Barrio Tapas Lounge's executive chef sweeps from Spain to South America by preparing a rotating menu populated by Spanish fusion tapas. The restaurant’s gustatory gurus plumb the depths of the ocean to plate mahi-mahi and shrimp, and landlocked dishes lavish chili and butter-sage sauces on meat ranging from chicken to veal. A spread of cheese and charcuterie treats the senses to goat's- and sheep's-milk cheeses alongside paprika- and garlic-cured meats. The lengthy list of Argentinean and Chilean wines doubles as 2018's list of must-have baby names.
The dining space mirrors Barrio's artful approach to tapas, its leather couches and cow-spotted cushions set beneath high, wooden ceilings. During the restaurant's opening buzz, a reporter from the Columbus Dispatch highlighted the interior’s “industrial fixtures and natural surfaces designed by George Acock,” including “a sweeping bar that features tables made of thick slabs cut from trees in North Carolina.”
Typically, when wine lovers try to find a new wine bar, they look for a cozy hole-in-the wall filled with gauzy curtains and illuminated by candles. When they're looking for the Battery Park Wine Bar, though, they just have to glance up at the towering smokestack studded with enormous red letters. Owner Mike Graley wanted to create a wine bar that would appeal to a beer drinker, according to an article in Cleveland Magazine, that also complemented the venue's "hip vibe and smart wine list of familiar favorites." Bartenders and servers regale guests with descriptions of their more than 100 wines available by the bottle and rotating selection of more than 25 wines by the glass. The kitchen crafts small plates designed to complement the fermented flavors with braised octopus and spinach salads, flatbreads spread with pumpkin-seed pesto, and thoughtfully composed charcuterie boards.
The rehabilitated space creates a modern industrial aesthetic by merging the old and the new. Exposed brick, high ceilings, and a massive garage door allude to the building's past, and geometric light fixtures hang between the gleaming ductwork above high-top tables. Guests can enjoy a drink at the polished wooden bar, stop in to pick up an impressive bottle before a house party, or reenact lessons from Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land at the pool table.
Craig and Laura Decker seem to have a difficult time making up their minds. They also seem to have a knack for turning this indecisiveness into an advantage at every turn. When it came to opening their new business, for example, they briefly wondered whether it should feature a wine shop, a wine bar, or a gourmet bistro. Their solution? All three.
This spirit of inclusivity pervades The W.G. Kitchen & Bar, where the Deckers pair seasonal wine varietals with globally inspired cuisine. Rather than choose between European elegance and New-American pizzazz, they settled on a compromise they describe as “Old World chic.” This label suits a menu that features small plates of housemade meatballs and bruschetta alongside assorted cheeses from around the world. The focus on small plates is in keeping with the Deckers’ have-it-all mentality and gives diners the option to sample several dishes without having to barter with adjacent tables.
For more than 75 years, the Lacomini family has graced the local culinary landscape with a rich menu of traditional Italian recipes and an extensive selection of ambrosial wines and martinis. Defy conventional pasta physics with an appetizing antipasto such as crab-stuffed mushrooms ($6.95) or zucchini fretto sprinkled with parmesan cheese ($6.95) before pondering the complex tuscan béchamel strata of a baked rustic lasagna ($14.95). Delectable dishes such as the cashew-crusted trout ($22.95) or sautéed veal scaloppini ($21.95) complement a tabletop like a kiss seals a memo or a rose kisses Seal.
Ed Sbragia of the Sbragia Family Vineyards is famous for his chardonnay and cabernet. Included in the Sbragia Family Vineyards tastings are two varietals: Home Ranch chardonnay ($26.99/bottle) and Andolsen Vineyard cabernet sauvignon ($35.99/bottle). From his experience at Beringer, Ed Sbragia also knows the inner grape workings of dozens of other varietals, knowledge applied to the creation of the three other tastable bottlings: the Home Ranch sauvignon blanc ($20.99/bottle), Home Ranch merlot ($26.99/bottle), and Gino's Vineyard zinfandel ($28.99/bottle).