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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Restaurant of the Weekend: Lopez Southwestern Food Club

Posted By on Thu, May 1, 2008 at 7:52 AM

Monday marks Cinco de Mayo – the date in 1862 when Mexico struck a decisive blow against an invading French army at the Battle of Puebla – making this the perfect weekend to pop the top on a couple of Coronas and dig into some tuna tacos. Our pick for Party Central? Lopez Southwestern Food Club (2196 Lee Rd.; 216-932-9000), restaurateur Craig Sumers’ Mexican-accented eatery in Cleveland Heights. ... Done up in shades of copper and crimson, Lopez’ artfully rustic dining room sizzles with energy; on the other hand, the handsomely landscaped patio seems miles removed from its bustling Lee Road setting. But no matter where you choose to sit, be prepared to enjoy a hip vibe and seasonal dishes that often transcend the ordinary. No stale chips, pasty beans, or mushy rice, here. Instead, newly installed executive chef Ian Thompson serves up tasty twists on southwestern standards, including faves like freshly made guacamole piqued with blue cheese and sage; and tequila-and-lime marinated Mescal Chicken, served with corn pudding and red pepper marmalade. Also debuting this weekend, check out some of Thompson’s new menu additions, including duck confit salad with watercress, grapefruit, garlic chips, almonds, and honey-habañero vinaigrette, and scallops with mashed peas and pickled carrots. And should you be inspired to raise a toast our South-of-the-Border brethren, the stylish bar is well-stocked with Mexican cervezas, mighty margaritas, and an outstanding assortment of sippin’ tequilas, offered in flights as well as by the glass. If all this isn’t enough to entice you, Sumers also offers a 20 percent discount on food orders each Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, as well as 50 percent off margaritas and tequila drinks on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Click here to print a copy of the coupon. Lopez is opened for dinner daily. Reservations (an excellent idea, especially on weekends) can be made by calling the restaurant, or through Open Table. --- Elaine T. Cicora Read Elaine Cicora's restaurant reviews, food news, and comprehensive dining guide on the restaurant page at clevescene.com.
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