Housed in the former Taylor and Sons Department Store–a historic building that has tastefully transformed its 4,000 sq. ft. into a chic interior and exterior space–Zinc Bistro is a sophisticated eatery that serves prime steaks, French classics, and raw from one of Cleveland's only raw bars. The seasonal lunch menu is a tuxedo-worthy medley of soups, oysters, savory sandwiches, frites, and salads. For dinner, taste buds can take aim at duck a l'orange with butternut-bacon hash ($28) or a pork chop with choucroute, rutabaga puree, and apple-bourbon ($24). Ishmaels can reacquaint themselves with the eats of the oceans by noshing six fresh oysters ($12–$14), a bowl of lobster bisque ($11), or moules frites ($17) stacked with Prince Edward Island mussels, Pernod, and Zinc frites.
Otentic Restaurant is a casual French eatery stocked to the rafters with authentic cuisine. Enjoy the everyday specials or order à la carte for a fancier-sounding dining experience. Monopoly inheritance disputes are well-settled over a cheese platter with compté, brie, blue cheese, and goat cheese, served with spring mix, dried apricots, and butter ($9.90). Fresh salmon tartar escorts chive cream out on a date with toasted French bread to create Otentic's tartare de saumon a la crème de ciboulette ($7.95). Conquer the main course with a three-pepper chicken or beef brochette ($11.25) or the filet mignons a la crème de champignons, a juicy tenderloin smothered in creamy mushroom sauce ($15.40). All entrees come with a side of your choice, such as traditional ratatouille, penne pasta, or sautéed potatoes. For a portable taste of France, try a toasted sandwich served on baguette, ciabatta, or pain bagnat ($5.95–$7.95), treatise on ennui optional.
Owner and executive chef Aaron L. Ruggles char-grills flank steak and tops it with pickled sweet summer peppers and smokes fresh Atlantic salmon on a cedar plank. Succulent wild-caught scallops come pan-roasted with avocado-roasted corn orzo pasta salad and smoked red chili sauce. Moody, romantic lighting surrounds diners as servers ferry plates of pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas to four-top tables alongside house-baked focaccia bread, widely considered to be more delicious than bread baked from dismantled houses. On Wednesday nights, the original Cheap Date Night menu proffer plenty of options for every type of occasion, as do a series of daily specials, such as Monday's $5 burger-and-fries special and Tuesday's retail-wine night. A kids menu is always available.
Restaurant Europa acquaints its diners with the hearty, core-warming dishes of Russia via single servings or family-style platters before inviting guests to dance at the in-house ceviche bar, which stays open after hours. Escorted by servers who float between recessed, private booths and centrally situated tables, plates piled with sour-cream-crowned latkes, classic Russian-style schnitzel, and sautéed foie gras fill the dining room with international aromas. The option to dine family-style allows groups to sup on eight assorted appetizers and a choice of four entrees as they discuss their clan's sacred ancestral hairdo. After dinner, patrons can relax at the bar or steal away to the Siberian vodka room, where they can sip the traditional spirit from a glass made of ice.
Nestled in a quaint turn-of-the-century abode, South Market Bistro specializes in serving an eclectic menu of American cuisine prepared with an appetizing amalgamation of organic and locally grown ingredients. To exemplify his commitment to locally based cuisine, owner and chef Mike Mariola changes his menu each season to symbiotically reflect the harvest of local farmers. Give clever and environmentally friendly tips on how to properly recycle Kleenex and Tae-Bo tapes in between bites of the Ohio City gnocchi, a spinach-stuffed pasta soused in bolognese sauce and topped with parmesan cheese ($18.50). Alternately, the pan-seared red snapper, served with sunchoke risotto and toasted pine nuts ($30), will satiate tongues with a taste for savory seafood.