My F&W
quick save (...)

Food Across America: Cleveland, OH

F&W’s roundup of the best restaurants in Cleveland, from two spots by one of our Best New Chefs to a Mediterranean- and Asian-inspired bistro. For more great restaurants, check out our guide to the best places to eat in the country.

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.

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.

Over in historic Ohio City, chef Matthew Mathlage at the new Light Bistro admits he’s trying to expand Cleveland’s culinary repertoire with his Mediterranean- and Asian-inspired dishes, like a fantastic lemongrass-chile pickled shrimp.

Although I focused mostly on new food spots, local experts insisted I check out two of the city’s more established restaurants. At Fire, in the affluent Shaker Heights suburb, I loved everything that came out of chef Doug Katz’s tandoor oven, especially the luscious pork crêpes topped with pepper relish and a fried egg. And I almost changed my flight to stay for dinner at Ohio City’s nine-year-old Flying Fig after trying chef Karen Small’s crackly-crisp tempura-fried green beans with a peppery curried yogurt. Small says she is happy to remain under the radar, and I bet her fiercely loyal regulars prefer it that way, too.

More Food Destination Guides:

Published November 2007
You Might Also Like


Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
    American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
    How we use your email address
    Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

    Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.