Hailed by Cleveland Magazine as possessing “a culinary sixth sense when it comes to flavor,” Americano chef Vytauras Sasnauskas honed his culinary skills under the tutelage of Loretta Paganini, the celebrated founder of Chesterland’s Loretta Paganini School of Cooking. With roots in Cleveland’s culinary scene that extend back to 1996, it makes sense that Sasnauskas prizes locally harvested ingredients for his menu of daring bistro cuisine. Succulent cuts of beef are drizzled with creative sauces such as brûléed fig and gorgonzola, and traditional comfort foods are reimagined, such as mac 'n' cheese with gourmet flourishes of truffle oil and melted brie. Servers are happy to recommend pairings from a vast drink list that features old-fashioned cocktails and dozens of wines.
Americano is tucked away inside One Bratenahl Place, which creates a secluded vibe. With its smoked mirrors and heavy wooden chairs, the classically elegant dining room serves to tether the whimsical cuisine.
The name Burgers-N-Beer is straightforward. That?s why first-time visitors may be surprised by the scope of the offerings the eatery has offered to hungry Willoughby-area residents since 1999. The restaurant spotlights their menu with slabs of renowned fall-off-the-bone St. Louis-style ribs, slathered with Mimi's Family Recipe Sauce as pictured above. Customers can gather crowds of their own, as ribs can be packaged for parties. Cooks also sculpt juicy half-pound burger patties by hand, piling on toppings such as fried eggs, creole-inspired olive tapenade, or marinara sauce.
But the food isn?t the only reason to stop by. Burgers-N-Beer exudes what one Cleveland Scene writer described as "old-time charm, cheery atmosphere, and prompt, friendly service?all seemingly designed to make a midweek dinner feel like a getaway at a lakeside resort.? On Friday and Saturday nights, the restaurant stops eager patrons from abandoning still-rolling cars with complimentary valet service.
Steep your brain with flavorful promises of a menu to plot out an early-morning caffeine infusion, mid-day lunch treat, or late night drive-by brainwiring. Phoenix's coffees are brewed fresh from their very own beans, so have a cup of old-school joe to return to the café's roots (up to $1.70), or punch your taste buds with the devil's brew (coffee with a shot of espresso, up to $2.50). Chug their namesake with a cup of Café Phoenix, a mocha made with their signature locally produced chocolate syrup and an extra shot of espresso ($3.60), or hammer your endocrine system with the indulgent excesses of their Stuporball—two kinds of custom-blended coffee, two different chocolate syrup infusions, and an extra shot of espresso (up to $4). Tea lovers get some love at Phoenix, too—premium oolong, white, and select black or green tea varieties are available iced or hot (up to $2.40), while the house-made artisan Chai latte arrives steamed and creamy (up to $3.20). You can also upgrade to larger drinks and pay the difference.
Honey, cinnamon, and raisins seem like sweet dessert fixings, but they're par for the main course at Bodega. All three make an appearance in the fez chicken?a Moroccan specialty saut?ed with onions and dappled with roasted almonds. The chicken joins couscous, kebabs, and seafood paella on a list of Moroccan staples that pair well with live music and belly-dancing. Performances such as these elevate dinner to a multisensory event, one that can last in the swanky venue until 2 a.m., or whenever the dancer's belly button closes and goes to sleep.
However, Bodega's kitchen isn't married to a single region. Its versatility can be seen in a glance at the tapas section, where lobster risotto shares the page with housemade lobster nachos. Other small plates include soy-chili-glazed chicken wings, herb-crusted lamb lollipops, and homemade hummus with pita bread. The servings grow larger the farther back you flip in the menu, with pan-seared duck and grilled Amish chicken featured in the selection of entrees.
At the grills, the Liquid/Fresh Planet staff simmers up lean meats and veggies before assembling them into internationally inspired stuffed toasted pita and steaming rice bowls. Liquid/Fresh Planet strives to appeal to youngsters too, whipping up kid-friendly selections, such as cheese pizzas and PB&Js, and routinely checking beneath the stove for any potential boogeymen. Or follow the hum of whirring blenders through a forest of colorful red umbrellas to the Liquid/Fresh Planet front counter, where servers are busy folding fresh fruits and veggies into a variety of smoothies and wholesome eats. One packs a blender with organic oatmeal, fresh fruit, and whey protein, while another scoops up boosts from bottles of flaxseed, mixed vitamin, and ginseng.
Nestled within the Cuyahoga County Airport, J B Milano's casual dining room entices travelers with maroon cloth napkins and burgundy leather chairs stippled in brass studs. Tabletop lamps throw light on exposed white brick walls and tablecloths sewn from pages of SkyMall. To pair with these decorative trimmings, JB Milano's dishes out homemade Italian fare from a menu of classic recipes.
Grumbling stomachs silence with comforting plates of pastas or withering stares from open-faced prime-rib sandwiches on toasted rye. Veal and fish filets arrive enveloped in savory breading and topped with such ingredients as artichoke hearts, capers, and delicate wine sauces. Hearty steak dishes, meanwhile, arrive at tables artfully arranged on sparkling white plates.