Part of a Texas-based chain, this "casual upscale" eatery does a good job with everything from burritos to bacon-wrapped shrimp. But it's the handsome bar with its big collection of sippin' tequilas, margaritas, and icy micheladas that stamps our passport; add a basketful of warm translucent chips, the muy picante salsa, and an order of guacamole, and we might have to apply for a visa.
The ambiance is rather bland, but if really good pasta is what rocks your world dishes such as sheer lobster ravioli in roasted-red-pepper cream; towering, greaseless lasagna; and linguine with white clam sauce, say look no further than this family-operated Italian restaurant and banquet center. Good pizza, too, and desserts from an in-house bakery.
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.
A little bit Greek, a little bit Middle Eastern and perhaps even slightly northern Indian, the names, ingredients and flavor notes of Anatolia's authentic Turkish cuisine will strike familiar chords for veteran tabletop travelers. "Don't-miss" dishes include sleek and smoky baba ghannouj, lamb-and-beef doner kebab and its yogurt-topped sibling, iskender. To drink, splurge on a bottle of Kalecik Karasi, a full-bodied red from Turkey's most prestigious vineyard.
Chef Mario Marotta presides over this intimate and authentic Italian restaurant, where the rustic dishes bring to mind meals we ate at Nonnas kitchen table. Homemade sauces, imported cheeses and plenty of fresh herbs make everything from saltimbocca to spaghettini San Remo sing; add a bottle of Chianti from the extensive, all-Italian wine list, and the harmonies seem even sweeter.
Sleek decor and friendly service distinguish this little Italian restaurant in a suburban strip plaza. Lots of chicken, veal, seafood, and pasta dishes brighten the menu, some of them with the restaurant's namesake sauce a spicy blend of tomatoes and cayenne pepper. Well-thought-out list of American and Italian wines.
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.
Mesquite-grilled steaks are the stars at this handsome Cal-contemporary dining room in Brecksville, where guests can dine by the fireplace, at the bustling bar, or in cozy booths. Beyond the beef, faves include plush pulled-pork sammies, savory baby back ribs and wood-grilled salmon. A roundup of 'small plates' caters to more modest appetites.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A hip hangout near the Gordon Square Arts District, this noisy wine bar offers grape-friendly snacks, starters, and sharable items. Instead of full-size entrees, diners can expect meat-and-cheese boards, Mediterranean flatbreads, and a host of creative tapas-size dishes. Some 150 wines are sold by the bottle, all priced just $12 over retail; good deals on glass pours, too. $$$
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.
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