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The Grog is one of the prime places in town to hear hot indie, punk, and pop bands. It’s hosted a ton of buzz bands on their way up, as well as some of the best locals.
Rare is the venue that boasts such warm acoustics as the Kent Stage. It’s why folksingers and singer-songwriters love playing here — and why their fans adore it too.
This downtown Akron club books bands that never would have found the Rubber City a few years ago — say, Dinosaur Jr. and the Drive-By Truckers. Between the touring acts, original locals take the stage.
The city’s top metal and hardcore club gives fans their money’s worth: Most shows include at least four bands, and usually many more. The venue also includes the Pirates Cove side stage and upstairs Rockstar bar.
Channeling the spirit of a European wine bar, this funky little spot in Ohio City makes a tasty backdrop for a small but tempting menu of thin-crusted pizzas, house-cured meats, handmade pastas, and some of the best twice-fried, Belgian-style fries you'll ever find on a Cleveland tabletop. To go with, the annotated wine list offers 100 selections, while next door's Bier Markt provides dozens of imported brews.
House of Blues is the place to see megawatt artists on their way up (or down) the charts. The Music Hall holds more than 1,000, while the more intimate Cambridge Room hosts local bands and national acts still cultivating their following.
What separates Pete’s from hundreds of other neighborhood watering holes? It’s the kaleidoscope of sound that pours out of the place on weekends — some of the area’s best jazz, blues, rock, and acoustic musicians.
There are pizzas. And then there are Angelo’s pizzas: plump, fragrant works of art, from the thick provolone topping all the way down to the rich, yeasty crust. The chicken club is good, the veggie is great and the creamy, cheesy seafood pizza, topped with lobster cream, shrimp, crabmeat and fresh spinach, is the stuff of which our dreams are made. Salads, sandwiches, wings, a few pasta platters and a worthwhile beer list round out the menu at this good-looking spot.
Brown Bag Burger
The prototype for what owners hope will become a national chain, this cheerful “quick-serve” burger joint offers dribble-down-your-chin double-cheeseburgers, freshly cut fries and a small assortment of sandwiches and freshly made soups.
Along with wonderful aromas, the well-appointed dining room is filled with plants, artwork, and soothing shades of teal and plum. The well-organized menu emphasizes the richer, less fiery northern Indian cuisine, although a few southern Indian dishes are served during Saturday lunch and Sunday dinner.
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.
Comfy, cozy, and casual enough to take the kids, this tidy taqueria offers a large menu of freshly prepped Mexican and Tex-Mex standards, ranging from flautas, burritos, and homemade tamales to cheesecake and fried ice cream. Special menus for kids and non-carnivores make it a particularly appealing family destination.
A cool vibe and a sizzling menu of attentively prepared American fare have turned Doug and Karen Katz's bistro into one of the city's top restaurants. "Classical simplicity" is the watchword here, and when those classical techniques are applied to first-rate ingredients, the results are often nothing less than astonishing. Interesting list of food-friendly wines.
Baker and proprietor John MacMillan left a corporate job to open this bakery. Now he's up to his elbows in dough and couldn't be happier. Crisp baguettes, dense loaves made with organic flours, tender sweet rolls, berry-filled muffins, and old-fashioned cookies come rolling out of John's ovens. Enjoy them at an indoor table with a cup of coffee or tea; better yet, in summer, eat your snack on the breezy porch.
The city’s best jazz club books headliners from every corner of the genre. The dining room where acts perform — you can have dinner while you listen — was recently redesigned for even better sound and sightlines.
Tucked inside a former gas station, this charming little pit stop offers friendly service, retro-style decor, and a long list of out-of-the-ordinary soups and panini-style sandwiches. Current faves include the zesty Big Mensch, with hot pastrami, spicy coleslaw, and chipotle mayo; and the spicy tomato-blue cheese bisque, guaranteed to bring sweat to your brow and a smile to your lips.
Wilbert’s mixes local acts with touring artists trying to get a toehold in town. Blues, rock, folk, indie, reggae, and jam bands all mingle here, so you’re never quite sure what you’ll hear.
The dining room at this posh twin-condo complex has been the site of numerous short-lived restaurants. But if any endeavor has reason to survive it is Americano, an impressive Euro-American bistro. An ambitious kitchen crafts its own charcuterie, pickles, condiments and breads. The at-times-brilliant bistro fare straddles the line between classic French and seasonal American, with prices thankfully in line with the latter. Enjoy mussels, crab cakes, steak frites, beef Bourguignon and seared scallops. Full bar and wine list.
Ignoring a restaurant because it resides in a hotel is not only unfair — it's unwise, as evidenced by this contemporary American gem. Upending stereotypes at every turn, Amp relies on locally grown ingredients to fashion its modern, seasonal, and delightful dishes. Divided into sections for sharing, small plates, entrées, and sides, the affordable menu is ideal for guests who come and go at all hours of the day.
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