Lavell's BBQ and Catering doesn't just make barbecue, it prepares "food with soul." This soul food restaurant serves all the classic comfort dishes including ribs, chicken, and fish plates. Pair a slab of turkey ribs or a chunk of fried perch with a variety of filling sides including candied yams, collard greens, and black-eyed peas. If you can't pick just one side, you can supplement your meal with a pair of Soul Rolls, which are collards, barbecue baked beans, and mac and cheese all cuddled up together in an egg roll, making each nibble a mini tour of the menu. For a quicker bite, grab a pulled pork or shrimp po' boy sandwich, both of which can fit neatly in a pocket if your pocket is large and lined with foil.
In an elegant, family-friendly atmosphere, Max's Ally offers a mix of updated comfort fare and fresh, upscale dishes. Smack tongue buds with flavorful dinner starters such as the five-spice tuna, served rare with a mango-avocado slaw and wasabi aioli ($9.95), or sneak an entourage of fried green tomatoes, stone-ground yellow grits, country ham, leek fondue, and tomato jus past the velvet rope of your mouth club ($7.95). Jed's Pork Chop in a cider reduction rubs elbows with a sweet-potato puree, wilted spinach, and Granny Smith apple slaw ($16.95), and the Just for the Veggies plate teams up handpicked seasonal vegetables with parmesan risotto or couscous ($12.95) for a culinary all-star team.
The culinary craftspeople at Spice 9 Indian Cuisine synthesize subtle spiciness with authentic Indian dishes across a collection of menus. Starters such as the assorted vegetarian platter—a heap of seasonal-veggie fritters dusted in chickpea batter—ready palates for vegetable onslaughts ($6), and main courses such as the desi lamb chops ($18) or goat curry ($17) provide tenderly cooked alternatives to mundane meats. The subzi biryani blends saffron spices with basmati rice ($12), and the tandoori shrimp proffers jumbo oven-cooked shrimp to goad talkative mouths into the serene silence of chewing ($18).
At Rocky River Grille, visitors can partake in a casual yet classy dining experience that offers seamless service and unmatched comfort. Located inside the luxe confines of the Embassy Suites, Rocky River Grille massages taste buds with a bevy of menu selections that offer American fare for lunch and dinner. Opt for a pecan planked salmon ($18.75) and a pulled-chicken pot pie ($14.75), or grab a handy mitt-fitting sandwich such as the shrimp pita ($7–$8.75) or prime-rib dip ($7–$8.75). Soak in the well-lit and vibrantly colored lounge’s ambience while sipping on a glass of palate-pleasing wine such as the Red Rock merlot ($8) or on an expertly whipped up mojito ($9).
Martino's authentic Italian menu offers traditional dishes forged from fresh ingredients and swathed in sauce prepared daily. Begin a meal by dunking beer-battered slices of fried zucchini ($5.49) in marinara sauce before corralling house-made meatballs within an edible enclosure of imported Italian spaghetti ($9.95). Pizzas divvy themselves by slice ($2.50 for cheese; $0.50/topping) or fly from the oven as complete saucers ($9.95–$13.95), powered by toppings such as red peppers, pineapple, ground beef, and cheese fusion ($1.75–$2.50/topping). Chefs roll locally sourced chicken cuts in breading before frying them and smothering them in provolone for the chicken parmesan hoagie, served with italian bread and fries ($6.99). Postprandial selections from a battery of 15-20 house-made gelatos sate cravings of all flavors, as long as it's frozen.
The Diversity Den Café is a coffeehouse and social hub where exquisite potables meet lively community events. The café boasts a variety of specialty caffeinated beverages, such as the indulgent Oreo Diverse latté, made with espresso, steamed milk, peppermint syrup, whipped cream, and topped with a crushed Oreo cookie ($3.50–$4.30, plus $0.50 for extra cookies). Or keep it simple with one of a selection of herbal teas ($1.30–$1.60) or a spiced vanilla chai latté ($3.25–$4.25). An extensive wine and spirit menu, which features beer ($3–$4.50) and classic cocktails ($7–$11), fuels socializing and friendly debates over the etymological origins of Thomas Jefferson. The Diversity Café also lines the empty bellies of its customers with ever-changing meal options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a steady menu of bagels, muffins, and pastries ($0.59–$1.95).