Once the domain of cheesy hotel lounges, happy hour has gone upscale, cropping up in some of Cleveland's finest restaurants. Flying Fig (2523 Market Avenue, 216-241-4243) was probably the first to launch the trend, with juicy five-buck burgers and spirited cocktails served at the bar each Tuesday through Friday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Hot spots like Lolita (900 Literary Road, 216-771-5652) and Vivo (347 Euclid Avenue, 216-621-4802) have since followed suit.
Now add Marlin Kaplan's One Walnut (1801 East Ninth Street, 216-575-1111) to the A-list of after-work watering holes. Since their February start, the "5-5-5" festivities (five apps, five cocktails, $5 each) have already made a big splash among downtown workers eager to drown their sorrows in one of the city's most chic salons. Among the edibles, you'll find noshes like spicy tuna lettuce wraps, bacon-wrapped shrimp, and truffled pommes frites with parmesan. And among the drinkables, there are the fig and pomegranate cosmo, a standard margarita, and a host of wines by the glass.
Get happy from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Small bites: Speaking of Chef Kaplan, things are progressing at his soon-to-launch satellite in the Detroit-Shoreway 'hood. We've peeked through the paper-covered windows in the old Central Savings and Loan Building at 6605 Detroit Avenue several times now, and it's starting to look like a restaurant in there. No official word yet on the newbie's name, concept, or opening date.
Farther west, Lakewood's Venezia (16300 Detroit Avenue, 216-226-0006) has reopened. Fresh off a visit to his native Morocco, chef Moha Orchid has streamlined his moderately priced dinner menu, and soon plans to add traditional dishes like lamb tagine and bastila to the daily options. Also new are lunch and Sunday brunch service, featuring burgers, omelets, soups, and salads. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Browse the full menu at www.venezialakewood.com.