Chef-restaurateur Brandt Evans' new Pura Vida wafts a fresh breeze onto Public Square, and downtown's working stiffs seem eager to bask in its coolness: During a recent lunch visit, the joint was hoppin' with a big crowd of collars white and blue. Among the attractions: a spare and airy decor, an energetic vibe, and morning, mid-day, and early-evening menus that rely on local, sustainable ingredients for dishes like yellow tomato gazpacho and pork belly BLTs. The farm-fresh vibe extends to the cocktail menu, where we came across the Lavender Gin Fizz ($7), a fragrant, refreshing blend of gin, soda, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and lavender-infused simple syrup. "The lavender gives the gin a nice floral note, but it's not aggressive," says veteran barkeep Ric Mattimore. "Overall, I think it's a great combination." So do we. Pura Vida is at 170 Euclid Ave. Call 216-987-0100 or visit puravidabybrandt.com for more information. — Elaine T. Cicora
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