The competition for this particular award gets steeper every year with the absolute explosion of local breweries in Northeast Ohio. But Great Lakes, which opened in Ohio City in 1988, is still the archbishop of Cleveland's microbrewery diocese and it continues to innovate even as it pumps out its standbys. Whether you're trying something fresh and experimental at the pub or buying a six-pack from Dave's, Great Lakes is the city's beer and that's not changing anytime soon.
Tartine Bistro boasts a masterful arrangement of setting, mood, food and drink to recreate the unfeigned quintessence of a charming french bistro. Plus, there's really good pizza! A small kitchen puts out not only small plates, but also sandwiches (tartines), right-sized entrées, and classic desserts.
The regulars at this Little Italy joint swear by it. You wont catch them at any other Italian restaurant. The kitchen serves up homestyle Italian food; the staff offers even homier hospitality, and a quirky sense of fun plants tongue firmly in cheek. On live opera nights, a tenor spices-up an eight-course dinner served between musical interludes.
These family style dinners for four include your choice of spaghetti and meatballs for $45, lasagna (meat or veggie) for $55 or chicken parmigana and fettuccine marinara for $65. All meals come with salad and bread and garlic butter.
If youve never had an arepa before, you need to head to Barroco ASAP. Arepas, which hail from Colombia and Venezuela, are grilled white tortillas stuffed with a variety of ingredients. The La Gringa, stuffed with braised beef, feta cheese, avocado, chimichurri, greens and mozzarella, and the Buffalo Chicken arepa are two of our absolute favorites. Barrocco also has fantastic live Latin music three nights a week.
Casually hip and artfully unpretentious, this clubby Tremont tavern offers good food, cold beer, stylish surroundings and frequent appearances by local bands and DJs. And if all that isn't reason enough to visit, remember that during warm weather, the handsomely landscaped patio is one of the coolest destinations in town.
Housed in a 160-year-old Pennsylvania Dutch barn, this steak house is anything but old-fashioned. Owner Ron Larson spiffed up the interior in ways that will pleasantly surprise diners expecting doilies and drapes. First-rate steaks and chops share the menu with less conventional steakhouse fare, like smoked chicken, pasta Bolognese and horseradish-crusted grouper.
Nora upends the Little Italy stereotype of the spag-and-ball joint by applying classic French technique to Italian ingredients to come up with dishes that are in sync with the season, if not the surrounding restaurants. While you won't be dabbing red sauce off your shirt, you will be awash in the Old World charm that attracts us to the Hill in the first place. Here, diners dig into creamy burrata, crunchy polenta fries, wild mushroom stuffed agnolotti, and fettuccine carbonara topped with crispy matchstick potatoes and a buttery poached egg.