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.
When it comes to the Fratello's heaping portions of lasagna and chicken piccata, you'll want to do some sharing of your own. That's doubly true on Sundays, when the restaurant loads their brunch buffet with custom omelets, belgian waffles, and biscuits with made-from-scratch gravy.
White Oaks Restaurant began business in 1928, but its doors wouldn?t open until staff had spied visitors through a peephole, creating an aura of mystery that?s never quite left this fine-dining establishment. Proudly touting its history as a hotspot for imported booze and high-stakes gambling during the Prohibition era, the restaurant?voted Cleveland's best romantic restaurant by viewers of Fox 8 in 2011?now celebrates the legalization of spirits with a towering wine rack and solid-gold bust of Johnnie Walker. Six wood-burning fireplaces cast their crimson glow off plates piled with high-end American cuisine, from succulent seafood to creative game dishes such as venison. Elegant wood paneling spans the lodge-like dining room, where a glass wall on the east end overlooks an arboreal wonderland and burbling creek.
Built in 1850, the historic Clemens Alten House easily blended into the antique atmosphere of Avon, though it’s strong exterior caught the eyes of Bob Neimojewski, as mentioned in an article from 2001 posted on avonhistory.org. One massive renovation later, the century-old house was transformed into Nemo Grille, a contemporary American restaurant. More than a decade later, guests still enjoy the modern interior, complete with a tin tile ceiling and white-clothed tables, as they dig into creative steakhouse and seafood fare. Chefs stylishly plate slow-roasted Ohio pork belly, ground-veal-stuffed mushrooms, and calamari with a maple-chipotle-lime butter while Certified Angus Beef strip, ribeye, and filet mignons are paired with a black peppercorn cream or a porcini-mushroom-truffle-infused butter. The “moderately upscale restaurant[‘s]…ever-changing menu,” as highlighted by Metro Mix, also enhances fresh seafood and protein-packed meals with a black-misson-fig marsala sauce, foie gras almond glaze, and mascarpone-chive polenta.
Only a stone’s throw from Lake Erie, Amber Oaks’ outdoor patio pulses with mid-day light peeking through overhanging trees. As dusk sets in, the turquoise-rimmed glass tables transform to a darker blue, and the twinkling string lights outline the restaurant’s silhouette. Clients, both indoors and out, feast on traditional pork chops, behemoth steaks, Lake Erie perch, and all-you-can-eat frogs legs. For more than 30 years, this has been the norm at Amber Oaks: a cozy family-run eatery with a chef who pledges to only serve made-to-order dishes that are never frozen. On the weekend guests spooling pastas in delicate wine sauce, can treat their ears to weekend jam sessions with Swing City Big Band.