Billy's – A Cappelli Martini Bar specializes in its title cocktail, but with a food menu extensive enough to include both caprese salad and sushi, it's clear that the chefs work as hard as the mixologists. A host of special events, too, keep patrons returning: Man Cave nights feature indulging in cigars and whiskey on the patio, while dance parties get toes tapping inside. In the dining room, cerulean blue light glows beneath a glossy black bar, reflecting off white brick walls for a crisp, cool look.
Inside The Wild Goose, which won the people’s choice award from the Taste of Willoughby, a stone oven bakes pizzas laden with eclectic ingredients, including elbow noodles, celery, and potatoes. Chefs top the Galway Bay pie with alfredo sauce, rock shrimp, crabmeat, cheese, and a sprinkle of parsley, and they slather the That’s A Buff Chick pizza with chicken, cheese, celery, crumbled blue cheese, and a drizzle of buffalo sauce. When not customizing crusts, they ladle up bowls of irish potato soup and fill hoagies with saucy meatballs as pro football games and amateur potato-peeling competitions play on televisions propped behind a granite-topped bar.
Any Irish pub worth its weight in Guinness can make a mean corned beef. It takes a special kind of visionary, however, to stack that corned beef on top of a towering American hamburger. Like most of its regular patrons, Croagh Patrick's Pub has a thick streak of green in its lineage. Willoughby's premier neighborhood hangout finds common ground between its Irish ancestry and its American present, creating such crossover dishes as Celtic egg rolls and the aforementioned Irish-American burger.
Cleats possesses the official chicken wing of the Cleveland Indians, which is dipped in an extra-hot bronze sauce and guarded by multi-headed beasts. Despite the selection of more than 50 domestic and imported beers and more than enough sports fans to match each one, the establishment is family friendly and happy to serve patrons with progeny in tow. Cleats' menu is a cornucopia of casual American fare, with starters such as spinach artichoke dip ($6.99) and beer-batter-fried pickles ($4.99) at hand to combat raging appetites. Keep it light with a Greek salad ($9.99 large, $7.99 small), or tuck in for the night with a Texas hold 'em burger ($8.99), a beef slab fitted with a cowboy hat of bacon, cheddar, onion rings, and house-made barbecue sauce. If you prefer to keep your meat bites separate from your carb bites, choose from 22 signature wing sauces and order up a combo plate of eight wings and six soft pretzel sticks ($9.99).
Nestled in the Coventry district within Cleveland Heights's historic Centrum Theater, Fracas flanks fine gastropub fare with inspired homemade sauces. Sea smitten can munch on the calamari to start, browned in lemon oil and chili olive pesto ($9), while green gurus can lead forkscapades onto plates of fried green tomatoes bathed in chive oil and vinaigrette ($9). Entrees include a beef short rib braised in Dogfish Head IPA ($26), as well as the Ohio City black-pepper gnocchi backed by wild mushrooms, english peas, leeks, and grape tomatoes, and smothered with smoked gouda alfredo ($18). The bar stocks a staunch selection of local and Midwestern brews, 16 on tap and 30 by bottle, and counts the Rate Beer–approved Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold ($4; RB: 95/100) and the Buckeye Brewing Hippie IPA ($12 for 22 oz; RB: 95/100) among their regular liquid relievers. Should carnivores crave sustenance not found on the menu, Fracas's scratch kitchen can create the meal of one's dreams should they have the ingredients, yielding such customer-conceived classics as the melancholy jam sandwich and apple pie a la go carte.