As that grande dame of gastronomy, M.F.K. Fisher, liked to point out, sexual passion and wonderful food are intimately intertwined. After all, don't we each "have a belly below our heart?" Hence the wise lover woos not just with flattery, but with food. Here, then, are four dining rooms where the combination of sensual foods and beautiful atmosphere is almost certain to fan the flames of passion.
2179 West 11th Street, Cleveland; 216-622-0011.
Kosta's svelte, dimly lit dining room is a sophisticated backdrop for Executive Chef Brandt Evans's gastronomic lovemaking. This is food so full of life and passion -- dizzying flavors, beautiful colors, and tongue-tingling textures -- that one may be tempted to declare, in the words of the French woman, "I wish I had taste buds all the way down to my stomach!"
1400 West Sixth Street, Cleveland; 216-774-0055.
Yes, wonderful food is an aphrodisiac. But then again, so is money. How can you miss when you combine them in a visit to this drop-dead-gorgeous dining room, where the French cuisine is impeccable, the service discreet, and the scent of wealth hangs in the air like fine perfume?
The Baricelli Inn
2203 Cornell Road, Cleveland; 216-791-6500.
This beautiful turn-of-the-century brownstone is a showcase for Chef Paul Minnillos earthy yet elegant dishes. Minnillos creations are so vital and vibrant roast lamb loin, breast of chicken, long-boned veal chops that sometimes we get excited just reading the menu. Is it a mere coincidence that the inn also offers several luxurious guestrooms on the upper floors? I think not.
Blue Point Grille
700 West St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland; 216-875-STAR.
What better spot for a romantic tête-à-tête than a restaurant whose motto is Voro Ostifer Amor Diutius? Eat oysters, make love. Certainly do eat the oysters (perhaps from one anothers lips?) and sip the champagne. But be forewarned: An affair that begins in this magnificent dining room a soaring space filled with golden stars, midnight blues, and rosy brick may very well end up as the love of a lifetime.