Following a successful seven-year run as chef of the stellar Downtown 140, Shawn Monday ventured out on his own. The result is One Red Door, where diners can count on impeccable chef-driven fare, served at reasonable price points in a handsome yet casual setting.
For years, chef Roberto Rodriguez has run a popular Mexican foods stand at the West Side Market. Now he has expanded into a restaurant in a slim Ohio City storefront. The 25-seat eatery serves contemporary Mexican cuisine like chicken mole tamales, jalapeno-dough empanadas, fish tacos, and chipotle honey glazed pork chops. A display cooler stocks many of the prepared foods sold at the market. BYOB is OK.
A stone's throw from West Sixth and a few steps below the pavement, an after-dinner martini crowd gathers at this candlelit Italian restaurant's bar.
Cleveland's version of a theater-district deli, this Playhouse Square staple has been entertaining arts lovers and downtown lunchers for more than 100 years, with a cast of soups, salads, steaks, chicken, and stacked-up sandwiches, many like the W.C. Fields and Fanny Brice named in honor of old-time stage stars. Dinner hours vary with the theaters' schedules; calling ahead is always a smart move.
Known more for its ribs than its rock, Pacers features DJs on the weekends. A mammoth TV and lots of booths make it a good place to watch sports.
Casual, comfortable and completely unpretentious, this popular Japanese restaurant serves some of the best sushi and sashimi in town, featuring quality ingredients, plenty of variety and wallet-friendly prices. An assortment of tempura, yakitori and teriyaki dishes serves as counterpoint.
Warm, welcoming, and handsomely appointed, this upscale Thai restaurant offers a large selection of well-prepared if somewhat understated curries, stir-fries and noodle dishes, including lots of vegetarian creations.
With a handsome lounge, a shady porch, and a pan-Asian menu that includes Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai standards, as well as sushi and even some gently handled fusion fare, the Pearl is a gem for casual dining. Small but thoughtful wine list.
A large menu of reliably well-prepared Asian standards has made Pearl of the Orient one of the area's most popular and enduring Chinese restaurants.
This aromatic eatery offers authentic Cambodian and Vietnamese dishes, flavored with ingredients like fresh Asian basil, lemongrass, and coconut milk. Much of the menu is devoted to noodles, including an assortment of pad Thai. Cash only. Carryout only.
This beautifully renovated space inside a former appliance store captures the energy and appearance of an authentic Irish pub, with a stone fireplace, stained-glass windows, and a boisterous clientele. The simply prepared pub fare makes a fitting sop for any of the 20 beers on draft. And because owner Patrick Campbell is a professional Irish hoofer, you never know when dancing may erupt.
Prestis is bright, contemporary, and inviting, and, with two walls of tall windows, it offers some of the best people-watching in Little Italy. Fresh foods include bruschetta, stromboli, pepperoni bread, and frittatas, as well as sweets like cannoli, pignoli, biscotti, and strudel. After your meal, pick up a loaf of warm Italian bread to take home.
Cozy and retro, this former workingman’s watering hole serves up food, booze, and a bowling machine along with the live music. You’ll find locals laying down everything from lounge and jazz to folk and bluegrass.
Veteran chef Brandt Evans' Public Square restaurant is a breath of fresh air for downtowners, with a spare decor, an urbane vibe, and rustically refined menus built from local, sustainable ingredients. A stickler for details, Evans pays equal attention to every element of a dish. He does, however, leave room for whimsy, as evidenced by the occasional odd ingredient and deconstructed arrangement. Full bar.
Town and gown unite behind the swinging doors of this venerable tavern, where the burgers sizzle, the French fries rock and the beer list goes on and on.
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