Akron will play host to the inaugural National Hamburger Festival Aug. 12 and 13 at Canal Park. The weekend’s events include amateur and professional grilling competitions, a hamburger-eating contest, live music and more than 20 food stands. As a meaty centerpiece, promoters will hold a series of hearings Saturday to determine who first concocted the classic American sandwich a century ago, with Food Network cameras recording the proceedings. Admission is $5 and free for children under 8. For more information, visit www.hamburgerfestival.com.
A new eatery has opened in the ill-fated spot on Clifton Boulevard formerly home to Giovanna’s and Mise. Velocity American Bistro, open since July, is helmed by Gregg Korney, most recently of Silver Spoon-winning Vue Restaurant in Hudson.
Fine dining has arrived in Bay Village with the completion of a much-anticipated Arrabiata’s Italian Restaurant on Dover Center Road. With its large dining room, patio, private room and full bar, Arrabiata’s is the second restaurant for Nick and John D’Angelo and Joe and Paul Rini, who also own Arrabiata’s in Mayfield Heights. Nick D’Angelo says they chose Bay because it is a close-knit community in need of more local dining, and they enjoyed the opportunity to build a restaurant from the ground up. Arrabiata’s is open Monday through Saturday serving lunch and dinner. 600 Dover Center Road, (440) 835-9100
Ever feel the need for more adventurous dining? The Cleveland Metroparks are prepared to feed your cravings for the exotic with an edible insect sampling. The tasting will be available at BugFest, a family-friendly day full of bugged-out activities Aug. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Garfield Park Nature Center in Garfield Heights. (216) 341-3152
Though construction continues on the Beachcliff Market Square, Rocky River favorite Pearl of the Orient has reopened. Completely remodeled, the dining room is huge and sleek, but warm lighting retains the comfortable feel of the old Pearl. A sushi bar and patio seating have been added, as well as plenty of extra parking. (440) 333-9902
Also reopened after extensive renovations is Benihana on Chagrin Boulevard in Beachwood. This lone Cleveland location of the nationwide Japanese teppenyaki-style dining empire is one of the first to receive dramatic changes to the décor and additions to the menu — including more sushi and sake offerings — that are planned throughout the chain.
Velocity American Bistro, 10427 Clifton Blvd., (216) 961-3438
Ty Fun Thai Bistro, 815 Jefferson Ave., Tremont, (216) 664-1000
Luna’s Krusty Krab, 10333 Northfield Road, Northfield, (330) 908-0320
CAM Asian Supermarket, 21200 Miles Road, North Randall, (216) 518-1600
Warren Tavern, 14805 Madison Ave., Lakewood
Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Eton Chagrin, 28699 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere
Bossa Nova, Eton Chagrin, 28601 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere