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Cleve eats - Univ Circle, Little Italy, East Side

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Will be traveling to Cleveland for a 3 day weekend on Fri to see museums at Univ. Circle and do some sightseeing (maybe Rock & Roll Hall of Fame or Science Museum) and shopping (Beachwood Place still the best?). Looking for breakfast, lunch & dinner recs for self & 15 yr old daughter. Fri night recs for Italian, Sunday morning recs for lox & bagels or deli would be especially great. TIA!

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  1. Jack's (Cedar and Green) and Corky and Lenny's (Chagrin and 271) each use ACME fish. They have lox and sable. I think the herring is also ACME, which is a quality product. I hear that a lot of the experience comes down to the handling of the restaurant. I've had the lox and sable at Corky's many times and have been generally pleased but sometimes it's better than others. I've eaten at Jack's much less and think they're at least as good. I have very little experience with the cooked food menus at either restaurant. I did have the kishke at Corky's. They make it themselves with beef suet but use a synthetic wrapping. It was pretty good but I'm hardly a kishke connoisseur.

    fire has house smoked salmon which isn't quite the same as lox and even serves it with a bagel from Bialy's. It's not a deli but they do have a nice selection of brunch food available on Sundays.

    1 Reply
    1. re: stuart

      jack's is my go-to for deli food/smoked fish when i'm in cleveland. imho they are more consistent than corky's, the food seems more carefully prepared, and i think the servers are nicer (still brusque old school deli-style, though).
      bialy's, mentioned below, make great bagels but it's strictly a take-out operation. i'm not sure if they have lox. if they do, it's prepackaged in the chiller cabinet.
      in addition to crocker park, you'll find legacy village right near beachwood place. both are similar faux-main street style "experiences" for people who are apparently otherwise afraid to leave their gated communities, and are chock-a-block with things like the cheesecake factory. beachwood place has just undergone more renovations and is still worth the visit if in the area (yes, it has lots of chains as well but for some reason it doesn't bother me like l.v. and c.p. do).

    2. diane the cleveland museum of art is undergoing major renovation and expansion. its open, but i dk what you can or cannot see. maybe someone else knows?

      i know you said eastside, but last summer we stayed at the arcade hyatt downtown, it was very nice. they have a great breakfast menu, french press coffee, etc.-- if you havent seen the old arcade you must, its beautiful.

      across euclid from the arcade on e4th is LOLA, which is excellent. afterward your daughter might like the new CORNER ALLEY, a bowling alley/restaurant/tavern combo or HOUSE OF BLUES next door on this up and coming little street.

      for italian GIOVANNIS i think is still about the best:
      http://www.giovanniscleveland.com/

      i dk in little italy anymore, but i do know that the BARICELLI INN, tho not italian, is the best resto around there. MAMA SANTAS is the best pizza.

      for sunday am BIALY'S BAGELS would be a good stop on the way home:
      http://search.cityguide.aol.com/cleve...

      or maybe JACKS if you want sit-down:
      http://search.cityguide.aol.com/cleve...

      ps -- the new crocker park on the westside is the local easton-type lifestyle mall:
      http://www.crockerpark.com/

      have fun & report back!

      8 Replies
      1. re: mrnyc

        Thanks! As this is a girl's weekend, we thought we would do the Monet exhibit at the CMA and the Diana exhibit also in Univ. Circle. We got a great Priceline deal at the Hilton Garden Inn near Jacob's field on Carnegie. Any suggestions for breakfast Sat between the Hotel & Univ. Circle? Friend recommended Tratorria on the Hill in Little Italy, ever heard of that? Anything decent for dinner Sun near the Aurora Farms outlet mall (don't go there, husband is thrilled not to be going - LOL) TIA!

        1. re: Diane in Bexley

          HI- here is my favorite east side haunt: http://www.anatoliacafe.com/index.php
          Anatolia Cafe. It is Turkish and I promise you will not be dissappointed-esp if you get any dish with the homemade yogart. This gem is on of the tastiest in the Cleveland area. It is about a 10 minute drive from Univ Circle.

          If you like Sushi (as well as Malaysian), I recommend Pacific East in Cleveland Heights. Always freah and tasty.

          Legacy Village, nearly across the steet from Beachwood place is one of the newer east side shopping places. A little further east on Chagrin is Eton-your teen will be happy with Indigo Nation and Anthropologie amoung others. http://www.etonchagrinblvd.com/stores... The above mentioned Corky and Lenny's (I have never been) is just west of Eton.

          RE: Breakfast: Juniper Grill is open on Sat. for brunch. You can walk from your hotel. If you cross the river to the west (on Carnegie) the West Side Market Cafe has a real nice breakfast menu. you will see the tower when you cross the bridge-park behind the market. This is about a mile from your hotel. It goes without saying the West Side Market is one of Clevelands finest institutions! Oh regarding Tratorria on the Hill -not popular among locals, but I had a really nice meal there not long ago...although I am not a big consumer of Italian food, so who am I to say?

          1. re: lyn

            Thanks! Have heard not such hot things about Corky & Lenny's (salmonella outbreak in 2006(!!?!!). We may just stick to Juniper and West Side Cafe. We have our heart set on Italian food for Sat night - I am sure we will find something. Thanks for the tip on Eton stores, my DD will probably love that.

          2. re: Diane in Bexley

            For Little Italy - skip the Trattoria and go to Batutto (Italian) or Baricelli (which, despite the name, isn't really Italian influenced as much as local/sustainable and French - though it is one of the best restaurants in town).

            You didn't say which hotel you are staying at - please do and I'll try to help you with Saturday - Jack's is probably a good bet.

            Dinner Sunday in the Aurora area - go West on 82 to Twinsburg and treat yourselves to Blue Canyon. Hubby will be sorry he missed it!

            Bertram Inn on Rt 43 used to have the talented Matt Mathlage and Jeff Jarrett running their Paws kitchen (which is open Sunday); I don't know how they are doing since the duo left to open Light Bistro in Ohio City (which is, BTW, worth a visit if you can squeeze it in).

            1. re: NancyH

              Thanks Nancy - we are staying at the Hilton near Jacobs Field. DD is a pretty picky eater, will eat basic red sauce & noodles, so looking for a basic spaghetti & meatballs place. Any suggestions? Blue Canyon looks yummy for Sunday, just hope we can drive home for 3 hours on a huge meal, but sounds like it's worth it.

              1. re: Diane in Bexley

                I was just in Cleveland two weeks ago to pick my son up from Case and went to the art museum. There is NOTHING open at the art museum other than the Monet exhibit but with your paid admission ($15) you get a discount for the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and they're having an orchid exhibit through March 25. The Monet exhibit will take you about 2 hours if you're not rushing.

                1. re: SharonOhio

                  Since you have a picky teen I would not rule out Trattoria. We took two aged 21 vegetarian relatives who are really picky -diet consists mostly of fries and milkshakes-they loved the pasta there. And while my tastes in Italian when I do indulge are more Batali inspired (bring on the innards!), the meal is not for me, but you and your daughter. And again for what it is worth, my meal was actually good there (as were 3 of the other entrees I tried that night). I think some people (not saying posters above) like to harp on the place b/c it is old -school, hokey ,checkered table cloth, red sauce , Italian. Also it tends to get some tourists b/c of prime location and it was on some travel show.

                2. re: Diane in Bexley

                  The best spaghetti and meatballs in town are at Carrie Cerinos in North Royalton. http://www.carriecerinos.com. DD can have that, while you can indulge in some of the wonderful specialties and salumis Chef Dominic is creating.

                  Since you are staying downtown, you could have breakfast in Chinatown on Saturday if you want - there are several good Dim Sum places. My current fave is C&Y Restaurant at 2222 St. Clair. DD can order fried rice or chow mein, while you explore the dim sum!

          3. We had a great time in Cleveland this past weekend. Friday lunch and Sat breakfast we at at Juniper Grill. From the outside, I probably wouldn't have gone in if I didn't have a recommendation, it looked like a bar. From the inside, very lovely celery green and earth tomes, the food was good. Had chicken salad wrap on Friday and banana pecan pancakes with bacon on Sat. Only complaint, there is only juice for breakfast, no fresh fruit. There is free parking, would recommend for anyone staying in downtown area.

            Friday night we wanted to sample Littly Italy and had made a reservation at Tratorria on the Hill. They gave us horrible directions through very scary Euclid Ave. with lots of gang symbols and burnt out warehouse buildings. It took us 3 times longer than necessary. When we pulled into the parking lot next door, the guy asked us where we were going to eat. He said for half the money, Mama Santa's was much better. We decided to take him up on it. We were not disappointed. I had been looking forward to gnocchi, which is not on the menu but the cavetelli with meatballs was very good. DD ordered cheese ravioli with white clam sauce, also homemade and very good. We stopped at Corbo's for cookies and brought a box home with us that lasted through Sunday.

            The weather was kind of crummy on Saturday and we did the Princess Diana stuff in Univ. Circle and headed over to Beachwood Place. We had a decent lunch in Nordstroms' at their cafe.

            We wanted a nice dinner Sat. night and settled on Mallorca, a Spanish resto in the Warehouse neighborhood. There was so much fog we thought we were back in London. My paella was enough for 2, as was DD's salmon and seafood. For $25, you got salad, homemade potato chips (we didn't quite get why?), veggies and shrimp, mussels, clams and little langoustines along with enough rice to feed an army. We should not have ordered the mussels fra diavolo, there was too much food. DD had an enormous piece of dark chocolate cake and we rolled on out.

            I had my heart set on Corky & Lenny's for lox & bagels Sunday morning. Actually, most disappointing. Didn't look or taste at all like what I remembered with college friends. We ordered nova and it was very salty and fishy. Juniper Grille's smoked salmon was much better. Shame that an insititution like that has slide so downhill. Or, is it that we are so used to consuming Norwegian smoked salmon that nova/lox doesn't taste good anymore?

            Thanks to everyone who helped us with suggestions!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Diane in Bexley

              corky's just isn't very good anymore. jack's is much better and has been for quite some time, i think. that said, nova is going to taste different than norwegian or scottish smoked salmon although from your description it sounds almost as if you got belly lox.