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Feb 18, 2012 10:13 AM

Best Cleveland Italian?

Who serves the best Italian food in the Cleveland area? Best Pizza? Best pasta?

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  1. I like the pizza at Dominic Santos. It's a pan style pizza and the best that I've had around here.

    I also like the pizza at Bar Cento. I think it's most accurate to say that it's inspired by Neapolitan style pizza, but not really authentic. It's thinner and crisper, almost like a cracker. But it's tasty and they do a good job with the toppings. I think the one's to try are the sunnyside (with an egg and pancetta) or the potato (more pancetta).

    1 Reply
    1. re: stuart

      Not really authentic, indeed. I ate a Margherita pizza tonight at Bar Cento and was disappointed. For example, each piece featured a tiny piece of basil, perhaps a third of a leaf. The crust, while bubbly at the edges, was bland. Tomatoes, mealy at best. Don't get me wrong, I like Bar Cento. But come on, guys -- let's bulk up the pies a bit to justify a $12 Cleveland price tag.

    2. I am not going to enter the Pizza Wars - but Michelangelo's has very good pastas.

      2198 Murray Hill Road Cleveland, OH 44106

      1. This is kind of a subjective question. Do you mean authentic italian or like spaghetti and meatballs/red sauce place italian?

        I really think for a blend of the red sauce italian and some more modern dishes, Carrie Cerino's does a great job. For real authentic northern Italian I really really love Chinato, but it's not cheap. Their carbonara IMO is the best in town. The tonarelli dish is very much like an authentic cacio e pepe. Their col buco pasta dish is one of the best pasta dishes in town.

        Pizza is tougher. I really like Vincenza's but they are mostly only open for weekday lunch.

        3 Replies
        1. re: rockandroller1

          I second Chinato as the most authentic Italian. I think it incorporates all the regions of Italy in their food and it is delicious! The ingredients are the most fresh and the most like what you would get if you were actually over there. As far as a more reasonable "red sauce" kind of place, Bruno's is worth exploring. It is in a quiet neighborhood on the near west side of Cleveland and while the menu is not terribly exciting, all the traditional pastas and parmigianas are done really well.

          1. re: kathrynanne

            Ah, Bruno's, that's a good suggestion too.

        2. I'm a big fan of the pizza at Vincenzo's downtown.

          1. IMO, good luck finding great pizza in CLE, with that being said I second Vincenzo's and Mama Santa's in Little italy. On the west side try Sweet Basil's. Bruno's is good for Italian American.