The South Side doesn’t quite overload all the senses, but it stimulates them with exposed brick walls, a winding granite bar, local artwork that changes monthly, and four big plasma screens equipped with surround sound. After the kitchen closes, an upscale-casual crowd gather in the bar.
This smart seafood restaurant has built an enviable rep on its concise menu of straightforward dishes. These days, that includes Asian-themed items like tiger shrimp yakitori, pulled-pork-filled steamed buns, and ramen noodle bowls with braised pork belly. Come Mardi Gras season, Salmon Dave's is one of the best places to be. Full bar, extensive wine list.
Part family restaurant, part community meeting place, this locally owned-and-operated eatery has been dishing it out for nearly three decades, to the delight of a devoted clientele. The enormous menu rambles from Reubens and blintzes to quesadillas, pork chops, and chicken Marsala with varying degrees of success. But the hot pastrami? That has never, ever let us down.
Wood paneling, pierogies and perch in Tremont’s oldest ethnic family owned restaurant (since 1923), serving boilermakers before Prohibition. Black Angus beef, grilled trout, and baby back ribs flavor rooms heavy with Browns memorabilia.
An unpretentious neighborhood bar on steroids, sprawling Stampers offers an extensive menu of craft and draft beers, a familiar but well-executed pub menu, and a roster of some of the area’s top blues and rock performers and singer-songwriters.
If you like a little sizzle with your steak, head over to this unpretentious West Sider, where you can watch in atavistic wonder as your steak sears, tableside, on a 750-degree slab of volcanic stone. Gimmicks aside, the result is a top-quality piece of meat, full of juicy savor. Alternatively, enjoy a selection of Greek and Mediterranean classics, like saganaki and braised lamb shanks; on Sundays, the brunch buffet is a popular bargain.
A family-friendly alternative to Madison Village's youthful bar scene, Sullivan's offers a quaint atmosphere, a well-stocked bar, and a small menu of salads, sandwiches, and such Irish standards as boxty and shepherd's pie for dinner and Saturday lunch. Frequent Celtic musical performances also help liven up the scene.
Somehow, life seems simpler after a meal at Superior Pho. Maybe thats because the main attraction at this tiny Vietnamese restaurant is pho: big bowls of homemade beef-and-noodle soup, with basil, lime and other flavorful trimmings. Combo meals featuring small appetizers and rice are also available.
A southern outpost of the Shaker Heights original, this well-appointed eatery offers a solid lineup of classic Indian fare, including curries, tandoori dishes, and spicy vindaloos, along with many meat-free options. Besides the standard menu, midday diners can check out the lunch buffet, and on Monday evenings, a vegetarian buffet is a popular draw.
Small, bright, and filled with colorful wall murals depicting exotic landscapes, this Arabic restaurant offers a big menu of Lebanese standards, including excellent versions of such mezes as hummus, baba ghannouj and tabbouleh. Plenty of vegetarian options, too.
This sharply renovated Asiatown restaurant presents Vietnamese food fans with another worthwhile option. Starring beautiful broths, crispy banh mi, and sticky rice topped with all matter of meat and veggies, the food here will doubtless earn its share of followers.
Perched on the 21st floor of the Huntington Building, the Metropolitan was once the ticket lobby for the United States Airship Company of North America. It's still glamorous today, with black-and-white, art-deco décor, enormous windows, and a spectacular view of Lake Erie and the city below. This is where Sammy's serves delicious weekday lunches, with a seasonal menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, and special entrées. Bring out-of-town visitors here to impress them.
Under the guidance of well-seasoned chef Brett Montgomery, this 20-year-old restaurant in the downtown Renaissance Hotel seems reinvigorated. Much of that comes from Montgomery's decision to highlight local products on his Med-American menu, an urge that extends from precisely prepared dinner entries like Lake Erie walleye and Ohio City Pasta pierogi to the cheeses, sausages, and even the maple syrup on the groaning breakfast buffet.
Downtowns best sushi is served in this hankie-sized spot, a showplace for pristine flavors, artful presentation, and generous portions. Beyond the usual unagi, spicy tuna, and rainbow rolls, the chefs whip up impressive vegetarian futomaki, just right for herbivores. The place is packed at midday, so reservations are recommended.
Nestled on the edge of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, this lovingly built, family-owned and -operated winery, wine bar, and crafts gallery offers a small lineup of paninis and simple noshes to accompany the sweet Ohio wines. No one claims it's gourmet fare, but the rustic setting and pastoral views make it well worth a visit.
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