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.
Brasserie 33 maintains a distinguished reputation as a mainstay for classic French cuisine. Now under new management, the dining bastion is reclaiming the culinary identity that earned it foodie fanfare for years. Executive chef Omar Mediouni and the staff dot pristine white tablecloths with rich, meat-centric dishes that encapsulate a menu of classic French cuisine. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review lauded Brasserie 33 for its authenticity, citing a French-speaking wait staff and palate-popular selection of classic dishes, such as escargot brushed with garlic and parsley butter sauce and seafood bouillabaisse brimming with salmon, shrimp, and calamari. A stone-topped bar runs parallel to the neatly kempt tables that line the narrow brasserie. During daylight hours, diners are awash in natural light pouring through the front windows, and during the evening, gourmand moonbeams filter through the glass to get tastes of dessert.
Gene's Last Chance is an all-American grill that serves up meaty sandwiches, barbecue fare, pastas, and veggie-centric dishes. The menu offers an eclectic selection to make any picnic-basket-intoxicated bear salivate tears of joy. Dig into shareable starters such as the beer-cheese dip, a bread-friendly cauldron of cheesy flavors ($6.95) or a effigy mound of wings slathered in your choice of sauces including buffalo, Cajun, barbecue, and hot-honey glaze ($6.95+ for 1/4 bucket). Gene's Last Chance's grilling gurus man the restaurant's hardwood grill with strong burger-flipping forearms and flame-retardant mustaches, serving up honey-pepper-glazed pork chops ($17.99), colorful grilled-veggie sandwiches ($5.95), and white-shirt-thwarting baby-back ribs ($19.99 for a full rack). Brave souls test their gastronomic elasticity with the restaurant's special Monster Reuben sandwich, an ode to all-around good guy Reuben as well as deliciously seasoned deli meat that's piled extra high and smothered with sauce, cheese, and sauerkraut ($9.95 whole, $5.95 half).
Owner and executive chef Aaron L. Ruggles char-grills flank steak and tops it with pickled sweet summer peppers and smokes fresh Atlantic salmon on a cedar plank. Succulent wild-caught scallops come pan-roasted with avocado-roasted corn orzo pasta salad and smoked red chili sauce. Moody, romantic lighting surrounds diners as servers ferry plates of pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas to four-top tables alongside house-baked focaccia bread, widely considered to be more delicious than bread baked from dismantled houses. On Wednesday nights, the original Cheap Date Night menu proffer plenty of options for every type of occasion, as do a series of daily specials, such as Monday's $5 burger-and-fries special and Tuesday's retail-wine night. A kids menu is always available.
PatDee's Pub and Eatery began carving out its niche in Northfield's culinary landscape in 1995. The restaurant's current chefs have been onboard since the beginning, adding a dash of familiarity to the homestyle dishes that diners have come to greet on a first-name basis. Inside the eatery, cozy vibes pervade meals centered on juicy prime-rib platters and handmade pizzas, and pancakes and omelets rouse early birds during morning hours on weekdays and until 1 p.m. on weekends. PatDee's also dispatches its housemade eats around the neighborhood with its catering service, granting party hosts the option to pick up their spread or have it delivered by a polite staffer shot out of a circus cannon.
At Fred's Diner, breakfast is king. Kneel at the feet of the most important meal of the day with a selection from the diner's menu. The three pancakes ($5.99)—with choice of sausage, ham, or bacon—forge a feast from flattened flour, while a three-egg cheese omelette ($4.99, with additional ingredients $0.85 each) sidekicks its stuffed sustenance with home fries and toast. Enjoy bread-bookended breakfast bites with a two-egg sandwich ($4.29), topped with choice of ham, bacon, or sausage, or simply feast on an uncomplicated half-pound of bacon ($2.50) with coffee ($1) or cranberry-orange juice ($2). Lunch-lovers are also in luck at Fred's Diner, with a fallout shelter's worth of soups, salads, sandwiches, and more on tap. Spoon-survey a bowl of Fred's famous chicken dumpling soup ($3.29), tenderly embrace the tenders of the grilled chicken salad ($7.49), or digestively dissect a 6-ounce rib-eye steak ($7.99). Specialty sandwiches include the Cuy-a-Hoagy ($6.39), topped with hot roast beef, and the triple-tiered tastiness of the Diner's Club ($6.99).