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L'Albatros seduces diners with a roster of classic brasserie gems like escargot, roasted cod, and an outstanding selection of cheeses. But since this is a Zack Bruell restaurant, guests can count on more than a few contemporary menu twists, all served up in a series of intimate dining spaces and, in season, one of the region's loveliest secluded patios.
Set a few steps below street level (in the former Utrecht Art Supplies space), Bodega greets guests with a sleek waterfall, handsome wood floors and shimmering linens, and offers top-flight beers and a staggering amount of martinis and wines. The kitchen turns out cold tapas like stuffed grape leaves, scallop ceviche and beef carpaccio, and hot plates like bruschetta, paella and mussels in saffron. “I love Miami,” says owner Said Ouaddaadaa. ”I thought, why not bring Miami to Cleveland?”
Connected to a house, Tazumal feels homey and relaxed. Service is sit-down, and the one doing the serving is the sweet, matronly proprietor. The main draw is the simple Salvadoran food, punctuated by freshly made pupusas, tamales, and stews. Inexpensive, soul-satisfying, and filling, the fare feels like what it is: home cooking.
This colorful Mexican restaurant produces what may be the city's best mole, that thick, mahogany-colored sauce of tomatoes, peppers, chocolate, ground nuts, raisins, and spices. The rest of the kitchen's output isn't bad either, with virtually everything made from scratch.
Like any good Fellini flick, this production is loaded with fantastic scenery. If that scenery is the journey, then the food must be the destination. Spanish, Moroccan, Turkish, Italian and Greek items combine in harmonious fashion. Think Italian wedding soup, wood-fired Turkish kebabs and Moroccan chicken and couscous. Enjoy the namesake film from a wrought-iron balcony as it is projected onto a large interior wall.
Formerly the 53-year-old Reserve Inn, this Hudson space has been updated with crisp wood floors, walls clad in weathered barn siding, and tables topped in brown craft paper, giving it a masculine, clubby feel. The menu offers a predictable pool of crowd-pleasing chestnuts like house-fried chips, flatbreads, burgers, and grilled meats. Along with the food, a good beer and wine selection — including wines on tap — make this upscale casual pub a safe bet for mixed groups.
Colorful, comfy, and family friendly, this neighborhood cafe is known for its homey breakfasts and Sunday brunch, as well as its afternoon lineup of soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. Free wi-fi access and a cozy lounge area make it a good choice for catching up on e-mail while sipping a cup of freshly brewed joe.
Cozy and candlelit, this club uses gourmet music to attract a mellow crowd.
A little cramped, occasionally noisy, and quite possibly the city's smallest restaurant, this tiny French bistro still manages to turn out superlative crepes, earthy pâtés, and one of the best Croque Monsieur sandwiches this side of the Seine.
A friendly downtown gathering place for after-work drinks, Leader also serves salads, sandwiches, and appetizers during lunch and dinner.
A longtime fave for moviegoers at the nearby Cedar Lee, Lemon Grass offers a large assortment of reliably prepared Thai dishes, including a solid assortment of meat-free fare, in a bright and pleasant space.
Located in the Asian Plaza — a three-floor complex of professional offices, gift shops, herb stores, and Asian food markets — Li Wah offers an assortment of traditional dim sum as well as a large menu of fresh seafood and authentic Hong Kong-style cuisine. Dim sum is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Artful, ambitious, and urbane, this Ohio City bistro disproves the notion that Clevelanders are strictly a steak-and-taters crowd. At dinner, a tightly composed "progressive American" menu treads fearlessly from braised pork belly to eggplant flan and beyond, always focused on seasonal, sustainable, locally grown foods and always playing to an enthusiastic audience.
Bright, airy, and contemporary, this good-looking, locally owned juice bar and sandwich shop is a popular stop for Crocker Park devotees seeking light, wholesome fare. The long menu offers dozens of smoothies and freshly squeezed juices (with or without nutritional additives); salads, soups, stuffed pita sandwiches, and rice bowls round out the good-tasting possibilities.
Carnivores and vegetarians alike fare well at this casual neighborhood eatery. The long, virtuous-sounding menu features smoothies, juices, soups, salads, rice bowls, and stuffed and toasted pita sandwiches, all made to order and bursting with fresh flavors.
Formerly Liquid/Suite Sixx/Ultra, now all rolled into one newly renovated package
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