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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fire Power: Best restaurants for mid-winter warm-ups

Posted By on Wed, Feb 6, 2008 at 7:30 AM

Braised meats, hot chocolate, and crackling fires: Even in February, winter doesn’t totally suck. We can’t guarantee the presence of pot roast and cocoa at the following locations, but here are a few spots to try when you crave the warmth of an open fire. ... To the east, the three rustic Gamekeeper’s properties -- Bass Lake Tavern (426 South St., Chardon, 440-285-3100), Gamekeeper’s Taverne (87 West St., Chagrin Falls; 440-247-7744), and the Welshfield Inn (14001 Main Market Road Burton; 440-834-0190) – hit just the right balance between cozy country-inn ambiance and sophisticated American cuisine. On Shaker Square, the Brazilian-accented Sergio’s Saravá (13225 Shaker Square, Cleveland, 216-295 1200) turns up the heat with an urbane blend of sleek architecture and South American spice. To the south, Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern (8960 Wilcox Dr., Twinsburg, 330-486-BLUE) is a soaring space of lodge pine, stone, and glass, featuring chef-partner Brandt Evans’ muscular American cuisine. And beautifully appointed Ken Stewart’s Lodge (1911 N. Cleveland-Massillon Rd., Bath, 330-666-8881) makes an enticing destination for prime steaks, chops, seafood, and a 600-bottle wine list. To the west, Irish pubs The Harp (4408 Detroit Ave., 216-939-0200), and The Old Angle Tavern (1848 W. 25th St., Ohio City, 216-861-5643) both offer handsome décor, a casual vibe, and moderately priced menus of well-made pub fare. And the enclosed beer garden at Great Lakes Brewing Company (2516 Market Ave., Ohio City, 216-771-4404) boasts not only a woodburning fireplace, but a charming vantage point on bustling Market Avenue, from which you can enjoy burgers, pretzel-crusted chicken, and award-winning craft-brewed beers. --- Elaine T. Cicora

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