Weekends, after the dinner crowd thins out, and this upscale Italian restaurant becomes a hotbed for hip, bluesy jazz.
Diners at this locally based, quick-casual chain inside Great Northern Mall can design their salads from a near-endless selection of greens, toppings and dressings, which are then chopped by a mezzaluna-wielding staffer on a wooden block. More than a novelty, the chopping means that every bite offers the perfect blend of greens, toppings and dressing. Creations also can be folded into a large flour tortilla.
A clean, casual Lebanese-American eatery across from the Cleveland Clinic, Cedarland has a large menu of Middle Eastern standards, including shishtawook, baked fish, and falafel. Lots of choices for vegetarians. There's a small imported-foods market too.
An earthy swirl of brick, glass and polished wood, Crave provides a warm backdrop for chefs DeAnna Akers and Aaron Hervey's long, inventive menu of high-octane treats, featuring everything from Black Angus burgers to porcini-dusted scallops. The bar offers an enticing roundup of imported and craft-brewed beers, along with well-priced wines and savory martinis.
Imported from Buffalo, the Chocolate Bar is part nightclub, part restaurant. By day, the airy space bustles with lunchtime activity, with diners digging into affordable salads, sandwiches, and entrées. At night, ladies (and the men who love them) pair chocolate martinis with decadent desserts. While chocolate finds its way into all manner of menu items, it's wise to stick to those that come with whipped cream or alcohol.
Comfy, cozy, and rich with vintage architectural detail, Civilization makes an ideal spot for reading, web-surfing, or just lingering with agreeable companions over a smooth cappuccino, a fresh muffin, or lunchtime soups and sandwiches.
This snug, suburban oasis features a casually upscale vibe, a gregarious Roman chef and an expansive, entrancing menu of Italian eats, with options ranging from savory antipasti platters, seafood, and strip steaks to gnocchi, lasagna, and homemade pappardelle with wild-boar Bolognese. Assembled from first-rate ingredients and served with grace in a gorgeous dining room, Café Toscano's food hits all the right chords.
Clean, casual and family-friendly, this gourmet pizza parlor (part of a large, California-based chain) is the best bet for dining with the little ones while at Legacy Village.
Hibachi-table preparations of steak and seafood are the stars of this casual Japanese restaurant's menu, although the well-made sushi also earns its props. And a bucolic outdoor patio, overlooking a wooded ravine, is a warm-weather treat.
Diners at this locally based, quick-casual chain inside South Park Mall can design their salads from a near-endless selection of greens, toppings and dressings, which are then chopped by a mezzaluna-wielding staffer on a wooden block. More than a novelty, the chopping means that every bite offers the perfect blend of greens, toppings and dressing. Creations also can be folded into a large flour tortilla.
Along with wonderful aromas, the well-appointed dining room is filled with plants, artwork, and soothing shades of teal and plum. The well-organized menu emphasizes the richer, less fiery northern Indian cuisine, although a few southern Indian dishes are served during Saturday lunch and Sunday dinner.
A suburban outpost of the Cleveland Heights original, Aurora's Café Tandoor serves precisely prepared Northern Indian food in an attractive setting. Among our favorites are the restaurant's unusual cashew-and-pistachio-crusted naan, warm from the tandoori oven, and the unusually good kheer.
Aficionados of authentic Neapolitan-style pizza have been claiming this pizzeria serves the best pie in town. That is not a surprise considering that the pizzaioli uses time-tested ingredients, techniques, and equipment, including a 950-degree wood-burning oven. The menu is largely confined to pizza, but does include starters, salads, and desserts.
The city's ultimate Italian sweet shop, Corbo's bakes nearly two dozen different types of cookies every day. Seven-layer cookies, cookies coated with toasted pine nuts, cookies stuffed with apricot filling, cannoli and four or five types of biscotti are just a few of its delicious offerings. The bakery opens early and stays open late on Fridays and Saturdays, making this a sweet destination for coffee and cookies after a stroll through Little Italy.
A snug little hideaway just behind the Q, Cleats is part of a rapidly growing local chain of sports bars. Wings are the kitchen's claim to fame, but we've got our eyes on the fries fresh-cut cuties so good, we sometimes order them without the cheese and bacon.
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