Dinner for 2 CLE: Lolita or try something new?
My boyfriend and I are trying to find a spot for dinner. We want something that is not too casual and not too fancy (boyfriend will likely wear jeans and a button up shirt). We are looking to spend not over $50.00 each (likely splitting an app and a desert and getting our own entrees) but a little cheaper would be better. We're pretty serious offal eaters, and like unfussy food, ideally hearty portions and warm atmosphere. We have mild food restrictions (no caffeine for me, no alcohol for him) so we need somewhere at least a little accommodating. Because of the no alcohol thing brew restaurants are not a great choice.
We had been going to Lolita a lot, but then got pretty addicted to the Green House Tavern. We're a little Green House Tavern-ed out at the moment (wow I sound like a brat, huh) and trying to decide between looking for something new and going back to Lolita. Looking at the menu Lolita looks enticing but maybe there is something I am missing.
Should we try a Zack Bruell restaurant? Momocho? Dante? We live in Lorain County so not too far east please.
Have you checked out Asiatown? Lots of casual, offal choices there. Also, talk to Sunny who runs Ty Fun in Tremont; he loves doing "authentic" Thai on request, but usually needs advance notice to get those special ingredients.
Bruell's restaurants tend towards the pricey, but they are mostly very good, though not terribly adventurous. Dante offers some of the best food in the city, if you have never been, you need to go. Momocho is excellent but as Westsiders, you might opt for Eric Williams's new place in Lakewood. There is also Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen in Broadview Heights which is offering some very sophisticated eats at very reasonable prices.
Not offal-centric, but fun to share small plates in addition to entrees at Luxe Cleveland. In the Gordon Square area (65th and Detroit)
Willeyville down in the flats has a lot of fun food at good prices. Cork and Cleaver is great. C&C has a great appetizer with foie gras, bone marrow, and pork belly. I like all the Bruell restaurants but they are a little pricier.
i would head to chinatown. szechuan gourmet will have something, if you dont mind spicy. even if you do, a hotpot is always fun to share. i only went once so am not expert on the place, but you hv better luck finding interestng meat cuts there than catonese places. as a backup, siam is another longtime favorite.
btw you might reverse you ordering m.o. to save a bit more $. that is, order two apps and split one main. that what my spouse and i do to save $ or if we dont want so much food.
i hope you report back on how its going!