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Cleveland - where to bring "the one" to meet my parents? Help!

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Bringing the boy from NYC back to Cleveland. We're looking for a nice place, preferably on the East side to make the introduction. Looking for a quiet place with nice food, not too showy...Dad is more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy, mom teeters on vegetarianism. Would Fire on Shaker Square fit the bill? Any and all suggestions welcome. Price isn't an issue, but would prefer a place with less formal service. Mom gets jumpy when her water glass is refilled every 14.6 minutes.

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  1. What exactly do you expect your mother to eat? Fire has several seafood and poultry dishes? They have only one strictly vegetarian entree. Moxie is about the same. Many fish dishes, one vegetarian dish.

    Darna has only one vegetarian entree but I'm sure it's delicious. I've had their couscous and it's good and my vegetables sides are always delicious. Also at Shaker Square.

    At Moxie, the flat iron seems like a no-brainer for your father. Sapore has a short rib dish but I've never had it.

    Sapore has several vegetarian pasta dishes plus a couple that seem like they could easily be made vegetarian. Also, several seafood dishes if she's teetering that way.

    1. On the east side there are two good neighborhood bistros that have good food, but are definitely not fussy or formal. Check out Bistro on 185th and the Grovewood Tavern. Both have good diverse "New American" cuisine which will appeal to both carnivores and vegetarians. Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: kathrynanne

        I really want to like Bistro 185. They have a garden. They make everything from scratch. They're in an interesting neighborhood. They run lots of specials. They smoke their own meat. But I've been there a couple times and I just wasn't impressed with the food.

      2. fire and Moxie would both probably fit your bill. I took my NY parents to Moxie when they visited me here so many years ago and they still remember it.

          1. re: rockandroller1

            Depends. Red the Steakhouse offers lovely tuna in addition to killer steaks. Moxie has a more extensive menu, and that amazing bone-in ribeye. I think the vibe is a little more intimate at Moxie.

          2. I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but it sounds like Moxie is the place you want to go. I'm not quite sure how "less formal" (on a scale of Dick's Last Resort to Per Se) you're looking for, but Moxie is probably the best combination of meat and potatoes, vegetarian, quiet, AND less formal. Bistro 185 sounds like it could be your parents' kind of food, but it is cramped and noisy. Red (although attached to Moxie) is a little stuffier. While I like Fire, it might be a little louder than you'd like. I don't particularly care for Sapore in the winter because it's a little cold in the dining room; it is quiet and tasty, though. When I go to Moxie I always ask for a booth.My personal opinion is that Moxie is the best restaurant from appetizer to dessert on the east side. I also request Mofo as our server, too. If you end up going to Fire ask for Mark and a seat against the back wall.

              1. re: jerseygirlinOHIO

                Thanks for your input. We're booked at Moxie for Friday night. Wish him luck!