Too often, Italian joints go heavy on the comfort and light on the quality. Not so here where owner Eddie Cerino approaches traditional Italian food less like a grandmother and more like a chef. The result is food that looks familiar but tastes modern. And thanks to half orders of salad and pasta, diners have control over portion size and price. $$$
With a decidedly California feel, this attractive wine bar boasts a barrel-vaulted ceiling, floor-to-ceiling windows and low-slung tables and couches. An appealing roster of small and not-so-small plates goes well beyond the ubiquitous cheese board. Come for the food, stay for the Enomatic, a self-serve dispenser that marries smart-card technology with sweet, sweet wine.
Eric Williams' new Lakewood cantina is not Momocho West, but it does share some DNA with that insanely popular Ohio City restaurant. Carnicero translates to "butcher," and the name is a pretty good indicator of what's to come. Slow-cooked meats like beef brisket, lamb, wild boar, duck and pork belly are transformed into savory toppings for tamales or fillings for roll-your-own tacos. The chips, salsa and guac here are just as good as that other spot, and so are the margaritas.
El Castillo Grande is the latest in a long list of restaurants to make a go of this quirky castle on the banks of Lake Erie. Order from the a la carte menu of tacos, burritos, enchiladas and taquitos, or from the more ambitious collection of house specialties. Items can be hit-or-miss at times, but for sheer value, this castle is king. Margaritas sold by the glass, jumbo, monster and pitcher.
Comfy, cozy, and casual enough to take the kids, this tidy taqueria offers a large menu of freshly prepped Mexican and Tex-Mex standards, ranging from flautas, burritos, and homemade tamales to cheesecake and fried ice cream. Special menus for kids and non-carnivores make it a particularly appealing family destination.
This pretty hacienda would look more at home on a Mexican hillside than on busy Lorain Road, but the big menu of housemade south-of-the-border fare will be familiar to most Northeast Ohioans. Among the notables, spicy serrano-spiked salsa is a standout, and quivering homemade flan, with a dulce de leche caress, is a delight.
Chef, artist and musician Antonio Carafelli turns humble Tex-Mex and Latino standards into flavorful masterpieces in this little Lakewood storefront.
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