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Sep 3, 2007 06:20 PM

Cleveland Eats

I'm a New Yorker, but I'll be in Cleveland next week for a food show, and I'd love to know some of the can't miss restaurants. My boss will be paying for the meals, so price isn't an issue, but I'm more of the relaxed type of dining kind of gal. Also, I'd love if anyone can give me recent dish on Lola. I've heard so much about it, and lately some of it has been mixed reviews.
Thanks so much!

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  1. Have you ever eaten at Aureole? Dante Boccuzzi owns Lockkeeper's. On Sept 21 it will close until Sept 29 when it will re-open as Dante. I'd never eaten at Aureole but Lockkeeper's has been everything that I expected. It's definitely one of the best restaurants in the area. The menu is still mainly the same as it was under the previous management. I haven't ordered from the menu since Chef Boccuzzi took over. I've had the personalized tasting menu each of the four times that I've eaten there. The scallop dish and the trout dish that I attached as pictures are simply unbelievably good.

    The two other restaurants that I consider to be in the top tier of contemporary American food in Cleveland are fire and Moxie. For the best bread and the best dessert in the area definitely go to Moxie. The pork chop alone merits fire its spot in my top three.

    Uh... food show in Cleveland?

    Fire Food & Drink
    13220 Shaker Square, Cleveland, OH 44120

    Moxie Restaurant
    3355 Richmond Road, Beachwood, OH 44122

    8001 Rockside Road, Valley View, OH 44125

    1 Reply
    1. re: stuart

      second fire and moxie. sent a visiting friend to lola and they loved it as well. haven't been to lockkeeper's since it changed chef's but have heard good things. lolita gets good press as well.

    2. I highly recommend Lola, you won't be disappointed. You should also get to Lolita, Symon's sister restaurant in tremont; they are now doing a pig roast on Tuesdays and just started making some flatbread pizzas which are getting good reviews. Here are a list of what I think are some of our other very great restaurants.

      Carrie Cerino's ( (SW side of town) (business casual)
      Red the Steakhouse ( (E side) (dressy
      )Baricelli Inn ( (E side) (dressy
      )Anatolia Cafe ( (E side, less formal
      )3 Birds ( (W side, business casual
      )Melt ( (W side, very casual/bar)

      1. I have eaten at One Walnut a few times, and it has always been excellent. Strangely, it gets very little press, and I don't understand why.

        Johnny's on Fulton is another constant recommendation.

        If you are interested in casual Cleveland culinary experience, there is Sokolowskis.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kelli2006

          I am not sure where you are staying but many places suggested take some driving (more than 15 minutes). if you like relaxed you may find one walnut too stuffy. I sure did. I think Sokolowskis is really "Cleveland" (a polish food cafeteria!) mostly a lunch place. Lolita is highly recommended, as is Flying Fig, both are close by. For cocktails, you must go to the Velvet Tango Room and take their recommendations. no crappy bar mixes, everything handmade to order. I have never a heard a bad word about Fire, but have never been.

          1. re: lyn

            Hi livetoeat24,

            As far as Lola goes, I can not speak to any recent buzz or mixed reviews but would be glad to tell you about my experiences there.

            Let me start by saying I think that Lola is one our city's best places for a night out. It may very well be our city's best depending on what you like in a restaurant.

            I have had some up and down experiences there mostly with regards to service but also with over cooked fish and seafood. My husband has had some slow service issues there when entertaining clients at lunch on a few occasions.

            That being said, we LOVE Lola. The issues that we encountered occurred closer to when they opened in their awesome new space. The issues concerned us but in no means kept us from returning.

            We have been to Lola several times in the more recent past and both the service everything from the kitchen was absolutely impeccable.

            I am not one to allow restaurants to use the excuse of having recently opened to explain away service or food issues though I really think that the issues my husband and I experienced had a great deal to do with the fact that they were newly opened. Our recent experiences at Lola have showed me that they have all the little kinks worked out and are running at top form.

            I think that if you are into food and wine then you should not miss Lola on your visit to Cleveland. I am partial to Lolita which occupies Lola's old space in Tremont. If you have the time to check out both, I encourage you to do so. If you will only have the chance for one then go to Lola.

            I second the recommendation for Fire. I believe that like Lola and Lolita, Fire is the top of what Cleveland has to offer.

            Please, please, please, make sure you get to The Velvet Tango room. VTR is without a doubt the best that our city has to offer for cocktails and it rivals if not surpasses the fine cocktail places of NYC. The space, service, music and handcrafted cocktails are perfect, perfect, perfect.

            Enjoy your trip to Cleveland and I look forward to hearing about the places you visit.

        2. Definitely get to the Tremont area; dine at Parallax. Personally I don't understand the raves about Lolita...perhaps if you are a super-carnivore it fits the bill but we didn't like it in terms of service or food quality.
          Light Bistro is getting good press, haven't been there yet.
          Three Birds on the West side of town (in Lakewood) and Players are always very good.
          Not sure about Light Bistro, but the others are fairly relaxed dining (not to be confused with ultra-casual dress).

          4 Replies
          1. re: gourmanda

            You know what? I don't know why I forgot Parallax but it is definatley another one of Cleveland's best!

            I think Light Bistro fits into the catagory of relaxed dining.

            1. re: luckygirl

              I'm happy to know that we agree on Parallax. I went a few weeks ago and had the most fabulous herb crusted Alaskan halibut with a caviar cream sauce. Honestly...I think I could have had a soup of the sauce it was so divine.

              Can't wait to try Light...sounds like it would be fun with a group to share all of the small plates.

            2. re: gourmanda

              Gourmanda - the new Lolita menu is fantastic. The pizzas are crafted with love and talent, and the new appetizers and small plates that we've tried have all been perfectly executed. The pastas look wonderful, though we haven't tasted them yet, and there are more meatless options than before. You also can't go wrong at Light Bistro or Parallax.

              1. re: NancyH

                NancyH, thanks for the heads up. Perhaps I will try them again (if I can pull myself away from Parallax, that is!) Good to hear about Light Bistro too.

            3. i'll add TABLE 45 by university circle (i havent been tho) and MOMOCHO in ohio city (love it) to your list of to-do's.

              to tell the truth my fav place in the cleve is LA TORTILLA FELIZ in tremont, it's pan-central and south american. also, fyi there is a chinatown and little italy too.




              ps -- pardon the endless middle of downtown road construction hell on euclid, but good news is they are putting in new transit.