A laid-back vibe, a killer bar, and an ambitious kitchen cooking up everything from burgers to braised lamb make this friendly East Side gastropub a worthwhile find.
Over the years, this vintage tavern has gone from a shabby little shot-and-a-beer joint to a welcoming destination, with a long, eclectic menu ranging from spicy noodle yakitori to burgers and fries, an impressive beer collection, and one of the best-priced wine lists in the region.
Wild, woodsy aromas suffuse this friendly little restaurant, where hickory smoking, slow cooking, and mesquite grilling are the order of the day. Nearly everything, from the thick, sweet, and peppery BBQ sauce to the delicate biscuits in the strawberry shortcake, is made fresh and in-house. And for a real taste of the ol' West, be sure to try the zesty Smokin' Beans.
Although the kitchen at this Caribbean-themed restaurant (part of the Darden Restaurants chain) tends to keep the heat turned down, much of the food such as pressed Cuban sandwiches, butterflied coconut prawns, pan-seared pork tenderloin in a rummy demiglace is flavorful and attentively prepared. Still, the real draw is the bustling bar scene, fueled by shooters, beer, and boozy, fruity, and frozen concoctions designed to make every night feel like a week at the beach.
Casual, cozy, and with a splendid secluded patio for warm-weather dining, this upscale tavern offers everything from burgers and ribs to filet mignon and veal medallions. The surrounding countryside is charming, and getting there on the winding Geauga County roads is almost half the fun.
Casually upscale and unselfconsciously cool, this neighborhood bistro is home to delicious gourmet pizzas, an intriguing collection of fish and seafood dishes, and a dashing wine list containing one of the regions largest assortment of half-bottles.
Reasonably priced, family-friendly dining inside an upscale, Disneyesque facsimile of ancient Roman ruins is this Columbus-based restaurant's claim to fame. The menu focuses on pasta, pizza, or wood-grilled meats; for dessert, the partially caramelized cheesecake, in a pool of crème anglaise, tastes like more.
One of Ohio's largest family-owned wineries, Ferrante's is located along the southern shores of Lake Erie. The winery offers award-winning wines, charm, and hospitality next to the two cozy fireplaces in the full-service Italian restaurant.
HPP's Beachwood location is big, manly and urbane, with all the trappings of an upscale midwestern steakhouse. Happily, the food shrimp cocktails, Kobe beef burgers and of course, thick, juicy steaks is as satisfying as the setting, and the place is as popular for after-work unwinding as it is for weekend splurges.
Once you get past the fact that this restaurant is in an upscale fashion mall and nowhere near our real Little Italy, youre likely to enjoy the elegant, 1950s-style decor and the big menu of well-prepared southern Italian standards served in oversized portions just right for sharing. Private parties, banquets, and corporate events are other house specialties.
A second, smaller outpost for this popular Cleveland Hts. restaurant, Pacific East offers some of the regions freshest, most generously apportioned sushi, along with tempura, teriyaki, agemono, and noodle dishes.
As cozy as a colonial tavern, this well-appointed dining room in the middle of secluded Gates Mills features an eclectic lineup of Italian standards, along with an assortment of sandwiches, burgers, chops, and a popular chicken pot pie. While not every dish is as magical as the setting, Saras makes a convenient, non-chain-linked alternative for suburban East Siders.
Like a Japanese take on tapas, this izakaya-style restaurant on Shaker Square combines an enticing menu of creative, contemporary small plates and sushi with a big collection of cocktails, sake, and imported beer. Dont miss the Sasa fries, an Asian-accented riff on twice-fried frites that just may be the most addictive bar nosh in town.
An excellent variety of maki and nigiri sushi is the star of the show here ordered à la carte or in combinations as either appetizers or entrées. Beyond sushi, diners can also select items from a large menu of steaks, seafood, poultry, noodle, and vegetarian dishes. Charming servers in traditional kimonos add a decorative touch.
Close your eyes, and you can almost hear the roar of the surf from your seat inside this Florida-style seafood house, an East Side institution, where the crabcakes are sweet and crunchy, and the puffy-battered scrod and scallops seem lighter than an Atlantic breeze. Beer and wine; small selection of liquor.
A happy alliance of modern architecture and contemporary cuisine, Table 45 offers an enticing collection of global fare that blends sophistication with unpretentious appeal. The kitchen may borrow freely from Indian, Mediterranean, and South American pantries, but the clear, focused flavors are all its own.
A sort of grown-up version of the health-conscious, vegetarian-friendly Aladdins Eateries, Taza is all that and a full bar too. Despite the handsome decor and upscale appointments, the casual attitude and big menu of Lebanese standards will strike a familiar note with Aladdins fans. Other upgrades include freshly baked pita, kebabs taken straight off the charcoal grill, and a big assortment of traditional Middle Eastern meze, just right for sharing around the table.
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