At Aureole in New York, chef Dante Boccuzzi snagged Michelin stars two years running. Back home in Cleveland, he has taken over the former Lockkeepers and injected it with a more casual sensibility. Working as he has in Italy, France and Asia, Boccuzzi incorporates elements of these cuisines into boldly flavored dishes like Thai-style mussels, house-made cavatelli and pomegranate-glazed duck. Full bar and wine list.
Weve all been there: too tired to cook and too apathetic to pull on anything fancier than jeans. On such nights, this homey little eastern European spot is just the ticket, with its comforting, inexpensive food and staff of maternal servers.
For those who have come to this entertainment complex primarily to play the state-of-the-art games and then find that the starship piloting, dinosaur dodging, and race-car driving have left them peckish, meals in the lavishly appointed Grand Dining Room are generally good-tasting, satisfying, and reasonably priced conveniences.
This is the spot where Dave Lombardy actor, playwright, and hungry guy launched his Cosmic Sub empire way back in 1997. Now he has branches all around the region, where he and his crew create nearly three dozen types of mouthwatering subs, stuffed with the finest ingredients (including vegetarian options), bundled up in the region's best buns, and served in a space as colorful as your favorite tie-dyed T-shirt.
As at the other Dave's locations, the decor inside this cosmic sub shop is a shrine to the 60s, full of rock references, hippie music, and good vibrations. The overstuffed subs rock too, built from top-notch ingredients piled inside a crisp-crusted Italian roll. The place is packed at lunch, carryout is strongly recommended and if you are pressed for time, calling ahead would be a grand idea.
Just steps from the John Carroll University campus but nearly 40 years removed this outpost of Dave Lombardys original psychedelic sub shop is big, colorful and comfy, with the same 1960s-style art and artifacts that decorate his numerous other area locations. Same big menu of giant, overstuffed subs too, along with a few salads, some chips and cookies for dessert.
The architecture of downtown Hudson may be the epitome of preppy, but tripping through the doorway into Dave's is like waking up back at Kent State circa 1969. Yet even without the psychedelic decor, we would gladly stage a love-in here, just to savor Dave's oversized subs, stuffed with fresh ingredients and wrapped in the best crisp-crusted rolls in the region.
Star chef Dante Boccuzzi has taking over the former VegiTerranean space. The lovely view over the Cuyahoga Valley remains the same, but everything else is different -- from the eccentric rock & roll decor to the seriously delicious menu of modern, seasonal meats, pastas, and seafood. (Vegans and vegetarians are not forgotten.) A snazzy bar and a lovely three-season patio add to the energetic vibe.
Chef Dante Boccuzzi’s third Cleveland restaurant, D.C. makes high-quality, house-made pastas fun and affordable. Sold by portion size — taste, appetizer, or main — the various combinations can be mixed and matched to create a wide-ranging feast. The rest of the menu is equally accessible, with sections for cured meats, Italian cheeses, marinated veggies, meatballs, entrées — even olives. Top it all off with 25 bottles of Italian wine priced south of $25 and you have the makings of an affordable Italian banquet.
"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.
Every town needs a good family-owned and operated deli with offerings that range from corned beef and burgers to hot dogs and pulled pork; in Hudson, Deli on Rye is it. A long list of classic deli combos many named after surrounding communities adds to the fun, especially when paired with a cold beer.
Cleveland's own Hospitality Restaurants scores again with this Italian-accented steakhouse, where the menu includes everything from rib, sirloin, and strip steaks to salmon, spicy veal meatballs, and Boursin-stuffed Sicilian peppers. An extensive wine list and professional service are additional reasons to visit.
Hours: Kitchen 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon-Wed, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Thurs-Sat, Closed Sun. Bar stays open later.
Following in the ultra-successful footsteps of Anatolia Cafe, Northeast Ohio’s first Turkish restaurant, Dervish introduces the Middle Eastern cuisine to far West Siders. Despite an exotic-sounding pedigree, the cuisine is remarkably approachable, largely healthful, and ideally suited to our meat-and-potatoes sensibilities. There are vegetarian spreads, flavorful grilled meat kebabs, and simply prepared seafood items. Comfort foods like stuffed peppers and Turkish pizza transcend cultural borders.
A fine choice for families, this bright, contemporary pizza parlor offers freshly made pies, wholesome salads and a concise selection of beer and wine, including eight microbrews on draft. Friendly staffers take small fry in stride, and while Mom and Dad unwind, the kiddies can safely watch the chefs at work from behind a glass partition.
It's easy to imagine a gaggle of heavy-set, cigar-chomping underworld figures hunkered over dry martinis and enormous steaks at this downtown Akron institution, but even today's suburbanite will enjoy the juicy steaks, chops, and seafood that make up Diamond Grille's simple, timeless menu.
Decorated with exposed wood and animal heads, the Diamond Lodge has a VIP room with a fireplace, where dancers bare it all. We thought it was getting warm in here. 18 and over, dress code casual.
Ringed inside and out with purple neon, the Diamond Royale offers expensive cigars, cheap lunches and everything you'd need for a big bachelor party. 21 and over, dress code casual.
A visit to Jim Anagnostos's shiny silver diner is a nostalgic trip back through time, to the days of all-American meals like meatloaf and gravy, liver and onions, and classic chili.
This groovy little diner has grown into a neighborhood magnet, as well-loved for its dinner vibe as for its big portions and reasonable prices. Despite the impressive menu size, the kitchen rarely loses its way, turning out homey faves everything from fluffy omelets to juicy burgers and tender pork chops with reliable craftsmanship.
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