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New Yorker in Cleveland area

  • t

So...my wife is doing a show in Akron....
I'll be visting her over our anniversary in Oct....
Where to eat?...( on a Monday)
we'd like to maybe spend the day in Cleveland check out a brew pub and then dine in some foodie restaurant...
(I've worked in a bunch of restaurants in NYC and San Francisco)
Most romantic is not important-usually means lacking in the innovative food dept.
Flying Fig is closed Mondays.
What else?
Read about Vue, Parallax, Baricelli?
what you all think?

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  1. Brewpub? Great Lakes Brewing Company is very ambitious in terms of food quality and creativity and also in terms of responsible, sustainable business practices. You might want to visit them to see how their ambition is panning out. They also just recently had two beers mentioned in a top 25 beer list from some national publication? Their beers are regular listed or honored with awards. I'm not much of a beer drinker and I don't have much more experience with their food.

    Also, their beers are probably available at a lot of area restaurants. Parker's, for instance. In another recent chowhound thread I compared Parker's to Chez Panisse. I think the comparison is reasonable in many ways. In particuar, the quality of the food is excellent. Parker's is in Ohio City on the near West side. Sadly, one thing Parker's won't be sharing with Chez Panisse is longevity. It will be closing at the end of the year.

    If you're considering the suburbs then Moxie is another excellent restaurant. It's less than a half hour from downtown. My last meal there was fantastic. The dessert was simple - peaches with biscotti and ice cream but it was amazing. All their desserts are phenomenal but they don't upstage the main courses which are also excellent.

    4 Replies
    1. re: stuart

      I'll tell ya...the chez panisse comparison is great for me.....my favorite restaurant is Zuni in San Fran...a Chez Panisse grand child....Judy Rogers worked at Chez Panise before heading Zuni!

      1. re: stuart

        Another restaurant worthy of the Chez Panisse comparison is Fire at Shaker Square. Chef/owner Doug Katz works closely with the farmer's market and I think his food has never been better with the addition of his new chef (who's name presently escapes me).I crave Fire's tandoori-fired ribsteak- it is the the tastiest, juiciest steak in town for my money. Oh drat, I just remembered they are not open on Mondays - boo. Check out Moxie - open on Monday.

        1. re: stuart

          Question about Parker's. I found a picture of the place and it looks like it's falling down. Could this be the same place that's getting the rave reviews? I know it's closing, is this why? As my husband said it's our anniv. and I want to dress up and celebrate. Not sure about Parker's. Please advise.

          1. re: Michele Ragusa

            The picture must be of something else. Here are a couple pictures of Parker's.


            The complete lack of activity, the leafless trees and the maze of telephone wires aren't very flattering but the building looks structurally sound. The neighborhood is actually quite charming. Lots of old, pretty houses.

            Beneath the picture you can see that "Concerned Customer" from Lakewood doesn't share Gourmet Magazine's high opinion of Parker's but I hope you won't let that deter you. My opinion is that Parker's deserves at least their #31 ranking in Gourmet's "50 Best Restaurants in the United States" list and I'll sorely miss it when it's gone.

            I hope you have a memorable anniversary celebration. Congratulations.

        2. Note that the West Side Market is open on Mondays. It's right across the street from Great Lakes Brewing, and is very fun place to check out (if you're a foodie). I don't know who else is closed on Mondays, but Parallax is a fine choice. In the same neighborhood as Parallax (Tremont -- 5 minutes from Ohio City, where Great Lakes and the West Side Market are located) are Fat Cats, Farenheit, Lago, Lolita and a few others. Fat Cats might still do their Monday special -- 3 courses for $25 -- which is a steal!

          1. call the newly reopened Lola 216.621.5652 and see if they are open monday and if so to see if you can get a reservation, sure to please - it is the most anticipated opening in years (Michael Symon is the chef, recently opened Parea in NYC). lolita, same chef owner, is probably my favorite in town, again not sure if open monday. I agree Paralaxx is also great.all of these choices are less than 5 minutes from Great Lakes

            3 Replies
            1. re: lyn

              gonna definitely check the g l brewing ...
              kind of between parallax and parker's....
              the chez panisse reference has me leaning a bit towards parkers?
              wha da ya think?

              1. re: triq

                i've never been to parallax as it opened well after i moved to nyc, but i highly recommend parker's. that would be my first choice, especially as it's going to be closing (which is a terrible shame). lola would be my other choice.

                1. re: triq

                  I was the OP on the CP equivalent in Cleveland. Parker's would be my choice should I ever return. The Cleveland native I was talking to said he liked Metropolitan and after the fact I thought Waterhouse? nearby sounded good. Of course, I've spent more days in Chez Panisse, than I have in Cleveland.

                  btw, if you have time, I can't recommend the Rock Hall of Fame highly enough. If you grew up in the 70's listening to KMPX and KSAN, you'll be please to know that Dusty Street can be found djing at the Hall.

              2. dude, LOLA is now opening downtown on e4th and if possible that is where you want to be. if you like the old LOLA space in tremont, now called LOLITA, is supposed to be nice for tapas. FIRE is shaker square as mentioned is another good choice. there is a brazilian small plates place there in the square called SARAVA that i want to try next visit.

                near the westside market, GLBC brewpub as mentioned above is another must do. if you go there eat the walleye bites app, the rest of the food is just ok, but i hear they upped their game recently in the food dept. for beers i love holy moses, burning river and oh hell almost all of'em. the brew in this place blows any of the mediocre local nyc area beers away. if you go there and want to carry on you are in luck, there is a belgian beer joint just around the corner from GLBC called BIER MARKT and a cool pub called THE ANGLE.

                my fav non-brewpub beer bar is the HARBOR INN in the westside flats. huge selection & its the oldest working bar in the city.

                PARKERS is very good as is MOXIE. the others i hear nice things about but dont know. last visit i took the family to the neuvo mexican MOMOCHO in ohio city, which is kind of like SUENOS or ROCKING HORSE if you know those in nyc.

                ps-- in akron make sure you get to SWENSONS. have fun & report back!

                1. I would say Parkers http://parkersrestaurant.com/cuisine.php is a great choice to compliment the great lakes local beer you will be sipping before. you can walk from great lakes and it is open monday. I am ashamed to say I have not been- I have poked in there, and it is a little serious in atmoshere for my taste, but the food is great according to everyone be they critics or friends. I think Lolita (tremont) is closed monday, but if Lola (e4th downtown) is open I would go for it. I am sure it will knock your foodie socks off. I tried to find a link to Paralaxx but got porn, so sorry. Nice fresh seafood, bistro dishes and some susho-but probably not open.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: lyn

                    I was aware that Gourmet's October issue featured a list of the 50 best restaurants in the US. I wasn't in any hurry to read it because I figured it wouldn't have many practical tips for me. I figured there would be few if any area restaurants and if one made it, I probably wouldn't even agree with which one they had chosen.

                    Parker's was our only representative. I was wrong to guess that I would disagree with Gourmet's chosen Cleveland representative. Parker's certainly deserves to be on the list. But from a Cleveland booster perspective, the list was very sad. Parker's was honored so publically only two months before they're shuttering the windows.

                    I've never really been sorry to see a restaurat go before. Parker's will truly be missed.

                    1. re: lyn

                      Also, the Lola menu has been leaked. You can read it here:

                      and the dessert menu here:

                      The dessert chef, Cory Barrett, worked at Tribute in Chicago. I'm expecting especially great things from dessert at Lola.

                      And he posts on eGullet so he's "one of us."

                      They're open to the public on the 25th. Don't wait till the last minute. This is easily the most anticipated Cleveland restaurant opening in many years.

                      1. re: lyn

                        http://parallaxtremont.com/ - Parallax. It's been a while since I've been there. There are a couple interesting things on the menu. Enough to draw me back soon, I think. If you go, get the truffled fries as a side in addition to whatever sides already come with your entree.

                      2. "Parker's was our only representative"

                        Baricelli Inn was also on the list, in the 40's I think.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sheb

                          The October 2006 issue has a new list. Parker's is 31 and Baricelli is not on the list. So, effectively, Ohio has no representative on the list.

                          I still have some hope that the talent in the kitchen of Parker's will stay in the area. Maybe they'll even stick together. I didn't really have a chance to get much information when I was there last. I'll be there again this Wednesday and hopefully I'll get some more information. They're having another vegetable dinner and usually Chef Strizak makes a round of the dining room. Of course, I'm sure many of the guests will try to monopolize his time in light of the recent and shocking news.

                        2. If you are looking for a local micro brew, I would suggest the Cornerstone Brewery in Berea. It's 35 minutes south from downtown, or 7 from the airport. They've got a Stout that goes down like a YooHoo!! MMM...I highly recomend Swenson's for a really awesome burger in Akron, too, but if you don't make it to Akron, check out the "reiglesburger" at the Rustic Restaurant on Centerridge Road,on the West side, it's like getting in a time machine--a taste of old Cleveland-- also MMMM

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: 4maples4

                            I LOVE the Rustic. We often go there before hitting a movie across the street (well, not sure that movie theater is still there amidst the reconstruction of Westgate Mall). Their fried chicken is great, as are the dinner specials. And a darned respectable chocolate milkshake as well.

                          2. Barecelli Inn is a beautiful restaurant in an old house. The food is outstanding northern Italian/continental,with a great wine and cheese selection as well. It is quite expensive, however, and pretty fancy.
                            Parkers had a great reputation, but I always felt it was far too expensive for the portion sizes served. If you don't mind leaving the restaurant still hungry, this may be the place for you.
                            My suggestion would be Farenheit, in the Tremont area of Cleveland. It is owned and run by a Wolfgang Puck alumnis, Rocko Whalen. He is on sight cooking and, making sure the place runs to perfection. Very hip, fairly reasonable prices and outstanding food and gourmet pizzas. They have a Kobe beef shortrib dish with Asian preparation that is amazing! Many of the dishes have asian seasonings, although the dish may be Italian or American in origin. I think this place is as good as Cleveland gets and thought it was much better than Parallax, which is in the same area.Lola's would also be a fine choice, although it just opened again and may need a while to get everything under control.

                            1. I think very highly of Parker's. Their prices are perfectly in line with the quality of ingredients they use (sourced from local farmers and ranchers). Their uncluttered treatment of the food is very appealing to me as are the portions. I do not like a large portion on my plate. I find it quite unappetizing. Don't get me wrong, the portions at Parkers are by no means small. The portions are appropriate to eating well and healthfully.

                              On the other hand, the portions at the Baricelli are very large which is one of the reasons I'm not real keen on the place.

                              You also can't go wrong with Parallax, Lolita, Lola or Farenheit. I go back to Parker's though because they are closing art the end of the year so this may be your only opportunity to dine there.

                              Have a great time in Cleveland and let us know where you and your wife end up.

                              Oh, Great Lakes Brewing Co. is the definate must see for a local brewery. Try the Holy Moses on draught, oh my...

                              1. ditto what the others have suggested. Great Lakes brewery for the brewpub experience, Lola if you can get reservations, or Lolita, Baricelli. What about Three Birds in Lakewood? Johnny's Downtown in Cleveland provides a classic and very good dining experience. Lots of good choices.

                                1. Thanks all!!!!
                                  We have a 6:30 reservation at Parker's tonight!!!
                                  can't wait.
                                  Will let you know how it was!

                                  1. We just finished at Parkers. Thank you, so many of you, for the recommendation. Sad that it's closing. All out of choice, I might add. The food was wonderful and out server suggested we skip the wine paring and just order off the menu....love her for that. It was all so flavorful and incredibly inventive. Sweet potatoe dumplings were amazing and the beef medalions were out of this world.
                                    Thanks for the heads up on this place. Everyone into food should try to get there before it closes.

                                    P.S....we had oysters and champs at Blue Point beforehand and while we had a great time, the food was amazing at Parkers. Chris our bartender was terrific! Worth the trip.

                                    1. Excellent!!!

                                      I'm so glad that you enjoyed it and had a chance to see one of Cleveland's best!!

                                      Thanks for reporting back!