Wild, woodsy aromas suffuse this friendly little restaurant, where hickory smoking, slow cooking, and mesquite grilling are the order of the day. Nearly everything, from the thick, sweet, and peppery BBQ sauce to the delicate biscuits in the strawberry shortcake, is made fresh and in-house. And for a real taste of the ol' West, be sure to try the zesty Smokin' Beans.
Although the kitchen at this Caribbean-themed restaurant (part of the Darden Restaurants chain) tends to keep the heat turned down, much of the food such as pressed Cuban sandwiches, butterflied coconut prawns, pan-seared pork tenderloin in a rummy demiglace is flavorful and attentively prepared. Still, the real draw is the bustling bar scene, fueled by shooters, beer, and boozy, fruity, and frozen concoctions designed to make every night feel like a week at the beach.
Casually upscale and unselfconsciously cool, this neighborhood bistro is home to delicious gourmet pizzas, an intriguing collection of fish and seafood dishes, and a dashing wine list containing one of the regions largest assortment of half-bottles.
Reasonably priced, family-friendly dining inside an upscale, Disneyesque facsimile of ancient Roman ruins is this Columbus-based restaurant's claim to fame. The menu focuses on pasta, pizza, or wood-grilled meats; for dessert, the partially caramelized cheesecake, in a pool of crème anglaise, tastes like more.
Still our pick for one of the best dinner values in town, Brennan's manages to combine the vibe of a well-worn bar with the quality of a contemporary bistro. While the kitchen does right by burgers, steaks, and sandwiches, the real thrills are the daily specials full-meal deals ranging from porkchops, fresh fish, chicken and pasta, pegged at $22 or less.
The vast open dining room and mechanical service can make a meal here seem sort of hectic. On the upside, however, well-prepared entrées, such as rack of lamb and lasagna Bolognese, are both tasty and sensibly priced. Part of a Columbus-based chain.
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.
HPP's Beachwood location is big, manly and urbane, with all the trappings of an upscale midwestern steakhouse. Happily, the food shrimp cocktails, Kobe beef burgers and of course, thick, juicy steaks is as satisfying as the setting, and the place is as popular for after-work unwinding as it is for weekend splurges.
Colorful, quirky, yet sophisticated, Lopez's urbane charms present the perfect backdrop to its creative menu of "gourmet Tex-Mex" fare, ranging from lobster empanadas to mahi-mahi tacos and blue-cheese-piqued guacamole. There's also a solid selection of homemade desserts and an impressive array of top-shelf anejo tequilas.
Once you get past the fact that this restaurant is in an upscale fashion mall and nowhere near our real Little Italy, youre likely to enjoy the elegant, 1950s-style decor and the big menu of well-prepared southern Italian standards served in oversized portions just right for sharing. Private parties, banquets, and corporate events are other house specialties.
The city’s best jazz club books headliners from every corner of the genre. The dining room where acts perform — you can have dinner while you listen — was recently redesigned for even better sound and sightlines.
A second, smaller outpost for this popular Cleveland Hts. restaurant, Pacific East offers some of the regions freshest, most generously apportioned sushi, along with tempura, teriyaki, agemono, and noodle dishes.
Flavors are mainly mild and ingredients mostly familiar at this pretty Thai restaurant on Lander Circle, making Peppermint a stress-free destination for both daring diners and their more timid next of kin. Among the many options, find plenty of noodle and rice dishes, as well as seafood, curries, and vegetarian treats. A small kids menu expands the family friendly theme.
As cozy as a colonial tavern, this well-appointed dining room in the middle of secluded Gates Mills features an eclectic lineup of Italian standards, along with an assortment of sandwiches, burgers, chops, and a popular chicken pot pie. While not every dish is as magical as the setting, Saras makes a convenient, non-chain-linked alternative for suburban East Siders.
An excellent variety of maki and nigiri sushi is the star of the show here ordered à la carte or in combinations as either appetizers or entrées. Beyond sushi, diners can also select items from a large menu of steaks, seafood, poultry, noodle, and vegetarian dishes. Charming servers in traditional kimonos add a decorative touch.
A sort of grown-up version of the health-conscious, vegetarian-friendly Aladdins Eateries, Taza is all that and a full bar too. Despite the handsome decor and upscale appointments, the casual attitude and big menu of Lebanese standards will strike a familiar note with Aladdins fans. Other upgrades include freshly baked pita, kebabs taken straight off the charcoal grill, and a big assortment of traditional Middle Eastern meze, just right for sharing around the table.
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