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Brothers has grown away from its funky blues-club vibe of days past. Now it features three rooms: a restaurant/tavern, a wine bar that specializes in acoustic sounds, and the roomy Music Hall, which hosts rock, blues, jazz, and reggae acts.
You've got to love a place that makes Ohio City feel like a beach shack in Cozumel, and Johnny Mango — a "world café" and juice bar — does just that, with a blend of Asian, Mexican, and Caribbean flavors, and items that range from burritos to pad Thai to Jamaican jerk chicken. Service is speedy, portions are hearty, and there are plenty of choices for vegetarians. Full bar and small patio.
Short for Southern hospitality, SoHo serves fresh takes on Low Country, Cajun, and Creole cuisine. On the snappy and cohesive menu are classic Southern staples like shrimp and grits, catfish Po' Boys, and chicken and waffles, all dressed up for a more demanding modern audience. Even the cocktails scream Deep South, with bourbon, rye and moonshine-fueled bevies going down like sweet tea on a sticky summer day.
Some of the city's top players belt out a soundtrack of classic blues and R&B from their perch tucked away in the corner of this neighborhood bar in one of Cleveland's hottest neighborhoods.
An Irish bar on steroids, the Harp isn’t just your corner joint with a few shamrocks on the wall. It boasts a large Irish-influenced menu and a spacious patio with a view of the lake. The music’s as likely to be rootsy rock or blues as Irish.
Michoacan state eateries celebrate the simple pleasures of mole poblano, Swiss enchiladas with chicken and green sauce, and pork ribs with tomatillo sauce. The west side location is a classic taqueria (read: diner) serving a crowd that grew up eating the stuff.
Bruno's Ristorante
Stepping into this cozy neighborhood ristorante — with its wooden bar, linoleum floors, and menu of pizza, pasta, and assorted parmigianas, cacciatores, and marsalas — is like traveling back in time to the days when Italian restaurateurs baked their own breads, made their own pastas, and served it all in charming, intimate spaces. Almost everything on the “full-meal deal” menu is delish. But when it comes to fried calamari and baked lasagna, Bruno’s scores among the very best.
A classic Cleveland "old-man" bar with a totally modern vibe, this well-run tavern offers a full bar and plenty of tasty noshes, ranging from roasted red pepper hummus to a humongous burger. Nightly happy hours help make this a popular destination.
This Tremont taqueria puts the power of the pen in the diner's hand. Guests design their own tacos from a list of some 30 components — from shell to filling to salsa to toppings. The best part: They are all just $3 each. This blissfully informal approach is a great fit for the unpretentious food. In addition to the tacos, the menu features a few starters and sides, not to mention a landslide of tequilas and margaritas. The delightful patio makes a perfect perch to enjoy them.
No pricey destination restaurant, Clifton attracts crowds with simple, appealing American fare, much of it served in large, sharable portions, along with craft beers, creative martinis, and fine wines.
Since its relocation to palatial digs in Ohio City, Crop Bistro has traded its coziness for in-your-face fabulousness. But despite the soaring space, chef Steve Schimoler's menu remains as enticing and intimate as ever, filled with impeccable ingredients, intense flavors, and innovative techniques that place Crop among the best spots in the region. Cleverly conceived cocktails and a comprehensive wine list just add to the fun.
The eclectic, contemporary menu at this Tremont fixture is a good match for its shabby-chic decor; and somehow, dishes like bouillabaisse, seared duck breast, and sausage-and-goat-cheese rigatoni taste better when devoured 'neath the light of candles and lava lamps. Friendly staffers and a full bar are other reasons to pad on into this neighborhood gem.
Having worked at famed Nobu, chef Dante Boccuzzi had lofty aspirations when creating Ginko, his subterranean sushi restaurant that sits below the chef's eponymous Dante. As a result, Ginko is a paean to fish, most of it raw, some of it rolled, all of it exceptional. Diners seated at one of the two booths can also enjoy shabu shabu, Japanese-style fondue. Beer, wine, and sake are available.
Heading into its fourth decade, this charming Ohio City café remains a reliable, if non-trendy, refuge for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch, best enjoyed in the airy garden room, a mug of cinnamon-scented coffee at hand. While gourmet burgers are the specialty of the house, other options abound, including salads, wraps, steaks, and pastas.
A little cramped, occasionally noisy, and quite possibly the city's smallest restaurant, this tiny French bistro still manages to turn out superlative crepes, earthy pâtés, and one of the best Croque Monsieur sandwiches this side of the Seine.
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