HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >


CLEVELAND special occasion dinner

I'm taking my sister, and maybe a couple other ladies, out a couple days before her wedding and I'm looking for something sophisticated with great food, but a nice place to linger over wine. I love Parkers but he's catering the wedding so that won't do. What else falls into that category of excellence and comfort? I don't want stuffy, but I do not want to compromise on the food.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What about Lolita? Fat Cats? Baricelli?

    1. i'd recommend moxie, especially if you're not going on a weekend night. while the food is always excellent, it gets a bit too crowded and noisy on friday and saturday nights for a relaxing dinner.

      1. Blue Canyon in Twinsburg, Downtown 140 in Hudson. Lolita gets noisy on the weekend but is a wonderful choice during the week. If you want to sit outside, Parallax would be a lovely choice. I also second Baricelli Inn.

        1. I think the Flying Fig is Cleveland's #1 restaurant. It is across from the West Side Market. I am also quite fond of Sage, in Tremont. I think both are sophisticated, comfortable and have great food.

          1. I'd vote Flying Fig or Moxie. I wasn't as thrilled with Lolita as I expected to be; my one meal at Baricelli was overrated; and I hear mixed reviews of Blue Canyon. Another option: Fire at Shaker Square. If you are looking for a good patio, Lopez on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights is casusal (it's Mexican, sort of), but the drinks are excellent and food is good. Nice patio.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LizR

              Flying Fig does actually have a small patio, but there are other surrounding places with patios, giving it a lively feel. The patio at Fire is also nice (as is the food). If I'm not mistaken, Fire and Moxie are under common ownership, and I think the ambiance at Fire is nicer (perhaps my urban prejudice against Moxie's suburban setting). Both Moxie and Fire are somewhat loud.

            2. moxie and fire are owned by different people. the moxie people own lopez as well.

              3 Replies
                1. re: wleatherette

                  The owner of Fire was the opening chef at Moxie.

                  The owners of Lopez and Moxie are separate but used to be partners.

                  The owners of Moxie also own Red.

                  This being said, you can get a great meal at all of these places, although I have not eaten at Lopez in a while. The former chef fom Lopez has now opened Momocho in Ohio City.

                  1. re: chitta chef

                    Momocho is WONDERFUL. I've eaten there twice and have been very impressed. Thanks for the clarification of the musical chairs of Cleveland's restaurant scene!

                2. Thank you, everyone, for such thoughtful suggestions. I love chowhound!!! Has anyone been to Classics? I know it's expensive and the atmosphere may be stuffy. My sister eats out a lot and frequents many of the places that have been recommended. I'm seeking something that will be a surprise, even if it's pretty indulgent. East side would be good, or downtown. I've switched gears a bit! Any thoughts would be most appreciated!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: agnesagnes

                    Classics is definitely stuffy IMO. If you want indulgent, I would go with Baricelli.

                    1. re: rockandroller1

                      I totally agree about Classics -- probably one of the stuffier places in NE Ohio.

                  2. it's been well over 10 yrs since i was at classics so my memory is a bit hazy, but i swear there was a guy hovering during the meal whose sole purpose was to pull your chair out when you got up for any reason. the other thing that i recall most vividly is the ice sculpture (a swan) that came with the caviar. it was quite an experience. definitely stuffy, but not unfriendly.

                    1. You can't go wrong with Sans Souci in the Renaissance. I chose it recently for a party of eight over Flying Fig because it is more intimate and quiet.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: krueger

                        Glad to hear that Sans Souci is still good. They've had some personnel changes, and I wasn't sure if it was still good. It is one of the most beautiful restaurants in town.

                      2. We just had a fabulous tasting menu at the Leopard in Aurora Saturday night. The wines were paired perfectly with the food, and the young chef is talented and eager to please!

                        1. thanks, everyone. My sister has now announced that she wants to go to Ken Stewart's Grill in Akron. But since I'm moving to Cleveland at the end of August, I'll take advantage of your great suggestions!!!