Wise Guys
 Akron, Ohio          Date of Visit  09/24/14           

We had been to Nick Anthe’s prior to it’s demise. It was fine. We have been to the associated and hence confusingly named 93 Prime, or was it Prime 93 or Prime Anthe’s or maybe something else. It was okay too. The original location has a new sign and I’m assuming owners but very little has changed, especially inside. There even remains an etched set of glasses in the window above the front door.



Nothing's Changed...Except It's Empty But For Us

We dined like the president…meaning all alone. There wasn’t another soul in the building who wasn’t on the clock, from beginning to end. Our server seemed excited about the place and the product and recommended a few things, a couple of which we tried. She managed to do a pretty good job during our stay but spent a lot of time fiddling with tables in the dining room. Nothing you would notice if there were other diners, but it starts to evoke feelings of paranoia when you are all alone. Then the Sinatra stops playing for a few minutes and the paranoia grows exponentially.

We ordered the stuffed mushrooms and lobster bisque (of course). The shrooms showed up first and didn’t fulfill the promise from the menu. Stuffed with red wine braised short ribs, boursin cheese, and doused in a horseradish sauce, they weren’t bad but they didn’t really come together. I would never have known there was boursin anywhere in there…if there was. Even the short rib was cloaked by the pools and swirls of horseradish cream…which was tasty but obliterated all else.

Wanted So Much More Than Just Sauce Flavor From This

Heat Would Have Helped Bisque Immensely

The bisque took a while to get to the table, it lagged behind the mushrooms by some margin so I imagined it was being reheated to order, hard to keep those cream based soups. The only problem was it was barley luke-warm. Shame, it wasn’t much for actual lobster but the bisque had a healthy crustaceany flavor with splashes of veg and a hint of spice. Had it been hotter it may have been less cloying.

Steph ordered the gnocchi. The menu made us both think of the simple but fabulous dish we had been thrilled over at Supper Restaurant in New York. First thing. The gnocchi they make in house is excellent, lush, doughy, light. The menu said it was served with lemon and cracked pepper with roasted vegetables and artichokes. Hence the memories of the lemon and parm pasta from the Big Apple. Add some veg and tangy chokes, would have been amazing. This did have lemon included, it had the veg, but it consisted mostly of a thin red sauce (lots of roasted red pepper?) which dominated the entire bowl and took a savage beating in comparison to the lemon parm memory. Great pasta, overbearing sauce.


Great Pasta, Disappointing Sauce

Good Ingredients Didn't Really Come Together

Simple, Functional Slaw

Fries Were Tasty & Well Done

I ordered the recommended shrimp Po’ Boy. It was both really nice and disappointing at the same time. The components of the sandwich…all of them had promise. The toasted French bread was excellent and took on a buttery crispiness around the edges, the shrimp were big, cooked fairly well and coated in a crunchy cornmeal crust, the remoulade wasn’t as spicy as suggested but enough to show, and the veg was all there. It just didn’t come together as a whole. It was better picking the pieces out. I haven’t been to Domilise's or Mother’s in NOLA (I so will), maybe that’s how they all are. Dunno, but wanted it to come together like some of my favorite sammitches so far. Similar to the Anthe’s spots, there’s good, and there’s okay at Wise Guys. Surprising how some things change so little over time.




What's Best

What's Worst

  C+ C C B D C  
    Nice But Oppressive Nice But Empty Fries Cold Soup    
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