Lolita, photo © Joe Glick Photography
2058 E. 4th St.; 216-621-5652 or lolabistro.com. Lolita, 900 Literary Rd.; 216-771-5652.
F&W Best New Chef 1998 Michael Symon has been busy. He recently moved his flagship restaurant, Lola, to a larger space in downtown Cleveland where he continues to prepare the ambitious, playful food that made his name, tucking meat from tender beef cheeks into pierogi and using foie gras as a filling for bratwurst. He also turned Lola’s former location into the more casual Lolita, serving excellent European-inspired comfort food like house-smoked seafood and gnocchi Bolognese.
1835 Fulton Rd.; 216-694-2122 or momocho.com.
Locals come to Momocho’s kitschy dining room and big garden for cucumber margaritas with rims coated with chile-lime salt and Eric Williams’s modern Mexican food. His tweaks on traditional recipes include six different kinds of guacamole (including one made with goat cheese and poblano chiles) and a version of the iconic tortilla dish chilaquiles decked out with smoked trout, crab and a fried egg.
Light Bistro, photo © Joe Jarrett
3) Light Bistro
2801 Bridge Ave.; 216-771-7130 or lightbistro.com.
This March, chef Matthew Mathlage opened Light Bistro in the space that once housed Parker’s New American Bistro, the acclaimed restaurant of local trailblazer Parker Bosley. Mathlage’s menu of small plates and larger dishes meant for sharing encompass everything from pickled shrimp with chile and lemongrass to the strange-sounding but tasty grilled ostrich with rhubarb risotto and braised peanuts.