (awesome), spicy marinara sauce for dipping (not stupid but no joke spicy) with a lump of tangy goat cheese hibernating in the sauce to even everything out. Still delicious. I was less impressed with the peppers. Anaheim’s stuffed with Italian sausage and a chorizo risotto resting in a shallow pool of marinara. This is sort of a chile relleno for folks who find the traditional Mexican version to spicy or interesting. The pepper had minimal bite. The sausage and sausage and rice were fine but everything was too tame to inspire much enthusiasm.

The calamari were also subtle, which is a good thing with squid. Hard to believe but being parmesan crusted and tossed with chorizo, banana peppers and roasted red peppers the flavor of the cephalopod still shone through. All topped with a parmesan dressing we were all pretty pleased with the choice.

We each also received a half a wedge salad which was functional at best. Fresh lettuce, tomato, bleu cheese, chopped egg and a little prosciutto topped with a white French dressing. The dressing was intensity challenged compared to the rest of the ingredients and while it added some moisture it did little to enhance the flavor of the plate.


Standard At Best Chop

The Walleye Special Turned Out To Be Close To Special

Once we finally let our server do his job we had entrees quickly headed towards the table. The special for the night was a Walleye which was pan seared and set atop a wild mushroom risotto and topped with some version of creamed spinach. The fish was nicely done and the risotto actually had a fairly nice consistency and shroomy flavor. Over all it was a pretty good dish. The pan seared chicken was much less successful in my opinion. Glazed in Cajun honey and topped with sautéed peppers and onions the whole thing sat atop a parmesan risotto. The rice in this case had not been held near as well as the fish dish. It tasted alright but was closer to gruel than risotto. The chicken was pretty boring, honey or otherwise. You could see evidence of blackening spice but it did little to affect the chicken. Unless the spice was piled on one part of the chicken, the spice was something in the peppers and onions instead which was really the only thing I enjoyed.

I ordered something I am not a big believer in. It sounded different than other versions I have had. Chicken and Waffles. No, I have not been to Roscoe’s but I have had a few varieties. I like salty/sweet mixes. I still end up eating the waffle then the chicken. They taste better apart than together to me. Café Bricco’s version is buttermilk fried boneless chicken, over a parmesan polenta waffle, all drizzled with a rosemary honey. What kinda waffle was that?!?  It was an easy choice from the menu for me. And I have to admit it was better than I had expected.

Chicken Risotto Much Less Successful Than That Under Fish

Chicken Looks Seasoned, Only Peppers And Onions Tasted Of Any



The chicken looked like large tenders or slices of breast but had a darker color, increased moisture and duskier flavor...more like thigh or leg. I’m not sure how that happens. The crust on the bird had obvious pieces of a flat cereal (think corn flakes etc.) which were seasoned and or fried to a seriously dark brown. It may have struggled to adhere to the fried chicken but flavor-wise managed well. The waffle had a distinct punch of savory grits and parmesan leaving the herbed honey alone in the sweetening department. I won’t say they tasted better together but I did eat them together. I’m going to have to think about this dish for a while.

Café Bricco does pretty well for hotel eatery from the space to the service to the food there is a reason it was full during our entire stay. Similar to our stop at the Pub not everything was great, some were far less than. There are things I would order again and one dish that still has me wondering exactly how it was put together and why I liked it more than I expected. Not bad for a place across from the mall in Akron.




What's Best

What's Worst

  B- B- B B+ D B-  
        Pita n Marinara...Still Blown Rice & Boring Peppers    
All Restaurants By Ranking Restaurants By Date These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things Steph's Favorite Things
Home List of Restaurants by City The Ratings What's Rated Random Thoughts