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.
At Streat Burger, guests construct their meals with Ohio farm-raised beef, pulled pork, or quinoa patties before piling them high with seasonal greens, spicy relishes, and flavorful toppings. Each custom-made sandwich, fresh salad, or basket of hand-cut fries pairs with a frosty beverage from the craft beer list, full of dozens of selections ranging from refreshing watermelon wheat to crisp, hoppy double IPAs.
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.
With a menu spanning omelets to half-pound sirloin burgers, Yours Truly serves up American classics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Early-morning favorites such as the greek omelette ($7.60), with roasted red peppers, feta cheese, olives, and spinach, helped the eatery earn the title of 2010 best breakfast from WhereTheLocalsEat.com. The chef stacks the monte cristo ($8.50) with layers of sweet french toast with savory ham, turkey and swiss cheese. A Napa spinach salad topped with grapes, walnuts, strawberries, dried cranberries, and gorgonzola ($7.50) keeps meals as light at a globetrotting eccentric's hot air balloon, and baked mac 'n' cheese ($6.25) or a reuben burger ($7.50) stuffs starving gullets.
Though it isn?t a matchmaking service, Grovewood Tavern is responsible for more than 150 successful relationships in the past decade, all of which were realized over dinner. The brick-enclosed restaurant specializes in the delicious puppy love between food and drink, hosting meals that pair fine wines, beers, and spirits with bites from a globally conscious kitchen. The courses encourage guests to savor combinations in the moment, but also nod to the history inside the glassware. Trivia and origin stories accompany the drinks, detailing their flavors and the favorable reviews they've received. Some dinners benefit from presentation by expert hosts, including vineyard aficionados and people who know how the ghosts are added to each bottle of spirits.
Outside of these showcases, visitors can still enjoy selections from the tavern's regular menu. Duck-burger sliders and spice-rubbed ahi-tuna sandwiches dispel any worries about stereotypical pub fare, and the entrees' emphasis on local and organic ingredients adds a refreshing ease of conscience to each bite. Grovewood?s catalog of savory meats ranges from Japanese-style barbecued chicken to the bison pot roast, which, according to a 2007 feature in the Plain Dealer, "falls gloriously apart, upon gentle forkage." Chefs accommodate vegetarians and vegans as well. A wealth of meat- and gluten-free options speckles the menu's pages, and the pairing dinners list substitutions for nonveggie helpings, replacing tea-smoked duck breast with grilled tofu and skirt steak with vegan beef.