Downtown Cleveland/ Westside Anniversary recs needed...
I am completely not sure where to celebrate my 2 year wedding anniversary next week and am hoping you wonderful Chowhounders can help. We have been to all the biggies, with the exception of Black Pig and Spice, so the question is, where do I want to go back? Or should I hit up either of the newbies? Has anyone seen a great seasonal menu somewhere? Or have you been wowed again by an old favorite? The only criteria is not too trendy (i.e. loud, hip and with Ipad wine lists) and either downtown or on the Westside. With so many great choices I am having trouble narrowing it down.
I am partial to Zach Bruell restaurants for "occasion" meals, so I'm going to vote Chinato or Parallax.
Spice is excellent. It has a casual, laid-back atmosphere, but it still feels conscientiously designed. It's comfortable, but still attractive. I only peeked into The Black Pig, but my first impression was that you could say very much the same thing about it. Service at Spice is warm.
I guess that's how I like restaurants, but mostly I don't really care about that nearly as much as the food. The food at Spice is conscientiously sourced, perfectly prepared, not fussy, consistent and delicious. And they offer a lot of specials, which is nice when you end up eating there several times a month. I think they offer different specials most nights.
While I liked the look at The Black Pig and the service was friendly (if not always right), the food was not great at all. No one in our party really liked their dinner, a few thought it was okay. The burger was an okay item, the squash appetizer not tasty, the omelet "special" for dinner was appetizer-sized at best and the flavor was not as described. It's not a place worth a second visit, IMO.
On the westside, we always enjoy our visits to Player's on Madison. Though I would also vote for Parallax. Spice sounds like it's worth a try.
If you are looking for something cozy and special - Spice would be a great choice. We've only dined there once, but we really liked it. The other choices are also good.
I will also share that over this last weekend, we were entertaining a food writer from Chicago, and all three of Momocho, Luxe and Lolita hit it out of the park with creative, fresh, delicious food that had our friend thinking of moving here! The standout at Momocho was the beer braised shortrib tamale (and the seasonal guacamole with honey crisp apple, mango, thai basil and serrano chili); Luxe's standout was the artful beet salad with avocado, pickled radish, nuts, cheeses and arugula (the egg dishes were all superior also) and Lolita has so many amazing things on their menu right now - from Pig Ears and Tails and succulent beef bone marrow to Pizza with Butternut Squash and Pancetta, to the most delicious eggplant spread we've ever tasted, to Grilled Shishito Peppers with lemon, anchovy and oregano - such culinary riches!