But even those mighty milieus will have some stiff competition when Nuevo Modern Mexican and Tequila Bar
opens its doors in downtown Cleveland. An import from Akron (54 E. Mill St., 330-762-8000), where owners Zack and Lisa Hirt have been crushing it for two and a half years, Nuevo earned a standalone spot right on the East Ninth Street Pier.
The modern glass, wood and steel structure sits just south of the lake, north of the Rock Hall, and boasts views in every direction. A main floor dining room and bar seats 100 while the wraparound patio seats another 100. Some of the best views are enjoyed from the glassy second floor, an overflow dining and private event space that can accommodate another 250 in and out.
Cleveland diners will enjoy a menu very similar to the one served down south, which features contemporary takes on Latin dishes in appetizer, taco, burrito and
entrée form. Items like salsa and guacamole samplers, duck confit and goat cheese empanadas, and seafood ceviche join build-your-own tacos with pork shoulder, short rib, pan-seared shrimp and tequila-braised beef tongue. Classics like carne asada and chicken en crema join modern entrees like cumin and cinnamon-rubbed heritage breed pork chops and adobo-braised lamb shanks. All of it gets paired with an impressive tequila and mescal list.
Chef Hirt says the Cleveland menu will feature more seafood than its Akron counterpart. Jimmy Pintiello will be the chef de cuisine.
Look for Nuevo to open on July 25.
“We’re overwhelmed, a little stressed but very excited to be coming to Cleveland,” Lisa says during a break.
In terms of bar and restaurant settings, there have been some pretty spectacular entries into the local marketplace of late. From Bar 32 floating in the stratosphere, to Coastal Taco’s riverside respite, to Rebol’s drama-soaked perch smack dab on Public Square.