Best Restaurant in Cleveland -- Money No Object
I am going to be in Cleveland on business and will be taking clients to dinner. If money were not an object, where would you eat?
Thanks in advance.
If money were no object, I would take them to the Baricelli Inn. Johnny's downtown is also a popular business choice, but in my opinion they're overated. Flying Fig in Ohio City is great, but may be a bit too noisy.
My first two choices would be fire and Moxie. Moxie is in the suburbs about 10 miles from the center of Cleveland. fire is in the city but at the Eastern edge about 5 miles from the center of Cleveland. They're both a little noisier than Baricelli's but I can't imagine it would be a problem. I think a fair number of business dinners and lunches take place at Moxie.
fire is in a beautiful building in a charming, historic neighborhood. The chef is continually increasing his devotion to local ingredients. I think it's a pretty ingredient driven style. They have a new chef de cuisine who is adding a lot of fresh ideas particularly in the charcuterie area. The food has always been excellent and I think it's only been getting better. The pork chop entree is their signature but I usually get fish. It's excellent. I love the chicken liver appetizer. The pork belly salad is fantastic. Th chocolate cake and the lemon meringue tart are great.
Moxie always has some of the best desserts in the area. They're also one of very few local restaurants that has bread worth eating. I also usually order fish or seafood here too. In fact, it's been so long since I ordered anything else here that I don't think I can recommend anything else but there are always several fish dishes and they're always great. And no matter what it actually turns out to be, I feel confident recommending their soup of the day.
I'm going to tie several of my comments to the relevant entries in the new places database. Sorry for the bump but it's better than referencing of my old comments in each new thread were they're relevant. I'll try to be selective and do it all at once so that it's as painless as possible.
Fire Food & Drink
13220 Shaker Square, Cleveland, OH 44120
3355 Richmond Road, Beachwood, OH 44122
whaddaya know even as an infrequent visitor these days i have been to all the recs you got and i agree they are all good choices.
i would just add JOHNNY'S ON FULTON in ohio city to the mix because it's got character, great food and more of a clubby vibe than the downtown version.
i haven't been in ages, but i believe GIOVANNI'S is stil the go-to top end italian. business friendly for sure.
LOCHKEEPERS or whatever its called now may be open and would be another choice. not sure about that one, but it could be a wildcard worth investigating.
no, but i would like to give it a try. maybe they have worked out the kinks by now?
they might be reaching with the pan-world/california-ized menu, but some of those entrees look very tasty. i found the website and the menu, do you notice if it is the same as when you were there or did they tweak it?
I have always had good meals at Blue Point. I'm an east-coaster and I've always been really impressed with the seafood there. It's also downtown which could be convenient depending on where your clients are located.
I had a disappointed experience last time as at Baricelli Inn, the food solid, but I really hate the decor (purple chairs?) and the service was mush.
Johnny's on Fulton is also really good, but I have to say that my favorite restaurant in Cleveland after trying pretty much everywhere is the Flying Fig. I've never had a bad meal there, the service is always good, and the decor is stylish without trying too hard. My only qualm is the wine list could use some more international, adventurous selections. It's a little commercial.
With clients...I wouldn't suggest Table 45. It won't be the game winning run unless your clients are more impressed with the restaurant layout and place settings than content.
The service was good. However, the friend I had gone with had a horrible dining experience from the food to the service, or lack thereof. It may have been because they had only been open for 1 month. It took much convincing for her return just to satisfy my curiosity. At best, they had opening month jitters and everything is now running well, at worst they are inconsistent.
The prices aren't bad ($25-30/person for lunch). I tried the pho and was horrified. It should have been called Asian mushroom noodle soup. It was a plain-stock soup with shiitake, tomoshiraga somen, meatballs, and cilantro. Nope, no basil, lime, or bean sprouts. No hint of cinnamon or anise. I should have gotten the nan. The (porcini risotto with) sea scallops were pretty tasty and cooked perfectly.
I suppose it depends on the clients. If they are open to ethic food or only want to eat steak/potatoes. When coming to Cleveland, I would show off our regional cuisine or restaurants that are unique like the restaurants in Tremont (more so), Shaker Square, University Circle, Warehouse District, etc. like Parallax, Lago, Fire, That Place on Bellfower (although it's been years since I've gone there), Sergio, and Blue Pointe Grill.
I agree that Moxie is a nice place, and Blue Point Grill is one of the best restaurants in Cleveland...too bad we're not known for our seafood. :)
I regularly take client to dinner and I would have to say Lola hands down. It's Michael Symon's place, located on E 4th, right downtown. The space is beautiful and the food is outstanding. You will all enjoy your meal. Moxie is good, but it's in the burbs and everyone goes there - the decor is ok and the food is good, not great. It's located near our office and if we have to go there, we stick to lunch. The reason everyone goes there is b/c it's a quick drive and there are a lot of businesses around there. Flying Fig is also a great suggestion. I haven't been to Table 45 yet, but his other restaurant, Parallax, is amazing so I'm sure this one is, too. But I can't recommend Lola enough.
If money is no object, I still wouldn't go to the most expensive place in town.
Really, the best restaurants in Cleveland are probably Lola's on E. 4th, Melt on Detroit in Lakewood, and Superior Pho on E Superior.
The best restaurant in Cleveland was Halite, but it closed. The same owners run the Lava Lounge in Tremont, which is excellent and Fat Cats. I've never been to Fat Cats.
I realize this posting is old and you've long since come and gone. But if you're in Cleveland again, check some of these places out. Cleveland has a lot of excellent food.
I know this is an old posting, but FYI here is my 2 cents. Lola is top restaurant by a long shot, but Giovanni's would be top choice for a business dinner due to service and general ambiance. Fire indeed is very good. Don't bother with Bluepoint if your client knows good seafood as it's pretty unimpressive by big city standards. Actually, Mortons downtown in Tower City might be a very good safe choice if this is a serious client and you don't know his/her food preferences.
Sapore is the best restaurant in Cleveland right now. They use fresh, high quality ingredients, cook from scratch and execute nearly flawlessly. The result is that I'd rate my higher percentage of meals there as excellent than at any other restaurant in the area.
The food also has a style that appeals to me personally. It's plain and simple. Moxie, for instance, is another restaurant that executes their dishes with very good consistency but the food at Moxie has more components and the menu frequently has a lot of unfamiliar cooking terms.
I think there's an almond cake that's still on Sapore's dessert menu. It's the best dessert I've had in a long time.
cleveland, OH, cleveland, OH
Cleveland has a wonderful food scene. Here's 4 of my favorite in the city: