Dining Out

These hot spots will keep you tan and full.

alfresco dining Michael Symon Cleveland dining hot spots Shaker Square
Alfresco fever has reached epidemic proportions this summer, and there's scarcely a restaurant where you can't dine outside. Still, some places are better than others. Besides Twin Lakes' Mangiamo! (left), here are a few other spots we favor for catching a breeze:

On the East Side, the shady sidewalk tables in front of Fire Food & Drink (13220 Shaker Square, 216-921-3473) are always a top pick, not only for the people-watching, but also for chef-owner Doug Katz's fine contemporary fare -- anything from a gourmet cheeseburger to dainty spring-pea ravioli. Staffers have been taking a brief break this week, so look for Fire to reopen on Friday, July 6.

Just across the square, check out Saravá (13225 Shaker Square, 216-295-1200), where some of the city's best musicians perform samba, bossa nova, and jazz classics on the 100-seat patio. The sassy multicultural menu takes a decidedly Brazilian twist, with dishes like beef picanha, shrimp baiana, and rich feijoada. If the weather turns rainy, head for Nighttown (12387 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-795-0550), the nationally known jazz club and restaurant, where the indoor-outdoor Stephen's Green offers a year-round retreat. To eat, options range from halloumi kebabs to Dublin Lawyer, the house specialty -- a creamy mélange of lobster, mushrooms, and Irish whiskey over rice pilaf.

On the West Side, in Tremont, try the garden at Lucky's Café (777 Starkweather Avenue, 216-622-7773). Filled with flowers, vegetable plants, and picnic tables, it's a charming setting for chef-owner Heather Haviland's pastries, sandwiches, and hearty Sunday brunches. Nearby, Lolita's (900 Literary Road, 216-771-5652) secluded patio makes a shady backdrop to chef-owner Michael Symon's menu of earthy delights -- anything from house-cured meats and artisanal cheeses to Kobe burgers and his famous mac 'n' cheese.

In Ohio City, Momocho's (1835 Fulton Road, 216-694-2122) outdoor-dining area is a lively spot, just right for sipping some top-shelf tequila and scooping up blue-crab guacamole.

Downtown, the resurgent East Fourth Street district has become one big urban patio for guests of Pickwick & Frolic (216-241-7425), House of Blues (216-523-2583), and the 4th Street Bar & Grill (216-298-4070).

Want more? Check out Scene's online restaurant guide (www.clevescene.com) with details on 173 area alfresco alternatives.

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