Mexican homecooking can be made palatable to the American masses yearning to breathe fire. The enchiladas, burritos, mole, and hand-clapped tacos translate across the brick city, but each dining room reflects a different neighborhood.
This classy-looking Mexican eatery complete with handsome bar and first-rate tequila selection features well-organized lunch and dinner menus encompassing all the usual crowd-pleasers, including burritos, tacos, and fajitas. But in our book, the savory chicken in mole sauce steals the show.
L'Albatros seduces diners with a roster of classic brasserie gems like escargot, roasted cod, and an outstanding selection of cheeses. But since this is a Zack Bruell restaurant, guests can count on more than a few contemporary menu twists, all served up in a series of intimate dining spaces and, in season, one of the region's loveliest secluded patios.
This colorful Mexican restaurant produces what may be the city's best mole, that thick, mahogany-colored sauce of tomatoes, peppers, chocolate, ground nuts, raisins, and spices. The rest of the kitchen's output isn't bad either, with virtually everything made from scratch.
Like any good Fellini flick, this production is loaded with fantastic scenery. If that scenery is the journey, then the food must be the destination. Spanish, Moroccan, Turkish, Italian and Greek items combine in harmonious fashion. Think Italian wedding soup, wood-fired Turkish kebabs and Moroccan chicken and couscous. Enjoy the namesake film from a wrought-iron balcony as it is projected onto a large interior wall.
The Lampliter has served up cold beer and live music for a quarter-century. Bands here play everything from classic rock to modern dance, so feel free to bust a move on the floor.
Colorful, comfy, and family friendly, this neighborhood cafe is known for its homey breakfasts and Sunday brunch, as well as its afternoon lineup of soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. Free wi-fi access and a cozy lounge area make it a good choice for catching up on e-mail while sipping a cup of freshly brewed joe.
A longtime fave for moviegoers at the nearby Cedar Lee, Lemon Grass offers a large assortment of reliably prepared Thai dishes, including a solid assortment of meat-free fare, in a bright and pleasant space.
Brewmaster Joe Maunowski is in charge of the 1,600 barrels of Dragon Slayer, Paul Bunyan, and Black Silk beers brewed each year.
Sophisticated but fun-loving, beautiful but sassy, Michael and Liz Symon's Lola is the hottest spot in town, with a tightly crafted menu of contemporary American fare, rife with elegant and amusing touches. Depending on the season, offerings might include beef-cheek pierogies or smoked Berkshire pork. And leave room for dessert: Lola turns out some of the most creative sweets in town. Notable wine list.
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.
This welcoming bistro brings approachable, affordable, and delicious Mediterranean-inspired food to the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. Shabby-chic with a farmhouse twist, the restaurant features mix-and-match plates, kitchen-towel napkins, and repurposed fixtures. With a host of small plates, shared plates, pastas, pizzas, and prix fixe dinners, the menu has options for every mood and budget.
Set a few steps below street level (in the former Utrecht Art Supplies space), Bodega greets guests with a sleek waterfall, handsome wood floors and shimmering linens, and offers top-flight beers and a staggering amount of martinis and wines. The kitchen turns out cold tapas like stuffed grape leaves, scallop ceviche and beef carpaccio, and hot plates like bruschetta, paella and mussels in saffron. “I love Miami,” says owner Said Ouaddaadaa. ”I thought, why not bring Miami to Cleveland?”
Connected to a house, Tazumal feels homey and relaxed. Service is sit-down, and the one doing the serving is the sweet, matronly proprietor. The main draw is the simple Salvadoran food, punctuated by freshly made pupusas, tamales, and stews. Inexpensive, soul-satisfying, and filling, the fare feels like what it is: home cooking.
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