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crispy

Cleveland Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations

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... I'm from Cleveland but haven't lived there in a while. It is all coming back to me now.

* * * * * *

Most everything in the Flats isn't worth going to - all the good places have been condemned - Shooters is about it and it's, well, Shooters - though they do have good live music every so often (I've seen OAR, Lisa Loeb, and the 10,000 Maniacs there for free);

:hmmm:

I disagree, I've heard countless oohs and ahhs from visitors to this comfy, old shoe of a town about visiting the Flats. As an employee that has been in and out of a few venues in the Flats for some time, I feel compelled to respond.

True, the East Bank is a ghost-town. As far as I'm aware (I often sit in on Flats/Oxbow community group meetings) the buildings are not "condemned" in the sense that they are about to fall on someone's head. Many of the bars went out of business (Fado, Fagan's, The Beach Club, Kindler's, The Watermark, Hooter's, Have a Nice Day Cafe, Max and Erma's, Dick's Last Resort and Joe's Crab Shack are among the dead) and many failed health inspections and were found with several state liquor law violations. (Think: The Basement) Additional residential and more retail are speculated for the area.

The freighters that are on a tight summer schedule that pass every few hours are an awesome sight to behold, especially when they are floating by multi-million dollar yachts of fun-seeking, recreational boaters. This year, we, at Shooter's, are returning to full service on the boats. :smile: I'm working with Those-That-Be into developing a Shooter's Yacht Club program complete with their own set of amenities, goodies and bennies. (Gotta try to do something with the current fuel prices to hopefully keep the interest to stay in your own "home port" a bit more attractive instead of the expense of travelling to western Lake Erie to the islands).

Okay, my apologies for chiming in on my plug for the Flats.... But when I wasn't working in Put in Bay or in Alaska, the Flats were my home away from home so to speak, both my work/play grounds -- on solid ground or afloat. :cool:

edit: clarity


Edited by beans (log)

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Definitely Lola Bistro!! Also, Theory and Sokolowski's University Inn. All are in Tremont.

Battuto's in Little Italy is really good.

If you have time, check out the West Side Market. Have a bratwurst sandwich from Frank's.

Flying Fig and Great Lakes Brewing Co. are across the street.

And if the weather cooperates, it's fun to sit on the deck at Shooter's and hope to see an ore boat come down the River.

Laurie

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This thread is really making me look forward to my month long trip to Cleveland this summer.....

I will second the Coventry area on the East side, besides the fact that this was the area I grew up in :biggrin: , it is really a wonderful area! Not sure of what is there currently (as stuff seems to come and go between my trips back) but Hunan on Coventry is my favorite Chinese place in Cleveland and all of the food in the area is a really great value for the price you are paying.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Just a foot note: Circo Zibibbo has closed. The space is being taken over by the group that own Mallorca and Marbella and will be opening a Chirascarrea (sp) in the location. :biggrin:

Edited for clumsy fingers typing! :wacko:


Edited by TJHarris (log)

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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I know you've been around eG a bit now TJHarris by already having 50 some posts, but welcome! There's a handful of Clevelanders here now. :cool:

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Circo really boned their crew when they closed down. They closed on a Monday, and waited until the day before to tell everyone. In fact, I hear they lied to everyone for months about the restaurant closing. Oh well. Such is the restaurant biz.

Here's my restaurant recommendations for Cleveland:

Parker's- IMHO, the best restaurant in town. Not flashy or pretentious, but dishes composed of superb ingredients that have been expertly handled. I try to go there as much as possible.

Classics- Here's your flashy and pretentious. It's a bit stuffy for my taste, but you can't argue that Classics turns out some of the best plates in Cleveland.

Johnny's on Fulton - I find the Fulton location offers better service and food than the one downtown.

Lola Bistro- Every time I think that maybe Lola has 'jumped the shark' I go there and am proved wrong. Michael Symon and his crew still rock.

fire- I really hate going to Shaker Square (crappy parking *grumble grumble*), but fire keeps drawing me back. Get the $14 hamburger. Yummy!

Baricelli Inn- Bring your wallet, 'cause this place will cost you. However, I've never felt ripped off. Their food is worth the price. They are also one of the only cheese ripening facilities in the midwest. Take advantage of this and get one of their great artisinal cheese boards.

I've been reading these threads about the Egulleters from Minneapolis and Chicago getting together and going for a meal. Why don't us Clevelanders do the same? It's always better going to a nice dinner with others who appreciate food.

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I've been reading these threads about the Egulleters from Minneapolis and Chicago getting together and going for a meal. Why don't us Clevelanders do the same? It's always better going to a nice dinner with others who appreciate food.

Sounds like a great idea! I will start a thread and see what kind of response we get. I am kinda booked for a while though. Maybe second week of July?


Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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I've been reading these threads about the Egulleters from Minneapolis and Chicago getting together and going for a meal.  Why don't us Clevelanders do the same?  It's always better going to a nice dinner with others who appreciate food.

Sounds like a great idea! I will start a thread and see what kind of response we get. I am kinda booked for a while though. Maybe second week of July?

Great idea guys! :smile:

Here's a link to the thread Tobin started about the Cleveland area gathering:

eGullet Cleveland Gathering

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I am heading back to Cleveland for a month (where I spent the first 24 years of my life), it has been 1 1/2 years since my last trip. Has anything new and exciting popped up?

Everyone in my family has been telling me that I will love the new Trader Joe's up on Chagrin, so I am looking foward to checking that out. Any other new restaurants or shops? East side preferably as I don't really know the west side..... :blink:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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2 new outdoor shopping center/malls have opened in the last year which offer some cool new stores and decent but mostly chain restaurants.

Legacy Village -- New Viking Culinary Arts Store if your into kitchen appliances, CheeseCake Factory, Brio Tuscan Grill(been there and its decent, same owners as Bravo Restaurants), Gelatto place, Claddagh Irish Pub (another decent chain of pubs.. they have both blue moon and strongbow on tap--two of my favorites), Heather's Heat and Flavor -- a spice/hotsauce/condiment store that an aquaintance of mine owns.

Eton Collection -- Has Trader Joe's(which I love) that you mentioned, Sur La Table(nice addition for cleveland), Organized Living Store (cool store if you're an organized person), Ruth's Chris Steakhouse(another one), Mitchelle Fish Market, a new Tapas restaurant next to Fish Market (not sure the name, but looks intersting), Bravo restaurant (same company as Brio above).

Other Eastside openings -- Bahama Breeze

Enjoy your trip!

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Kris, PM me and I'll give you a few of my favs.

Are you going to be East or West Side?

Laurie

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please post here!

I will be in Cleveland Heights (East side) and the only part of the west side I am familiar with is North Olmsted (mostly the area around Great Northern Mall-- for some reason I think this may have changed its name though...) where my aunt lives.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I remember I may have PM'd you about Cleveland's Japanese eats, but Aoeshi is my newest favourite and it isn't too far from Great Northern, on Lorain.

It's been awhile since I've been in my old hood of Shaker Heights and shamefully I have no idea what's new over there. :sad:

It's rare for me to head east or west since everything I need is in Ohio City, downtown, the Warehouse District or Westbank of the Flats. (Why driving to Blossom yesterday was quite a treat!)

I hope you have a pleasant flight. I know it's quite a trip and a bit long. :wink:

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I hope you have a pleasant flight. I know it's quite a trip and a bit long. :wink:

and traveling alone with 3 kids under the age of 8.....

I am not really looking foward to the actual flight. :sad:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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OK, my absolute favorite (although it is hard to pick one, it depends on what I'm in the mood for) is Sage in Tremont. For excellent Mexican, Luchita's on 117th (easily accessible off 90E) is great. There is also a place called Saucy Bistro which just moved from their old spot into a spot on Detroit Rd. in Westlake, just west of Clague Rd. I've eaten at their old location and thought it very good, not yet been to the new one, but they've been getting great press. If I get a chance to try them (hey! now I have a good excuse :) ), I'll post on what I thought.

Let me know what kind of food you're looking for.

If you're looking for stuff for the kids, you'll be close to a place called Dave & Buster's, which is a HUGE video/games/arcade kind of place which also has a full service restaurant and bar. It's just off 90W at Columbia.

We could also go down and visit Beans at work!

By the way, Beans, were you being a Parrothead on Thursday?

Laurie

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OK, sorry, the coffee hasn't kicked in yet (I was up really late last night) and misread your post. I thought you were going to be on the West Side. Let me come up with some more East side places.

Are you looking for good places that would also be suitable for your little ones? Or a mix of when you can leave them and head out on your own?

Laurie

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By the way, Beans, were you being a Parrothead on Thursday?

Yes. The very kind folks of Corona came through with 4 tickets, again, together with wrist bands for admission to their hospitality party of cheeseburgers and Coronas. And even supplied t-shirts this time. :smile:

Not a parrothead per se, but it grows on you. Especially when you work two years at the swim up pool bar at the Islander in Put in Bay. Somewhere on that island, 24 hours a day, one can hear his music playing....

Kristin: I wish you much patience on that doozie of a plane ride. Plenty of small games and colouring books.

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Most places I will be heading out WITH OUT my kids! :biggrin: , this is one of the joys of having 7 siblings and all but one live within 30 minutes.

Looking for anything new and interesting...


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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OK, Kris, I will put on my thinking cap on Sunday and Monday and see what I can come up with. I'm in a position to be fairly "up" on who's hot in town, so let's see what I can do for you!

Beans, I had the pleasure of working the restaurant/catering at Blossom for a couple of summers, and so am familiar first hand with the blow-out Corona throws for buffet. I hope you had lots of fun!

Laurie

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Out without the kids?

There's always all of the old haunts on Cedar/Lee. (Oh, I've been there....)

Then, there's the warehouse district. Liquid, Sushi Rock, Velvet Dog, Blind Pig, Panini's, et al.

My good friend and former co-worker is one of the men that own and operate Karma, newly opened in Powerhouse. He and his brother have a long, successful history with Shooters, Liquid, Tramp, Funky Buddha, Bone Yard, Fusion and Spy Bar.

McCarthy's just opened last Tuesday night. It is a great place, cheap, on the West Bank (old Spaghetti Warehouse) with excellent live entertainment. Molson Canadian is the current draft of the month for a dollar a pint. Virgin tap lines. :cool: (although I'm not big on beer) Good, very friendly folks that work there too.

Moda, next door to my family's pizzeria, is newly opened since you've been here last. Monster dance DJ Tiesto was here on his "world" tour with a sell out crowd a couple weeks ago. It's a cool place, but not very busy in the warmer months.

Old Angle opened up and recently acquired their liquor license, acrossed the street from Moda. One of the owners is a friend of mine that is trying very hard with busy weekends, live music, but slow weekdays. We've hung out there to avoid all of the other Flats employees and enjoy a drink in peace.

Most of the East Bank of the Flats is dead and gone.

Coventry is always fun.

Then there's Tremont, but living next door in Ohio City, sometimes even I make a wrong turn (and I worked there)! You'd get lost at least once, but there's a bunch of really cool places to eat and hang out.

Shooters has Disco Inferno on Wednesdays back popular demand. :rolleyes: (They used to put their huge afro wigs into the clothes dryer upstairs in our offices between sets).

Kristin -- have you ever headed out west to the Islands?

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Beans, trying not to pull this off topic, but, have you been into Opa yet? They're in the space in which I worked all last summer, when it was occupied by a catering company. They've done a great job transforming it into a little bistro-kind of space, but I've not eaten there.

I'll have to pop into your parents pizza place next time I go down to the Market. If I say "Hey, your daughter is Beans!" will they think I'm crazy? :)

Kris, like I said, I'll work on coming up with some other places, but two that come to mind (still on my first cup of coffee this morning) in Little Italy are Mama Santa's -- for pizza. Very casual and cheap, take the kids. Battuto's -- excellent.

More later.

Laurie

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edited to add: http://www.opacleveland.com

Opa is owned by two former Ohio City residents that are also a pair of my old friends from the House Tour Committee days/OCNW stuff. Mark and Dimitri are trying very hard to keep afloat. (They told my father that it was either Thursday or Friday they only had two tables the entire day/night... :sad: ) I hope they tough it out and continue to bring Ohio City many fantastic dining options. :cool:

This is solely my opinion: Very interesting menu, however it is huge and each dish requires unique and fresh ingredients on hand at all times (there don't appear to be items with common denominator ingredients that are prepared differently for various dishes). Next week is a biggie for them. Lutheran Hospital picked local Ohio City restaurants to cater to employees as a lunch time cafeteria option for an entire week. One of the administrators met with each restaurant and discussed what they'd like to have each day. We had our stint three weeks ago, or thereabouts. It's a bit crazy because they'll tell you they want 30 of this or that, then in about 20 minutes they'd call and request another 30+ again so it was hard to predict what to have prepped or purchased! And they failed to tell us that Tuesday would be the smallest order since it is an employee favourite Mexican food theme day. :rolleyes:

Something else that Mark or Dimitri said is that they've noticed that they don't get very much foot traffic on that end of the street. :sad:

If you stop in and asked for Beans, my parents would laugh. I stole Beans as a screen name from my mischievous cat. (And I'm around usually only during the large catering jobs for Lutheran or Moda or to help out with a shopping trip to Restaurant Depot, Deans Supply or Sam's Club). For the time being, we are sliming down our own menu until some more regular business comes through the doors and starts requesting particular items. Summertime in Cleveland means many on vacation with cottages to spend time at either east or west near the islands, those who own boats or time spent looking at the boats and people watch at all of the favourite outdoor patio type places. So it is a bit of a slower period right now.


Edited by beans (log)

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I'll make it a point to stop in, to help them stay afloat!

Kris, I'll be sure to send you a couple more places to check out.

All, have a great Fourth of July. I'm off to my best friend's house for a rib cookout. Gotta love having your best friend be a chef, I don't have to be the grill bi*** this year

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Kristin -- have you ever headed out west to the Islands?

lived in Cleveland for 25 years and never once been there...... :blink:

I also forgot to mention that I don't (actually can't, for some reason it makes me vomit :shock: ) drink alcohol, so I have never kept up with the bar scene, but if they have good food.....

I love Coventry, and will most likely hit most of the restaurants there, also want to check out the new Legacy Village, they were breaking the ground for it on my last trip.

I think I am looking more for places to go for lunch, I have never been much of a night person. :sad:

Now for the really embarrassing question...

where is exactly is Ohio City?

I don't think I have ever heard of it before...


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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