The antipasti counter, panini bar, and wood-fired pizza oven combine to give guests plenty of reasons to visit Valenti's Ristorante. If that's not enough, notes belt out from an 1856 piano as the scents of pasta, steak, and seafood waft from table to table. The chefs, in addition to crafting popular dishes, craft them with locally acquired ingredients, antibiotic and hormone free meats, Gerber Amish chicken, and fish delivered fresh on a daily basis.
The recipient of taste-based honors such as Cleveland Magazine’s Silver Spoon Award and the Plain Dealer’s Best Fried Chicken Spot, Phil the Fire transports traditionally Southern comfort fare into the heart of the Midwest. The restaurant’s chicken and waffles, made with fluffy belgian waffles and hot-sauce-ready meat, anchor a wide-ranging menu, packed with hearty Southern victuals. Owner Phil Davis works closely with his daughter Machiah Imani and a dedicated staff to establish a family-friendly vibe and to forge comfort fare staples, including casseroles, meatloaf, and mac ‘n’ cheese, from fresh, wholesome ingredients. A casual, brick-and-wood-laden interior and low-lit dining room keeps meals less intense than those eaten inside saunas, and a fully stocked bar sates thirsty crowds during daily happy hours.
The chefs at Saffron Patch skillfully wield 38 different herbs and spices to curate a menu of authentic Indian dishes made to order. Tandoori chicken halves ($11) arrive fresh from piping hot tandoor ovens or backpacks left too long in the sun, presenting delicate flavors to awaiting tongues. Taste buds visit with boneless chunks of succulent chicken sautéed with bell peppers and onions in the chicken tikka masala ($14), or take in the lamb korma's creamy cashew gravy served in a clay pot ($17). Shrimp biryani ($14) smoothly mixes almonds, raisins, veggies, and rice with a specialty house sauce as flaky paratha bread ($3) mops up leftover flavors and tears of joy.
Los Habaneros packs its extensive menu with bona fide, south-of-the-border fare prepared from scratch. Fill a beckoning boca with the enchiladas rancheras, overflowing with tender beef and chicken, smooth mole poblano, and creamy cheese ($11.99), or the seafood fajitas ($16.99), which encase a catch of scallops, mussels, shrimp, and mermaid dreams. Get energized before tunneling straight to a neighbor’s pool with a selection of vegetarian options, such as spinach enchiladas ($8.25) and vegetarian fajitas ($8.99). The restaurant also proffers smaller portions for pintsize patrons ($4.49 for children’s menu items). Los Habaneros’ mouth-stuffing guests dine at tile-mosaic-topped tables, amid authentic Mexican décor and supported by booth seats that offer a softer surface to sit on than a sleeping lion’s mane.
Cool breezes caress the faces of diners seated at the brick-walled outdoor patio at Marbella Restaurant, recalling the Mediterranean climate of the Spanish seaside resort for which the eatery is named. Indoors, tuxedoed waiters deliver fresh seafood such as twin lobster tails, grilled scallops, and jumbo shrimp to tables lit by flickering candlelight. Spanish wines, from sparkling cavas to rich, red riojas, pour into glasses from a full bar.
Mr. Wonderful's veteran chefs batter and fry a menu's worth of soul fare, including crisp chicken and fish. A variety of chicken and waffle meals ($6.99–$12.99) star boneless or bone-in poultry, drizzled in a signature glaze that underscores the duo's complementary tastes, textures, and zodiac signs. Satisfy seafood hankerings with a shrimp po boy slathered in tangy sauce ($5.99) or a fried-catfish dinner accompanied by a duo of hearty sides, such as candied yams, slow-cooked greens, and creamy mac 'n' cheese ($10.99). A choice of more than 10 stuffed baked potatoes ($4.99–$11.99) transforms the humdrum spud into a tableside celebrity, and the restaurant's family meals ($8.99–$69) supply clans with the energy to tackle overdue tasks such as cleaning the basement or sewing matching sweater vests by hand.