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Dec 29, 2010 05:55 PM

Vermont to Chicago...good restaurants along the way??? Cleveland area?

My boyfriend and I are heading back to Chicago after the holidays...driving back! We're really sick of the Highway stops and the cold fast food- disgusting. We decided we wanted to have a real dinner and think we'll be in the Cleveland area around dinner time. Does anyone out there have any suggestions of good restaurants in that area not TOO off the beaten path? Or even a little before or after Cleveland would be okay...I just assumed that is where the highest concentration of good restaurants were. I was thinking some cozy bistro-type place but we are open to all suggestions. Thank you!

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  1. Having done the trip on a number of occasions I would suggest taking the Canadian route if you have passports. Excellent dining in Kingston and Toronto and although it snows on both sides of the border south of lake Erie is particularly bad. There is an excellent French restaurant in Vermilion Ohio Chez Francois just outside Cleveland if you do decide on the US route. Vermilion Ohio is a beautiful little town. Vermont is a big state if you are at Stowe the Canadian route is about a half hour longer but as I said Cleveland to Buffalo?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Moedelestrie

      I agree that Chez Francois is excellent; it's about 45 minutes west of Cleveland. Be forewarned, they require jackets for gentlemen in the main dining room.

      Also, I would recommend staying in the U.S. if you want the fastest route; sometimes the border crossings can back up with delays, adding to the time disadvantage of the Canadian route.

    2. Moedelestrie is right about the snow belt, but if you're from Vermont you may not be too worried. Many good places in Clevo, but some are not near the freeway. One that is: El Tango, at 14224 Madison in the suburb of Lakewood, immediately to the west of Cleveland, very near I-90. NOT authentic Mexican, but very good, and Mexican of any kind is a tough find in Vermont.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jim M

        It's nice to see someone else recommending El Tango. It's a favorite of mine.

        Also consider Bar Cento. It's one of the most ambitious restaurants in the area. They cook everything from scratch and conscientiously source all of their ingredients. They do some of their own butchering, too. The hard work shows in the end result. The duck pasta is delicious. The French fries are fantastic. The crispy fingerlings are the best potatoes you'll ever eat. The Caesar salad is wonderful - very lightly dressed with fabulous anchovies. The "sunny side" pizza - bacon, eggs, provolone - is wonderful and so it the potato pizza.

        Bar Cento
        1948 West 25th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113