Best Of 2009

Best Restaurant: Fire Food & Drink

The word "best," especially as it applies to restaurants, is as subjective as they come. What one diner finds exceptional, another may deem downright abominable. Many eaters prefer to play it safe when ordering, while others dine out specifically to explore the culinary scenery. And then there's the inconsistency: good service on Wednesday, chaos come Saturday. "Best" restaurants, however, satisfy day in and day out. They reward equally the bold and the timid, the carnivore and the leaf-eater, the weekday diner and the weekend sojourner. Fire is that kind of restaurant. Despite its eight-plus-year existence, the establishment feels fresh on every return visit. That's largely due to chef-owner Doug Katz's devotion to local, seasonal ingredients, which requires a near-constant tweaking of the menu. But it's also the room, a sophisticatedly sharp space with timeless appeal. The best restaurants are those we find ourselves going to without a second thought, and we find ourselves at Fire an awful lot. (13220 Shaker Sq., 216.921.3473, — Trattner

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