Mediterranean civilizations invented many lasting concepts, developing astronomy to explain the cosmos and democracy to equally divide lamb kebabs. Split a skewer with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Mediterranean cuisine at La Strada on East 4th Street. This Groupon is valid for dinner and may not be redeemed on Saturdays.
Owner Terry Tarantino, owner of La Dolce Vita, created La Strada as an homage to Mediterranean culture and culinary style, arranging dishes from Italy, Turkey, Morocco, Spain, and Greece within the restaurant's glowing baroque interior. Diners can divvy up a delectable hummus landscape with the lamb flatbread, which dapples tamarind-braised meat with toasted cumin and cilantro ($11). Wood-grilled kebobs lance morsels of beef tenderloin ($19), spiced chicken ($18), or vegetables ($15) on a skewer, perfect for poking detailed turrets into precarious couscous castles. Chorizo and steamed mussels complete the hanger steak's hearty meat trifecta ($26), and radiatore pasta topped with pine nuts populates a plate of basil pesto and sun-dried tomatoes ($18).
La Strada's dining room recalls an elegant and spacious cellar, with rustic, faux-weathered walls and florid sconces. Awash in warm gold and red tones, tables abut indentations that house panes of stained glass, vases, and small statues that recite lessons on Greek verb conjugation.
La Strada’s expansive space has “the ambiance of dining on an Italian piazza after sunset” according to Cleveland Magazine. Distressed paint covers the walls in muted colors, and unfinished wood trim balances the ornate framework around the bar. Eclectic sculptures stand in nooks or sneak out to watch wall projections of black-and-white movies like the Fellini film for which the La Strada was named.
Like the vagabonds followed by Fellini's camera, the restaurant's menu roams from place to place. The kitchen staff employs premium ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil, whole grains, and artisan cheese in dishes inspired by the traditions of Italy and the Mediterranean. Flatbread pizzas get crowned with kalamata olives, feta, and hummus, and pastas are tossed with a variety of vegetables. Varied seating lets patrons huddle in pairs, dine out of doors, or pass the time playing telephone at family-sized tables that seat up to 12.