This colorful Mexican restaurant produces what may be the city's best mole, that thick, mahogany-colored sauce of tomatoes, peppers, chocolate, ground nuts, raisins, and spices. The rest of the kitchen's output isn't bad either, with virtually everything made from scratch.
A longtime fave for moviegoers at the nearby Cedar Lee, Lemon Grass offers a large assortment of reliably prepared Thai dishes, including a solid assortment of meat-free fare, in a bright and pleasant space.
Sophisticated but fun-loving, beautiful but sassy, Michael and Liz Symon's Lola is the hottest spot in town, with a tightly crafted menu of contemporary American fare, rife with elegant and amusing touches. Depending on the season, offerings might include beef-cheek pierogies or smoked Berkshire pork. And leave room for dessert: Lola turns out some of the most creative sweets in town. Notable wine list.
Colorful, quirky, yet sophisticated, Lopez's urbane charms present the perfect backdrop to its creative menu of "gourmet Tex-Mex" fare, ranging from lobster empanadas to mahi-mahi tacos and blue-cheese-piqued guacamole. There's also a solid selection of homemade desserts and an impressive array of top-shelf anejo tequilas.
Mexican homecooking can be made palatable to the American masses yearning to breathe fire. The enchiladas, burritos, mole, and hand-clapped tacos translate across the brick city, but each dining room reflects a different neighborhood.
This classy-looking Mexican eatery complete with handsome bar and first-rate tequila selection features well-organized lunch and dinner menus encompassing all the usual crowd-pleasers, including burritos, tacos, and fajitas. But in our book, the savory chicken in mole sauce steals the show.
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.
Colorful, comfy, and family friendly, this neighborhood cafe is known for its homey breakfasts and Sunday brunch, as well as its afternoon lineup of soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. Free wi-fi access and a cozy lounge area make it a good choice for catching up on e-mail while sipping a cup of freshly brewed joe.
Cozy and candlelit, this club uses gourmet music to attract a mellow crowd.
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.
Located in the Asian Plaza a three-floor complex of professional offices, gift shops, herb stores, and Asian food markets Li Wah offers an assortment of traditional dim sum as well as a large menu of fresh seafood and authentic Hong Kong-style cuisine. Dim sum is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Artful, ambitious, and urbane, this Ohio City bistro disproves the notion that Clevelanders are strictly a steak-and-taters crowd. At dinner, a tightly composed "progressive American" menu treads fearlessly from braised pork belly to eggplant flan and beyond, always focused on seasonal, sustainable, locally grown foods and always playing to an enthusiastic audience.
In a region boasting scores of neighborhood taverns, the Linden stands out as one of the best for its comfy decor, friendly service, and large assortment of well-prepared eats. For this, thank the Eglinski family, the taverns operators since 1989. For a real taste of Clevelands heritage, dont miss the fresh Lake Erie perch and pierogi dinner, washed down with a locally brewed Dortmunder Gold.
Carnivores and vegetarians alike fare well at this casual neighborhood eatery. The long, virtuous-sounding menu features smoothies, juices, soups, salads, rice bowls, and stuffed and toasted pita sandwiches, all made to order and bursting with fresh flavors.
Bright, airy, and contemporary, this good-looking, locally owned juice bar and sandwich shop is a popular stop for Crocker Park devotees seeking light, wholesome fare. The long menu offers dozens of smoothies and freshly squeezed juices (with or without nutritional additives); salads, soups, stuffed pita sandwiches, and rice bowls round out the good-tasting possibilities.
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