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looking for Cleveland restaurant recs--work trip, good food, quiet

e
erh909 Feb 19, 2010 11:06 AM

I'm headed to Cleveland with five of my co-workers at the end of March, and my assignment is to find restaurants for our three working/debrief dinners. I'm looking for places that are:
1. Good food but not too fancy (i.e., people could feel comfortable in jeans or casual clothes)
2. Not crazy expensive--we are on per diems, so I'm guessing less than $20 for dinner
3. Within walking distance or a short drive from the Rennaissance Hotel (24 Public Square)
4. Quiet enough that we can review the day's events without having to shout. Ideal would be a place where a group of six people could get a table off in a corner somewhere so we could have a working dinner without annoying everyone around us.

I don't think anyone in the group has any unusual food phobias or restrictions.

All suggestions will be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

  1. l
    lyn Feb 20, 2010 01:41 PM

    If it were me, I would not want to be driving around much. I hate driving! So I would concider places close to your hotel. You can walk to Crop which is in your budget. cropbistro.com.

    Chinato is the new hot spot. I have not been yet, but it is a few minute walk and people seem to love it. I am not sure about noise level though. chinatocleveland.com the flying fig is a 3 minute drive away or you can take the rapid in tower city to w.25th and walk over to Market av (pretty much catty corner). Excellent food! It may be on the higher end of budget unless you sit in the bar area and get happy hour food and drinks. theflyingfig.com

    if your group is basic meat and potatoes the Rock Bottom (few minute drive) could fit the bill. the food is pretty basic but good I think. paid parking though.

    Ponte Vecchio is a five minute drive and has a menu with some new inexp offering. Great place to linger and do business. Jeans are fine, but if coupled with tennis shoes and a tee shirt, not so much.www.pontevecchioristorante.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: lyn
      gqpolo Feb 21, 2010 05:04 PM

      My fiance and I just finished our dinner at this place and it was excellent! The most expensive dinner item was $16.95 and the quality, freshness, & portion size were the best. I had the duck choo chee and she had the green noodle curry, both were great. She finishe with the deep fried coconut ice cream and I had the honeydew slush not one complaint. The bathroom was immaculate and it was very quiet. Try this place even if you never had Thai food and you won't be dissapointed!!

      Here is the website...print a coupon! http://thaispice.weebly.com/

      -----
      Thai Spice
      25099 Center Ridge Rd, Westlake, OH 44145

    2. s
      stuart Feb 19, 2010 11:24 AM

      Could you be a little more specific than "short drive?" Pretty much anything in Cleveland might be a short drive if you're comparing it to some places. For instance, in 30 minutes you could get almost anywhere from downtown. I'll assume a 15 minute drive is okay and add more later if you're willing to drive further. Your other criteria are considerably more restrictive. Quiet and less-than-$20 may be problematic.

      AMP 150 is the only think I can think of that will satisfy all of your criteria. It's at the airport Marriott but don't let that dissuade you. The chef is ambitious. They make sauerkraut, corned beef, sausage and more all in house. They use benton's bacon. They have started using local produce and proteins and are planning to do more as they build relationships with local producers. They've only been open a short time. I've eaten there a couple times and it seemed like the atmosphere was conducive to work. I remember someone staring at a lap top on my last visit. You could easily have a meal there for under $20. In fact, you'd have to try pretty hard to spend much more than $30.

      After that, I think you'll have to compromise on one criteria or another. There are several restaurants in Lakewood which is a short drive. Player's? 3 Birds? Not for $20. Buckeye Beer Engine? Probably not a good place to get much work done.

      There are restaurants in Ohio City and Tremont which are also nearby. Dante, Flying Fig? More than $20. ABC Tavern? Good food. Very affordable. But it get's noisy sometimes.

      3 Replies
      1. re: stuart
        e
        erh909 Feb 19, 2010 12:39 PM

        Thanks so much for the recs! I was hoping short drive would be around 15 mins, but I don't know Cleveland at all and I guess that might not be possible--it's easier for us to be flexible on that criterion than any of the others. I went back and checked with our admin person and it looks like the per diem is higher than I thought so we could probably go up to $30/person (if that helps).

        1. re: erh909
          s
          stuart Feb 22, 2010 04:21 PM

          I feel like an idiot for not thinking of Verve. It's been very quite every time I've been there. It deserves a lot more attention than it gets. The food is very good. You can definitely get out of there for $30. It's about a mile.

          1. re: stuart
            l
            lyn Feb 23, 2010 03:51 AM

            yes, second Verve. Close, quiet, you can dress casually, good food that will satisfy the foodie or the meat and potato person.
            http://vervecleveland.com/VC/

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