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Surprising Parents for 30th Anniversary in Cleveland, Ohio (west side). Any suggestions on a great restaurant in that Area?

t
thrilla05 Aug 14, 2008 06:19 AM

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  1. k
    kathrynanne Aug 25, 2008 11:22 AM

    For a very old-school continental atmosphere, Swingo's is a great choice. It's right on the lake with great views just west of downtown in Lakewood. It is definitely a throwback, where some dishes are prepared tableside by mostly male European waiters. However, although the menu is not innovative, the food is always top notch. Expect steaks, lobster, etc. The wine list is one of the best in NE Ohio, if your parents want to splurge.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathrynanne
      g
      gourmanda Aug 25, 2008 01:49 PM

      Good choice! I completely forgot about them. Yes, quite a nice atmosphere and good food as you mention. Matt does have an amazing award-winning wine cellar...expect dinner and wine prices to reflect that.

    2. gqpolo Aug 17, 2008 02:03 PM

      For a great steak try The Cabin Club...HUGE portions and great atmosphere. Make reservations early!!

      6 Replies
      1. re: gqpolo
        t
        thrilla05 Aug 18, 2008 12:02 PM

        Would this be your pick for steak over some of the other's (mortons, Hyde park, etc.)

        1. re: thrilla05
          NancyH Aug 22, 2008 08:31 AM

          For steak, I'd choose Red the Steakhouse (Moxie's sister restaurant) or Blue Canyon in Twinsburg.

          1. re: NancyH
            s
            stuart Aug 22, 2008 09:26 AM

            Neither of these restaurants use aged meat for their steaks. I'm not sure that's a prerequisite for a good steak but when I'm specifically searching for a steak house, prime dry aged meat is something that I expect. Also, they're not on the west side. That said, Moxie is the best restaurant in the area. I'm sure the steak at Red will be decent and that the sides, salads, desserts and appetizers will be fantastic. Red is also on Esquire's 5 Best Steakhouses and Playboy's 10 Best Steakhouses. For whatever that's worth.

            I think Morton's and Hyde Park use prime dry aged meat. The last time that I was at either of these restaurants was so long ago that I'm not sure my recollections are trustworthy but I remember being satisfied. I would also caution that not all Hyde Parks are the same. I think you might have better odds at the one downtown.

            The best steak I've eaten recently was at an east side establishment (fire, in case you're curious) and I don't think I've had many other memorable steaks recently. However, I did notice that Tremont Tap House is using dry aged meat for the two steaks that they offer on their menu. I can't recall specifically if it's prime meat. I've been pleased with a couple meals there but I haven't tried their steak. The food is good but it's a typical bar atmosphere so it might not be what you have in mind for a milestone anniversary. Also, they won't have many steak house menu staples.

            I'd probably go the Tap House but I'd also consider Morton's or sucking it up and dealing with a drive to the east side and dinner at fire. fire also won't have the typical steak house atmosphere or many steak house menu staples. The food is good though.

            1. re: stuart
              s
              stuart Aug 22, 2008 01:52 PM

              Austin's Wood Fire Grille? Who's been? Is it any good?

              It got a good review from the PD. In 2002. I've been to Austin's Smoke House and don't really remember it. Austin's Wood Fire Grille has some mixed reviews on Google Local and Yelp.

              I wrote of the whole Austin's (mini, local) chain after eating at the Smoke House but I just read that they dry age their own meat at the Grille. I think I may have to reconsider them.

              1. re: stuart
                NancyH Aug 23, 2008 10:06 AM

                We ate once at the Austin's franchise that existed briefly in Twinsburg and it was terrible. It went out of business shortly thereafter.

        2. re: gqpolo
          rockandroller1 Aug 18, 2008 12:50 PM

          I think the Cabin Club has an odd atmosphere. You never see people of color in there or women eating without men present. I always find it odd, but then again I have only been there a handful of times. My girlfriend calls it the "old white boys club."

          The few times I've been there service has been so-so but I did like the food.

        3. w
          whiner Aug 15, 2008 04:00 PM

          If you can make it downtown, the best restaurant in Cleveland is probably Lola.

          9 Replies
          1. re: whiner
            uhockey Aug 18, 2008 02:30 AM

            So disappointing.

            1. re: uhockey
              NancyH Aug 19, 2008 10:13 AM

              uhockey - That's your opinion after one experience. I think Lola is an excellent choice for this poster's dinner. I just enjoyed a fabulous birthday dinner at Lola, as chronicled with photos here: http://funplayingwithfood.blogspot.com/2008/07/even-more-fun-playing-with-birthday.html,

              lunch: http://funplayingwithfood.blogspot.com/2008/03/fun-playing-with-lolas-food-with.html,

              Another lunch: http://funplayingwithfood.blogspot.com/2008/02/more-fun-playing-with-lunch-at-lola.html

              New Year's Eve Dinner: http://funplayingwithfood.blogspot.com/2008/01/new-years-fun-playing-with-iron-chef.html,

              plus a bunch of other locals' opinions and dinner photos are here: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?s....

              If you want to stay a little west (say, Tremont) - Lolita is a fine choice. Also in Tremont are Parallax and Fahrenheit - both wonderful.

              Ohio City has The Flying Fig and Light Bistro - both terrific - and the Velvet Tango Room for before or after dinner cocktails and music.

              Sorry I can't advise you further West - as an Eastsider, I'm afraid I don't eat out there much.

              1. re: NancyH
                t
                thrilla05 Aug 19, 2008 03:52 PM

                Have you been to Hyde Park Steak House?

                1. re: thrilla05
                  uhockey Aug 19, 2008 03:54 PM

                  Hyde Park is what it is, a chain steakhouse. It is good, but no moreso than Ruth's Chris or Morton's. I'd look for a local gem instead. I've heard good things about Crop.

                  1. re: uhockey
                    g
                    gourmanda Aug 20, 2008 07:47 AM

                    Just for my own knowledge, did Hyde Park start in Cleveland? Is it a national brand or local to Cleveland and Columbus? Do people generally think if a restaurant has more than one location, even if those locations are all in, say, the greater Cleveland area (not necessarily Hyde Park group) that it has become a chain and is dismissed as such? This question pops up from time to time and I'm curious as to what others think. On the subject of steakhouses, what do people think of Ferris? I imagine there is a reason it has been around since 1940, though I don't think it's because of the decor ;)

                    1. re: gourmanda
                      uhockey Aug 20, 2008 07:53 AM

                      I think "regional" as in 1-2-3 places (like Mastro's in LA, or Hyde Park here) is one thing, "Celebrity" as in 1-2-3 places (Craftsteak NYC/Vegas, CUT LA/Vegas) is another, and chain (Ruths, Mortons, etc) is another.

                      The good thing about the high-end steak houses is that they use superb ingredients, have legit chefs who often go to bigger/better places, and each have their own feel (Mastro's Costa Mesa vs. Beverley Hills are completely different feel) so it isn't like Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans with a grossly standardized experience with mediocre ingredients being cooked by people with less experience than your average home cook.

                      1. re: gourmanda
                        rockandroller1 Aug 22, 2008 06:34 AM

                        Hyde Park is what I refer to as a "local chain" like the Aladdin's Lebanese restaurants, which are now in several states but got their start here. I don't know where HP started but I guess when deciding between places, if there is a chef and/or chef/owner with one restaurant trying hard to make a go of it and a "group" of restaurants, food and price being equal I will pick the single location shop because I think they need the # more. For example, Maha's Falafil opened a small shop in Strongsville and I tried hard to give them as much business as I could when I learned they were open instead of going to Aladdin's as much, even though their menu was very limited compared to Aladdin's, but they couldn't make it work and now they're closed.

                        re: Ferris, I hear they are just not what they used to be and are coasting on their long-time regulars only.

                      2. re: uhockey
                        NancyH Aug 21, 2008 05:00 PM

                        Perhaps we could agree on Crop? I really enjoyed my one dinner there (http://funplayingwithfood.blogspot.co...).

                        I'd love for you to try it and give us a review!

                        1. re: NancyH
                          uhockey Aug 21, 2008 05:53 PM

                          Good gracious.....if the Big Mac were a guaranteed menu item I'd drive there tonight.

                          My sister is in school at CIA and Crop is now officially on my list for #1 place in Cleveland on next visit.

              2. g
                gourmanda Aug 15, 2008 10:42 AM

                It might be helpful to know how far west is westside or whether or not you have a budget. In general Players on Madison in Lakewood, Luxe at 66th and Detroit (note-not your traditional menu; shared plates, small plates, salads, pastas, sandwiches. great space though, reasonable prices and fun to share). PierW is beautiful but the food has never blown me away. Parallax in Tremont is fantastic seafood. Henry's at the Barn in Avon some people love, I thought the food was, eh, service and wine list were excellent. La Campagna in Westlake is anything but fancy but fresh and fabulous Italian. . .reservations a must! No set menu, the days dishes according to freshness and the sister's whim. And it's next to a hardware store but honestly, great dinner!

                3 Replies
                1. re: gourmanda
                  t
                  thrilla05 Aug 18, 2008 12:01 PM

                  Does anyone have any thoughts on Johnny Q's?

                  1. re: thrilla05
                    rockandroller1 Aug 18, 2008 12:46 PM

                    boo. that's my thought. I never really like my food there and I think their steaks are overly salty.

                    1. re: thrilla05
                      g
                      gourmanda Aug 19, 2008 06:36 AM

                      I've not been to John Q's so I can't comment. If you want to go downtown and enjoy seafood, I heartily recommend Blue Point Grille.

                  2. jillbcooks Aug 14, 2008 07:47 PM

                    It's not fancy, but I love Mapleside Farms.

                    1. rockandroller1 Aug 14, 2008 08:28 AM

                      Pier W: http://www.selectrestaurants.com/pier/index.html
                      Carrie Cerino's: www.carriecerinos.com
                      Three Birds: http://www.3birdsrestaurant.com/
                      Stino Da Napoli: http://www.stinodanapoli.com/

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