Despite its small size, Casa D'Angelo has a remarkably large and varied menu of Italian meals, including some you aren't likely to find anywhere else. Excellent choices include lemony Chicken alla Palermo and the creamy Veal Gamberetti Luigi with shrimp.
Noisy, friendly, and relaxed, the Lizard is one of Gateway's sure bets for juicy burgers, imaginative sandwiches, and overflowing salad bowls. The huge international beer list doesn't hurt either.
Elegant, intimate, and friendly, this staple of the Hudson dining scene is a winner. Tapas-like small plates and not-so-small plates make up the menu; but despite the wine-bar motif and an occasional Asian accent, the fare owes much to the classic French bistro, with the depth of flavor that only made-from-scratch cooking can impart.
Theres something for everyone at this oddball crossroads tavern, from grilled bologna and pizza to Kobe beef and lobster. The charm factor gets a further twist from boxes, racks and countertops crammed with value-priced wine; coolers stuffed with imported beer; and a jukebox replete with tunes ranging from classic rock to show tunes.
A suburban outpost of the Cleveland Heights original, Aurora's Café Tandoor serves precisely prepared Northern Indian food in an attractive setting. Among our favorites are the restaurant's unusual cashew-and-pistachio-crusted naan, warm from the tandoori oven, and the unusually good kheer.
Operated by chef Shawn Monday (One Red Door), Flip Side builds its gourmet burgers from all-natural, grass-fed Ohio beef, a welcome change from the corn-fed versions everywhere else. Nearly a dozen different models are available, plus the expected crunchy sides like onion rings, french fries, and housemade potato chips. Great milkshakes and craft beers round out this urban saloon-style eatery.
The successor to chef-owner John Kolar's Thyme, Thyme2 offers two distinct environments: fine dining upstairs and a pub below. On the first menu you'll find contemporary, upscale preparations of fish, seafood, and meats. On the second, there's wood-fired pizzas, burgers, and wings. No matter which you choose, count on Kolar to deliver the goods.
Casual, family-friendly and notably value-priced, this old-timey steakhouse, in one of the few remaining rural pockets of Medina, is just the ticket for laid-back dining with the kids or spur-of-the-moment weeknight unwinding.
The plastic and neon of the Montrose shopping district are two miles and several decades removed from this little roadhouse. But while the Alley's big menu of sandwiches, pizza and salads seems soothingly unfashionable, execution is above average, the car-themed decor is charming, and the attitude is hip.
This neighborhood eatery and tavern may be far removed from the cutting edge; still, it draws big crowds, hungry for ample helpings of well-prepared ribs, chicken, salads, sandwiches, and chops. In season, a pretty outdoor patio in the namesake courtyard makes a popular lunch and dinner retreat.
Nestled into a rustic, rambling structure on the Mario's International Spas' campus, The Cabin offers an enticing menu of mostly Mediterranean fare, featuring wood-fired pizzas, plush pastas, and well-executed seafood, chops, and steaks.
Cantilevered over the mighty Cuyahoga River, this upscale Italian restaurant offers a spectacular view and an impressive dinner menu of imaginative seasonal cuisine, created under the direction of acclaimed Akron chef Roger Thomas.
Blink your eyes as you zip through town, and you're likely to miss this little Italian restaurant and that would be a shame, because the selection is broad, the preparations are sophisticated, and the prices are reasonable. For dessert, don't miss the mascarpone-dense, barely sweetened, homemade tiramisu.
Cozy and urbane, this contemporary Italian American restaurant and wine bar offers everything from pizza and pasta to fresh seafood and steak. Good bets include pan-roasted mussels, zesty grilled salmon, and the savoriest version of Italian wedding soup this side of Nonna's kitchen.
Formerly the 53-year-old Reserve Inn, this Hudson space has been updated with crisp wood floors, walls clad in weathered barn siding, and tables topped in brown craft paper, giving it a masculine, clubby feel. The menu offers a predictable pool of crowd-pleasing chestnuts like house-fried chips, flatbreads, burgers, and grilled meats. Along with the food, a good beer and wine selection — including wines on tap — make this upscale casual pub a safe bet for mixed groups.
One of many area outposts for this locally based tavern chain, the Independence Winking Lizard offers the typical combo of sports-themed decor, casual noshes including the better-than-average wings, burgers, wraps and big salads and a killer collection of suds. Full bar.
Perched on a hill overlooking the Ohio countryside, this rambling lodge offers a lovely backdrop for Executive Chef Brandt Evans' hearty American fare. While entrées like short ribs and mac 'n' cheese may sound homey, count on Evans to update them with luxury ingredients and season them with culinary magic.
This is what happens when you mix devotion to mindful living with a straight-out passion for delicious food: You get deceptively simple and savory entrées like slow-roasted pork shoulder or braised breast of free-range chicken inspired by seasonal, regional and often organic ingredients, and an artfully rustic ambiance that underscores the handcrafted quality of the cuisine. Yes, it is a long ride to Wooster. But it's worth it.
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.
This handsome dining room earns praise for quality, execution, and value, if not ground-breaking originality. Contemporary American in spirit, the approachable menu marries shareable starters, bountiful salads, and crowd-pleasing sandwiches with choice steaks, pastas, and seafood. Full bar and patio with fire pit.
Comfy, cozy, and family-friendly, Hudson's is a classic neighborhood restaurant, serving reasonably priced breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare, as well as libations from the full bar. While the owners' culinary chops are apparent in creations like Jamaican-spiced pork loin or bourbon-glazed salmon, the menu is far more homey than haute, with enough burgers, chicken, and meatloaf to satisfy even the least adventurous eater.
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.
Ken Stewart's newest endeavor is a top-notch restaurant disguised as a fanciful homage to rural rusticity. Fish and seafood are the stars of the contemporary menu, and while the prices are as up-to-date as the preparations, generous portions, imaginative decor, and polished service make a meal here seem like a value. Impressive wine list.
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.
A southern outpost of the Shaker Heights original, this well-appointed eatery offers a solid lineup of classic Indian fare, including curries, tandoori dishes, and spicy vindaloos, along with many meat-free options. Besides the standard menu, midday diners can check out the lunch buffet, and on Monday evenings, a vegetarian buffet is a popular draw.
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.
The atmosphere at this upscale Chinese restaurant is relaxed and friendly, and the refined cuisine goes far beyond won ton soup and egg rolls. Imaginative preparations include dishes like ginger-spiced sea bass, scallion-studded strip steak, and lamb served with pineapple-piqued fried rice, although classics like egg-drop soup and mu shu pork are also on hand.
While the atmosphere at this Hyde Park location may be a smidgen less elegant than at its Cleveland-area counterparts, the Prime dry-aged steaks here are second to none. For unforgettable flavor, pick the thick Kansas City bone-in strip. At 20 ounces, this juicy hunk of beef will almost certainly require a doggy bag, but it's one of the best steaks around.
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.
Owner Maureen Schneider has carved a warm and cozy niche out of a former 1920s tavern near the Cuyahoga River. The eclectic dinner menu, posted on blackboards, changes often and blends hearty fare, like lamb and duck, with Californian and Pacific Rim accents; lunch includes a selection of sophisticated noshes, as well as soups, salads and sandwiches.
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