Long the burger and chicken wing capital of the region, Lakewood has blossomed into bona fide 'ville de vittles. You can never go wrong with happy hour at Pier W, which also happens to offers some of the best views of Lake Erie in Cleveland. Try the braised Angus beef short rib pierogies with jus. The pillowy pockets are sure to warm your soul.
Rising star chefs Joe Horvath and Jennifer Plank gained the attention of the national publication Restaurant Hospitality for the sexy farm-to-table offerings dished up at Toast, their trendy Gordon Square restaurant.
For two locations that could be no more different from one another in terms of neighborhood and style of building, Red Beachwood and Red Downtown look and feel remarkably similar. Of course, that's by no means a happy accident, says chef Jonathan Bennett. "If you take Beachwood and flip it on itself, that's downtown," he says. "It's pretty identical, all the way down to the booths and seating, plateware, recipes and menu."
Walk down West 25th Street in Ohio City today and you'll spot a dozen restaurants that weren't there as recently as four years ago. Ride your bike down Detroit Avenue in Lakewood and the story is pretty much the same, with nearly a dozen new restaurants coming online in just the past few years – and we're not talking Subway and Jimmy John's.
Put an Egg on It!: Sell- It used to be that eggs were for breakfast – plain and simple. Now they come on every other dish in town, from hamburgers and tamales to pizza and asparagus. Fried eggs are now a required addition to the Sides portion of most menus because apparently, runny eggs go on absolutely everything. We respectfully disagree.
A restaurant per week? In Cleveland? That's the most typical reaction I get after telling a new acquaintance what I do for a living. Surely there can't be enough content to fill the pages of the Scene dining section week in and week out, they presume. Faithful followers of the local dining scene don't need me to tell them how dynamic and ever-shifting the restaurant biz is.
Plus Meet 9 Local Star Chefs:
In the early 20th century, John D. Rockefeller became the world's richest man by being a ruthless competitor who never settled on second place. In the kitchen of Rockefeller's restaurant, located in a building once owned by that famed industrialist, executive chef Jill Vedaa seems to be channeling some of that self-assured behavior. "I am super-competitive," admits Vedaa.
Some of the most admirable culinary trailblazers happen to be those you don't read about every day in the press. While some "celebrity chefs" are busy promoting themselves to anybody who will listen, others simply put their heads down and do the hard work of running a business. Success for these people isn't a reality food show, product endorsement or spread in a glossy magazine: It's satisfied customers.
This Sugar Queen's story begins in Medina, where the young Ritterspach grew up the middle child between two brothers, making her the quintessential tomboy. With most of her grandparents, aunts and uncles all living just a few houses away, Ritterspach learned family values and hard work at an early age.
You might not have heard of her, but Lindsey Auten is a rising star pastry chef. Even if you haven’t heard of her, you likely have consumed one of her decadent desserts at Crop Bistro in Ohio City, where she's been for two years. But the road to Crop wasn’t as well defined as a cake recipe.
"I didn't see my dream job, so I had to invent it," smiles Bridget McGinty, the owner and chef behind the popular Tastebuds restaurant in Cleveland's St. Clair-Superior neighborhood.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade, you've likely heard of Zack Bruell and his successful restaurant empire, which now includes L'Albatros, Parallax, Chinato, Table 45 and Cowell & Hubbard. But Bruell understands that he is hardly a one-man show. Enter Andy Dombrowski, corporate chef of Bruell's ever-expanding restaurant group. A native Clevelander, Dombrowski is Bruell's secret weapon in the kitchen.
Chefs often put their own culinary stamp on pizza, but Marc-Aurele Buholzer of Vero Pizza Napoletana in Cleveland Heights chooses to go back in time and focus solely on making the most authentic Neapolitan-style pizza he can possibly make.
When asked to describe his "chef behind the chef," Iron Chef Michael Symon doesn't mince words. "He has the best hands for charcuterie in Cleveland; as good as I have had in Italy," Symon boasts. "Brad is a tireless worker with an incredible thirst for knowledge."
For more than 40 years, Gary Lucarelli has been a pivotal player in the local restaurant scene. We have him to thank for helping make Cleveland a true dining destination, and for training some of our best local talent.