Cleveland creative American cuisine or farm to table
We will visit Cleveland from New York this week for only 2 nights and are trying to decide between CROP, LOLA, GREENHOUSE TAVERN or DANTE. We want the best high quality ingredients, some creativity but not necessarily formal dining experience.
Lola has a flashier, more hip atmosphere than the others, but I wouldn't say it's more formal. There aren't really a lot of choices for formal dining around here.
I can't speak to the "farm-to-table" bona fides of all of those restaurants, but Greenhouse is one of the most dedicated restaurants in the area when it comes to sourcing their ingredients. In addition to the Greenhouse Tavern, Flying Fig, fire food and drink and Bar Cento are all exceptionally dedicated to using fresh, quality ingredients. I would recommend considering them in addition to the restaurants that you named.
There was a recent question similar to this one and I made a similar recommendation with some more in depth comments. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/732711
2523 Market Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113
1948 West 25th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113
The Greenhouse Tavern
2038 E 4th Street, Cleveland, OH 44115
Tough call. Of the ones you listed, Dante and Greenhouse are the most farm-to-table (Crop is to some extent also, but not quite as fully as the other two). Lola is a more formal experience.
Definitely go to Greenhouse. Strong second is Dante, followed by Crop. If you want to sample a Michael Symon restaurant that is less formal, try Lolita in Tremont.