Sergio's at Glidden House Cleveland, other good recs at Case
If you continue up Mayfield past little italy, then follow the curve around to the left, the next major intersection you'll come to is Mayfield and Coventry. Turn right and find a place to park (preferably the garage on the left about halfway down the street and do bring plenty of change for the meters - the police are notorious for parking tickets in this area). There are a number of gems on coventry. Grums has good, inexpensive subs, Mint has wonderful Thai food and is a pretty nice atmosphere, Tommy's is good, informal, inexpensive with a focus on vegetarian cuisine, there's the Mongolian BBQ where you select your own ingredients to be stir fried and a Winking Lizard, which is a local chain of sports bar type places with decent bar food and a beer list a mile long.
had really good meals at sergios - and if the weather holds out maybe you can enjoy the patio.
it is in little italy but outside the typical strip (and food): baricelli inn. easily walkable. beautiful - top notch cuisine. not as fancy at it used to be. known for fabulous cheeses.
by the way, in the back of glidden house is a great divey bar with live music called the barking spider (at least it was there when i last lived there a few years back now). very great vibe.
Thanks to all for the recs. Sergio's was as good as reported. We only had tapas, but the selections were excellent. Good hummus (though a big portion for two people), some good tilapia in browned butter with nuts (were supposed to be almonds, but surprisingly peanuts worked well) and a nice set of three small frittata (probably done in muffin cups) with angel hair pasta strands, excellently cooked and great flavors. As a Wisconsinite, I knew the Carr valley blue cheese would be good, but nice presentation with some dried cherries, crackers, and apple slices. Good wine, a bit pricey, imo, with almost every selection over $10.
Trattoria up in little Italy still has great gnocchi, but the portions have gotten ridiculous. I eat heartily for Sat. night supper and would have had enough left over for two lunches if I could have taken it home. Seriously, and I'm not a small person.
We didn't get a chance to take in a lot more, Panni's (?) up on Coventry for bar food. It was okay. There's a place called the Brew Kettle in Strongsville (near my sister in law's), good beer and pretty decent barbecue. Not a great sauce, but the ribs were well-cooked, tender, etc. Pulled pork was good too, but again, not great.
Actually, if you happen to be at the Circle and visiting the botanical gardens, they've got a guy there cooking soups and chili in their cafe that's doing a pretty good job. And The Barking Spider is still busy with live music and good beer, and terrible wine, in plastic cups. Thanks again to all.
Thanks for reporting back. I don't think much of the Panini's chain (locally owned I think) but they are sprouting up everywhere so someone must like them. I live right by the Brew Kettle and want to like them so much more but the food is definitely not as good as it could or should be.
The botanical gardens' catering company is excellent and we use them for a lot of events, not surprised the food at the gardens is good as well, that's great since so often at places like this it's horrid. At the zoo about all you can get is junk like mcdonald's and pizza hut, which I don't get at all, it would be such a great opportunity for a local company to come in and serve some good food.
Anyway, thanks for reporting back!
Just to follow up. Yep Panini's wasn't my choice, but there was football to be watched, etc. Average for bar food, which of course indicates that I've eaten a lot of bad bar food. I'm spoiled in that case, we've got a great place in Milw. for beer and food. Hooligan's, if you ever get this way. (There's lots of good place beside hooligan's, but I'd argue for the range of food offered, nobody is better across the board.)
I didn't get an feedback from my sister-in-law's family on their plates at the Brew Kettle, let's just say I wouldn't trust their judgement, but like I said, decent in a world where bad barbecue is often the norm. But you're absolutely right, given they can cook the ribs as well as they did, they should be able to add some flavor!!