Mediterranean cuisine is renowned for the way its rich ingredients inspire innovative food fighting techniques. Skillfully execute the Kebab Eye Jab or the Hummus Humdinger with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Mediterranean cuisine at La Strada on East Fourth Street. La Strada is a spacious, downtown bistro with an extensive menu inspired by Italian, Turkish, Moroccan, Spanish, and Greek cuisine. Ensconced inside the weathered walls, diners can nibble wood-grilled kabobs ($9–$11) and flatbread pizzas ($10–$11) for lunch Monday-Friday, or return seven nights a week for sumptuous dinner specialties such as braised lamb shank with spiced pear and couscous ($26). At night, lamps twinkle brightly in cozy wall niches while patrons drink their fill of wine, beer, and cocktails from the fully stocked bar or glasses of dining companions currently in the bathroom.
La Strada has been featured on Cleveland Scene, Cleveland magazine, and Cleveland.com. OpenTable reviewers give La Strada an average of 3.6 stars. Yelpers give it an average of three stars and 65% of Urbanspooners like it:
- When one guest saw her kabob being carried to the table, she exclaimed, “This is just how they do it in Istanbul.” Her dona kabob…well-seasoned ground lamb that is squeezed onto skewers and grilled, was very tender. The dish, she said, made her feel as though she had returned to the Bosphorus. – John Long, Cleveland magazine
- Strada boasts a custom-built wood-burning grill, and the distinctive campfire aroma it gives off perfumes the entire room. Many of the kitchen's best dishes are assembled from items plucked from that grill. – Douglas Trattner, CleveScene.com
La Strada’s expansive space has “the ambiance of dining on an Italian piazza after sunset” according to Cleveland Magazine. Distressed paint covers the walls in muted colors, and unfinished wood trim balances the ornate framework around the bar. Eclectic sculptures stand in nooks or sneak out to watch wall projections of black-and-white movies like the Fellini film for which the La Strada was named.
Like the vagabonds followed by Fellini's camera, the restaurant's menu roams from place to place. The kitchen staff employs premium ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil, whole grains, and artisan cheese in dishes inspired by the traditions of Italy and the Mediterranean. Flatbread pizzas get crowned with kalamata olives, feta, and hummus, and pastas are tossed with a variety of vegetables. Varied seating lets patrons huddle in pairs, dine out of doors, or pass the time playing telephone at family-sized tables that seat up to 12.