Chef Chuck Crawford channels his 20 years of culinary experience when crafting his seasonal steak-house cuisine, casting a new spin on classic favorites with his native East Coast flair and southwestern influence. Within the landmark eatery—The Rusty Nail has been serving up juicy steaks since 1967—he tops tender filet mignon with tangy blue-cheese butter, sears flaky seafood fillets, and whips up daily soups.
As guests sidle up to a rustic, octagonal wood bar and dip bread into house-infused oil and butter, bartenders shake up gin martinis and pour global wines and seasonal draft beers. Wait staff bring dishes to tables on the outdoor patio or serves them inside, where a wood-burning fireplace offers a convenient way to thaw cold bodies during Ohio winters. On select nights, The Rusty Nail hosts live entertainment, car and bike cruises, and karaoke.
Bar 145 is named for the internal temperature of each of its burger patties, which are cooked to medium-rare perfection?a warm, pink interior, slightly crispy exterior. When the patty's done, the burger-making process has only just begun. Next, the team enhances the meat with a choice of 10 artisanal cheeses and more than 20 toppings, from peach-habanero chutney to roasted duck.
Gourmet burgers are just one of the gastropub's specialties. Another is bourbon, a focus reflected in a drink menu stocked with more than 25 takes on the liquor. The third is live music from a rotating array of live bands, who entertain patrons with guitar riffs and danceable hits.
By the time the sun rises, the chefs inside Little City Grill are already busy whipping up the first meals of the day. They ladle housemade sausage gravy over biscuits, tuck ham and cheese into omelets, and drizzle syrup over pancake stacks. Lunch hours find the grills filled with half-pound burgers, chicken breasts, and quarter-pound hot dogs. Pulled pork smokes for hours before chefs slather it in barbecue sauce and pile it atop toasted buns. Heartier entrees at dinner include sirloin steaks and chicken parmesan. And on select evenings, musicians set up in a corner of the eatery to serenade diners with guitars and fiddles.
Sometimes eateries attached to golf courses blend into the background, but the restaurant at The Fairways at Twin Lakes stands on its own two feet. Even if you have no interest in hitting the links, the locally sourced, seasonally changing menu should be enough to warrant a visit. Herb-stuffing-filled filet mignon, pretzel-wasabi-crusted scallops, pasta, and sandwiches are all served at the restaurant.
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.
The sandwich artisans at Franklin Square Deli have been assembling fresh cut-to-order deli delights for more than 27 years. The shop adorns its slate of 14 vinegary, full-loaf Italian subs with such savory meat-and-cheese combos as corned beef and swiss ($4.50 for a 6") or prosciutto and muenster ($5.90 for a 6"). A roundup of hearty gourmet and bagel sandwiches satisfies stacking enthusiasts with options such as the Mid Town, piled with turkey breast ($7.15), or Carl's Favorite bagel, a hubris-rich collection of capocollo, provolone, onions, and cream cheese wedged between a toasted onion bagel ($6.10). Thirsty diners grease gullets with soft drinks (starting at $1.45) or bowls of homemade chili.