"Gastropubs" are where ambitious cuisine collides with informality and kick-ass beer. To see what one looks, feels, and tastes like, head to Deagan’s in the heart of Lakewood. It's a food-lover’s pub, where the chef-driven fare is good enough to earn a spot at a so-called fancy restaurant.
With a decidedly California feel, this attractive wine bar boasts a barrel-vaulted ceiling, floor-to-ceiling windows and low-slung tables and couches. An appealing roster of small and not-so-small plates goes well beyond the ubiquitous cheese board. Come for the food, stay for the Enomatic, a self-serve dispenser that marries smart-card technology with sweet, sweet wine.
Pittsburgh beer lovers will no doubt know (and love) the Fat Head's brand. The super-popular watering hole has been a South Side fixture going on two decades. Award-winning local brewer Matt Cole has grafted a superb brewery onto that famous brand, offering fresh-made suds to go along with the mammoth Headwich sandwiches. The pub-grub menu also stocks bar munchies, salads, pizzas and barbecue. Patio.
Now under the ownership of first-class culinarian Manny Nieves, this Rocky River anchor is part wine shop, part gourmet market, and part deli, featuring everything from Saturday-morning coffee and pastries to weeknight carryout dinners. At lunch, a tasty variety of freshly made sandwiches star, including the signature 2X BLT, featuring a double dose of double thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon from fine-meats purveyor Blue Ribbon.
While most of his Lakewood neighbors aim high or low, Jim Sprenger steers for the middle, serving good-quality grub at rational prices in a comfortable setting. Family-friendly comfort food like chicken paprikash, fish and chips, and amazing grass-fed-beef burgers share the menu with creative sandwiches and bacon-and-cheese-topped fries. Toss in quality craft brews and attentive service, and you are indeed eatin' good in the neighborhood.
Market partners John Owen and Dave Rudiger have transformed a former municipal impound lot into an upscale sports bar. To go with the 100 beers and the requisite banks of flat screens, Market offers shareable starters, big salads, great sandwiches, and plenty of steaks, pastas, and seafood. A heated patio extends outdoor dining well into fall.
Candles and white lights make every evening at the Merry Arts a little like Christmas in Killarney, minus the whole "Silent Night" thing.
Established in 1998 as a premier brewpub and restaurant, Rocky River Brewing Company was founded on creating world-class handcrafted beers, an award-winning menu, and a great dining experience. Over the past 10 years, Rocky River Brewing Company has won more than a dozen national and international medals for its beers and numerous Silver Spoon awards for its food.
Soft seating, candlelight, and knowledgeable staffers fill this suburban wine bar with easy elegance. The reasonably priced wine list contains more than 400 selections, mostly from small boutique wineries, and a modest tapas menu includes cheeses, smoked salmon, and more. Afterward, stop in at the attached wine shop and take home some new favorites.
Cindy Good has always loved the small-town charm of Berea. Doing her part to snazz it up, Good opened a combination wine bar and retail shop. The knowledgeable shopkeeper tracks down the best labels from small producers' wines you won't find at grocery stores. Even better, two enomatic machines dispense tastes of 16 varieties, so customers can try before they buy. Wines are sold at state minimum prices. For those who wish to enjoy their booty on premises alongside, say, an artisan cheese board, a $7 cork fee is added.
More upscale than your typical watering hole, the Station boasts an open kitchen, flashy plasma screens, and a garage-door façade that rises with the mercury. Playing off its motto, “Where the neighborhood comes together,” the pub features three menus in one, with sections for Irish, American and Italian tastes. West Park Station even serves up a kiddies-only menu.
Wood & Wine will never be a romantic Italian ristorante. But that doesn’t bother the west-side diners who fill the place almost nightly. The star of the show here is thin-crusted, wood-fired pizza. Round out the meal with hearty, flavorful, and justly priced pasta dishes. A handful of steaks and fish are available for the carb-phobic. Extensive wine list with more than few gems.
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