Garden Patio at the Baricelli Inn 2203 Cornell Road; 216-791-6500
Dark and handsome, he watched from beneath heavy-lidded eyes as she walked toward the table, an admiring smile playing about his lips. "Wow, great patio," she thought, as she slipped into a chair beneath a canopy of market umbrellas. In the fading evening twilight, she couldn't shake the sense of being in a European garden, surrounded by sheltering evergreens. Colorful flowers spilled out of well-tended beds; soft, moody lighting made shadows dance across the grounds; an ancient-looking statue of a venerable saint seemed to give his benediction to all who entered. Fine wines, platters of artisanal cheeses, and bowls of olives graced nearly every table. It was almost unbelievable that they were in a Cleveland restaurant and not on the outskirts of Tuscany, she thought. Her satiny skin shimmered in the flickering candlelight as she perused the menu. She had never looked more beautiful, he realized. "I wonder . . ." she mused. "Is that a mortadella in his pocket? Or is he just glad to see me?"