Chef-owner Karen Small stocks her larder with simple, homegrown ingredients, then coaxes them into precise assemblages of soaring flavor at this hip, youthful, and energetic bistro in the heart of Ohio City. And as any trendinista will tell you, the Fig's happy hours are among the best in the city for unwinding on a budget.
The perfect start to a session of retail therapy, First Watch is fashionable and airy, with a breakfast menu that slants toward salads, fruits, and veggies. The cranberry-nut pancakes with chewy gems of sweet-tart berries playing peekaboo from inside ephemeral cakes are like Prada for the palate.
Except for the Saturday-only prime rib dinner, there is nothing fancy about this comfy little restaurant and bar. But Fisher's is still immensely popular with area workers for its big sandwiches and salads, as well as homemade soups and desserts. After 5 p.m., entrées like ribs, New York strip steak, and fettuccine Alfredo are also available. If you can, get a table on the charming enclosed sunporch. Or, in warm weather, eat on the shaded deck.
Like the South's great roadside BBQ stands, this little eatery is tucked into a Plain-Jane building with minimal charm. Fortunately, the tender, slow-smoked meats -- ribs, brisket, pork tenderloin, chicken,turkey,and sausage -- more than make up for it. Add tang with one of a half-dozen house-made sauces representing various regional styles. Carry out or dine in.
This Irish bar in the heart of downtown features live music most weekends — primarily singer-songwriters and Irish acts. But it’s best known for having Guinness on tap and throwing one hell of a St. Paddy’s Day party.
If you think Fat Cats is cool, you'll definitely love Felice. Run by the same restaurateur, this cozy eatery is tucked inside a restored Craftsman-style home on the Shaker-Cleveland border. Awaiting diners is unfussy and affordable Mediterranean fare, much of it with a decidedly Spanish flair. There's chorizo-spiked mussels, lamb sliders, skirt steak chimichurri and garlicky seafood stew. Full bar, wine and beer. Outdoor patio.
Dark, handsome and predictably pricey, this upscale steakhouse (part of a California-based chain) does the expected fine job with slabs of USDA Prime beef, as well as turning out some clever reimaginings of standard appetizers, side dishes and desserts. Solid wine list, with more than 100 wines available by the glass.
They also have a second location in Kent at 100 E Erie St Suite 112, Kent, OH 44240; (330) 677-2588
Chef-owner Rocco Whalen's well-appointed bistro is one of the best in town, with a seasonal menu of smart, contemporary fare, spiced up with Asian and Mediterranean accents.
The eclectic, contemporary menu at this Tremont fixture is a good match for its shabby-chic decor; and somehow, dishes like bouillabaisse, seared duck breast, and sausage-and-goat-cheese rigatoni taste better when devoured 'neath the light of candles and lava lamps. Friendly staffers and a full bar are other reasons to pad on into this neighborhood gem.
Operated by chef Shawn Monday (One Red Door), Flip Side builds its gourmet burgers from all-natural, grass-fed Ohio beef, a welcome change from the corn-fed versions everywhere else. Nearly a dozen different models are available, plus the expected crunchy sides like onion rings, french fries, and housemade potato chips. Great milkshakes and craft beers round out this urban saloon-style eatery.
Every student body needs a place like this small Middle Eastern café near the CWRU campus, where the big menu ranges from fries and burgers to falafel and spinach pies, and the freshly made food is both satisfying and cheap.
If you crave it, chances are that Freshlys serves it, from a big menu of tasty international noshes including corned beef, pastrami, gyros, pizza, salads, pasta, and wings. Service is mostly carryout, but a few tables accommodate those who just hafta have it now.
The menu at this sunny storefront café is eclectic. There is miso soup and mushroom quiche. Salads are topped with tofu and crab stick. Sandwiches are stuffed not only with tuna fish and egg salad, but also panko-breaded tilapia and Japanese pork cutlet. Katsu-don is a one-meal wonder of meat, rice and egg. Lovely garden patio.
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