When it comes to food and drink, there are no secrets in the Cleve. That explains the well-heeled crowd of “early adapters” who were sucking up the elegant vibe – along with beer, wine, and expertly made cocktails – at Stone Mad on Saturday night.
Pete Leneghan’s long-awaited pub, patio, dining room, and indoor bocce court (1306 W. 65th St.) opened quietly on April 14, but the lack of public announcements hasn’t slowed the buzz – a fact that co-owner Eileen Sammon finds “heartwarming.” ...
And while dinner service won’t kick in until Monday, April 28, executive chef Mike Fadel’s lunch menu is already a big hit, with its small but tasty-sounding lineup of soups, salads, sandwiches, a burger, a steak, and homey daily specials. (Fadel, foodies will recall, was chef and co-owner of Tremont’s Sage Bistro.) Lunch is served Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Besides the extraordinary craftsmanship, the cadre of professional barkeeps also helps place the pub a step above your average Irish watering hole. Handsomely garbed in white shirts and ties, with long, Euro-style aprons, they glide through their domain, equally as adept at crafting a chocolate martini as drawing a perfect pint o’ Guinness.
Last Saturday night’s clearing skies also beckoned the heartier guests out onto the stone-lined patio. Anchored by a four-sided, wood-burning fireplace – and illuminated by the light of the peek-a-boo moon – the stone tables and benches took on the feel of a megalithic ruin, like Stonehenge on Erie, say. (No naked sprite-worshipping while we were there, but hey, it was only 10 p.m.)
Night or day, the spot is definitely worth a visit, although while the early rollout is still in process, it wouldn’t hurt to give them a ring at 216-281-6500, to check on hours. And if you spot Eileen or Pete, be sure to give them props for a job well done. – Elaine T. Cicora
Read Elaine Cicora's restaurant reviews, food news, and comprehensive dining guide on the restaurant page at clevescene.com.