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What's good to eat in Cleveland?


Catherine Iino
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(with apologies to J.S. Meeker)

My daughter will be graduating from Oberlin in May. We'd like to go up to Cleveland for a celebratory dinner over the weekend. From the Heartland gathering report, its sounds as if Lolita would be the place to go. Any other suggestions, cautions?

Thanks for any thoughts.

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Lot's of options in the Tremont neighborhood (where Lolita is located): Fahrenheit, Dante, Ginko (wonderful sushi), Parallax

In nearby Ohio City: Crop (gorgeous space), Flying Fig, SOHO, Light Bistro.

Last night I dined at Spice Kitchen in the Detroit Shoreway district, which is also on the West side and easy to get to from Oberlin.

Downtown there's Greenhouse Tavern, Lola, Noodlecat, Pura Vida and Hodges.

What kind of food and ambiance are you looking for?

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry to have posted and then disappeared; it's been a helluva few weeks. Thank you so much, edsel, for the suggestions. I think I'm going to try calling Lolita tomorrow, but I'm wondering how casual it is? We don't want stuffy and formal, but it is a big occasion, so a sort of festive dignity would be what I am aiming for.

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I don't think anyplace Edsel mentioned is stuffy/formal. My top choices for festive dignity would be Lolita or Dante in Tremont, Crop or Flying Fig in Ohio City and Lola or Greenhouse Tavern downtown (I haven't been to Hodge's or Pura Vida yet, so I can't speak to the atmosphere in either, though the food should be excellent at either).

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" 

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Don't know much about the Cleveland dining scene but I do know the Greenhouse Tavern is outstanding. It's casual and festive yet dignified which sounds right up your alley. At the end of the meal you can buy a round of beer for the kitchen. When you do they bring you a six-pack and send you bounding down to the basement kitchen ringing a large bell to a rousing ovation.

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For some reason, I didn't get notified of the last two replies, but thank you anyway. Last night we ended up with eight people at Spice Kitchen and had a very nice meal. The polenta/chickpea fries were a hit with all of us, not just the gluten-avoiding sister of the graduate. Several of us had the evening's appetizer special, a soft-shelled crab with a very tasty slaw and a miso rhubarb sauce that really worked. The pork with black-eyed peas and kale was excellent. I was impressed with the balance, originality, and unfussiness of the food.

Wish I could try all the other recommendations (but happy that my daughter is graduating, which will take away the opportunity for visits for a while).

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  • 3 months later...
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