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.
First-time visitors to Chowder House Cafe often fixate on the dining room?s walls?or lack thereof, as every square inch has been painted over with electric flowers, guitar players, crowned kings, and other artistic testaments to the caf??s funky and unconventional outlook. This same outlook makes its way onto the menu, which features the namesake clam chowder alongside salads, sandwiches, and dinner entrees similarly inspired by the sea. Aside from the Sunday brunch?s traditional omelets and buttermilk pancakes drenched in fresh Ohio maple syrup, a crab cake benedict celebrates the weekend atop a toasted ciabatta roll. Regardless of the time of day, a considerate BYOB policy accommodates the sailors who often stumble into the caf? with unlabeled bottles of clam juice.
Luxe?s eclectic mix of Mediterranean small plates, elegantly presented shareable appetizers, pizzas, and hearty burgers mirrors the varied design elements of the dining room, which sets baroque crystal chandeliers against an industrial metal ceiling. This classic and contemporary interplay carries over into rich, detailed carpets underfoot and a vintage safe. Serving Sunday brunch and dinner, the restaurant also hosts special events throughout the month and opens its doors for private events and catering orders.
At Mallorca, crews of attentive servers refill glasses of wine or house-made sangria as guests enjoy a long, leisurely meal of Spanish and Portuguese fare. Rotating menu specials incorporate fresh seafood as well as ostrich, venison, and other exotic meats, helping Mallorca to earn Best Spanish/Portuguese Restaurant accolades from Cleveland Magazine in 2011. At the end of the meal, servers return to romantically lamp-lit tables with trays of dessert pastries, cakes, and custards or a cappella renditions of "Kiss the Girl."
Michael Petrakis immigrated to America in 1972 from the island of Crete, where dining is an integral part of social life. In opening Michael's, Petrakis aimed to bring the community some of the warm hospitality of Crete, an attitude embodied in his annual Thanksgiving dinners. Every year since 1983, he and his wife Anna have solicited the help of their staff and a dozen volunteers to serve free holiday dinner to everyone who comes through their doors––an average of 1,400–2,000 meals.
The quaint dining room at Michael's relies on homey touches such as stained glass windows and dangling flower baskets. Illuminated by natural light from large picture windows, diner-style tables support dishes ranging from Greek gyros to pizzas and build-your-own pasta. Those dishes are the work of Dino Tsarnas, a veteran of Cleveland Grill. He brings skills acquired there to a selection of Greek appetizers. Between trips to the restaurant's salad bar, guests can sip a glass of wine or connect to the restaurant's free WiFi.
NFL coach Don Shula, the legendary founder of Shula's, doesn't work with inferior cuts of meat. His restaurants serve Shula-Cut steaks?center cuts of Premium Black Angus beef?that meet rigorous quality specifications. To ensure his restaurants get the best beef on the market, Shula's partners with farms that raise only purebred Angus cattle. The result is an especially juicy and flavorful steak with the uncanny ability to keep a table totally silent as long as there's any steak left.
Shula-Cut filet mignon, New York strips, and cowboy steaks anchor the menu at Shula's 2 Steak & Sports, a more casual eatery adorned with NFL memorabilia, big-screen TVs, and a river-rock fireplace. The chefs also put equal care into their lighter fare, which includes fresh salads, hearty sandwiches, and a slew of burgers freshly ground from Premium Black Angus short rib and brisket.