After a recent visit to Cleveland, I’m convinced that the locals are trying to keep the best restaurants to themselves. The city is polishing up its downtown, but I found most of the best food in Tremont and Ohio City, two quieter, tree-lined neighborhoods on the other side of the Cuyahoga River.
In now-hip Tremont, for example, F&W Best New Chef 1998 Michael Symon has launched a cozy spot called Lolita serving European-inspired comfort food like an incredible gnocchi Bolognese made with house-cured meat. Symon was a pioneer in Tremont when he opened his restaurant Lola there 11 years ago; he recently moved Lola downtown and installed Lolita in its old space.
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I picked up a perfectly spiced ginger cookie at Lucky’s Café in Tremont, where pastry chef and owner Heather Haviland just added a bakery and garden for her weekend brunches.