D'Agnese's Trattoria & Cafe
 Akron, Ohio         Date of Visit (2)  07/31/15         
http://www.dagneseswhitepond.com/Home_Page.html      Click Here for Original Visit

There’s nothing much to add or subtract from our first official visit to D’Agnese’s. The service seemed more disjointed, resulting in our server having to attend to tables randomly strewn inside and out. Once a few folks started to drift in for lunch, things slowed down significantly…good thing we were off the clock for the rest of the day.

The chow is still solid for the area, better than I had expected on our first trip and they seem consistent.

We started with a small Sicilian pizza…red sauce, Italian sausage, prosciutto, kalamata olives, mozzarella, provolone. A little deeper puddle of sauce on the crisp but boring crust would have been nice but the sharp herbs stood out beneath an excellent blend of toppings. The sausage is strongly seasoned and delicious, different layers of saltiness from the dry cured ham and cheeses were compounded with the accompanying richness of all three. Add the occasional but oh, so intense purple olive and you could do a lot worse.

Steph went back to the Parmigiana Chicken which was baked with marinara and mozzarella and served with a side of linguini topped with marinara. The chicken was alright but the breading had that leathery and eggy taste and texture…meh. The long noodles were well done and coated with a bright and smooth tomato concoction. The penne in my dish suffered mushily from overcooking but were improved with the marinara, fresh basil, sausage meat sauce and goat cheese. That’s right…sausage and goat cheese. I’m making that at home!


Bread & Super Sharp Balsamic Dip

Great Flavors In Little Pizza


The Chix Parm Was Average With Well Done Pasta

I'm Stealing This Recipe

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D'Agnese's Trattoria & Cafe
 Akron, Ohio         Date of Visit  09/03/11        

Sitting at a wedding reception, we found that our table included some long time friends and a couple we had not previously met. At some point during the evening we ended up talking about food (no surprise, we were eating) and we started talking about places to eat in the area. This visit was the first suggestion our new friends had given us…it only took us one day… and if this is any indication of their tastes, there will be some future meals based on their recommendations. I couldn’t be sure I trusted them up front…I mean they said there was a good Italian place in Akron Ohio.



Brown, Lumpy Scrumptiosity

It’s a little like taking movie recommendations from someone who has already told you that Keanu Reeves is the most talented actor they have ever seen. Now to be completely honest, we have found some functional Italian fare in the area, Papa Joe’s…the newcomer Niccolini’s…in spite of the much less passable Vaccaro’s and absolute disaster at the Spaghetti Warehouse…things are better than I thought they were. They just got better.

Located in a strip mall (yes, a strip mall) D’Agnese’s is contradictory as a space. The flat parking lot of the strip mall gives way to the blocky squaritude of the building itself. When you walk in it is high falutin’ inside. It looks like they have invested a great deal in this place and I was initially worried that we seemed to be the only people in the place who weren’t working. We were there past the typical lunch rush when you might find yourself in an empty place so I held out hope.

I Wish You Could Get the Size of the Bowl of Fahzool...Lika Quart of Soup

Salad Was Less Outstanding Part of Soup and Ehhhh.

Tomato Basil Soup Was Really Pretty Good

Lunch Ravis
  The menu is familiar and adds a couple of interesting twists to the typical. We ordered a cup of the tomato basil soup, a soup/salad combo with the pasta fagioli (yes that’s how you spell fahzool), ravioli, the chicken parm, and the D’Agnese chicken which would be called a Franchese or Francaise in Youngstown.

The first thing to hit our table were crusty rolls with small finger bowls of interesting. The bread is served with a balsamic based vinaigrette which has an Italian pepper salsa/salad swimming in the middle of it. Well, for me, that’s new. And worth the trip itself. Rich and pungent with a little kick from the peppers was simply phenomenal. I gotta tell ya, when it comes to really good bread, I am kinda like Paula Dean when it comes to really good butter. I like this brown chunky bowl of awesome even more. I think they are a little confused about portion size at D’Agnese’s. Their cup of soup is very bowl-like and their bowl is more like a tankard. Both were good. The fagioli was tasty and I found the tomato soup with gorgonzola even better, even if it didn’t quite match the depth of Michael Symons at B-Spot. By report the ravs were really good, the marinara here is quiet and lightly chunky. No single note or duo stands out. There is a hint of sweetness, nice acidity, herbs and spices, a nice gravy. The salad, again by report, was ehhh...a salad.



And House Chickens

The D’Angnese chicken was nice but I felt it could have used a little more of the punch of the lemon to balance out the buttery richness. The pasta all appeared to be well done, tender with the right resistance, and it grasped the sauce well. Both chicken dishes featured pretty well done chicken, thin cuts are hard to keep moist, a breading that held a bit of crunch but still blended with the sauces and added a nice compliment to the protein and toppings. We asked for a meatball to be added to the house chicken dish and after being reassured by the kitchen it was cooked through (pink in middle and not around the edge) it turned out to be a really complex and worth the chance. (We remain healthy so far.)

We were all stuffed but had strolled past the dessert case on the way in and lingering memories of yum triumphed over the signals from the brains calling out “No More!” Well, after trying the banana cream cheesecake I was glad that I have apparently permanently injured my hypothalamus (apparently the part of the brain that tells you “you are full”. Plus the four of us split it. The cheesecake is a Philly style, soft and light with an incredibly rich banana and cream cheese bite. I know they order it in, but they order in some tasty stuff. I remain impressed with D’Agnese’s and the palates of our fellow wedding foodies. More to come.

Ordered In But Delicious



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