Spoiled much, Cleveland? Given the impressive roster of fresh restos you just devoured, you'd be safe to assume that the chamber is empty, that there couldn't possibly be any new and noteworthy restaurants around the corner. But the giddy truth is there is more – much more – to come.
When Michael Symon announces not just a new restaurant, but a new restaurant concept, diners rightfully perk up their ears. When Mabel's BBQ opens on East Fourth Street in the coming months, it will introduce the nation to "Cleveland-style barbecue," Symon says. Meals will start with smoked peanuts, pimento cheese dip, fried pork rinds, and crispy pig ears and tails. Mains are built around oak- and applewood-smoked brisket, pork roll, pork and beef ribs, pulled pork, chicken and kielbasa. It all gets washed down with cold beer and moonshine.
When Banter opens in Detroit Shoreway, it should easily develop into one of the most unique food and drink concepts to hit Cleveland in some time. One part neighborhood bottle shop, one part casual bistro, and all kinds of awesome, this near-west business is being guided by some of the brightest minds in the local food and drink scene. In addition to retail beer and wine, Banter will serve all of its holdings on premises, along with a menu of sausages and Quebec-style poutines.
When it opens this winter, Plum Café and Kitchen will serve as an alternative in both size and locale to the big and buzzy joints on West 25th Street. This 50-seat farm-to-table operation on Lorain Avenue will begin the day with barista-prepared coffee and pastries. At lunch, guests will order off a menu of fresh soups, salads and sandwiches. At night, the space will be a down-to-earth neighborhood bistro serving local, seasonal and economical fare.
Enduring construction delays is par for the course in this business, but poor Cory Hess has suffered more than most. His transformation of the old City Grill in Detroit Shoreway to Arcadian Food & Drink has stretched to the 18-month mark, and he hasn't crossed the finish line yet. But when he does, diners will enjoy a glass-fronted, multi-level eatery with casual tavern below and dining room above. Shareable plates of raw and cooked seafood, pizzas and sandwiches are the planned bill of fare.
Bakersfield Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey was launched in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in 2012. By spring, Ohio City will welcome location No. 6. The name is a tribute to the country music genre that originated in Bakersfield, Calif., in the '50s and '60s. That music is served up alongside Mexican street foods like tacos, tortas and tostadas, with corn tortillas made onsite.
Tommy Karakostas, owner of the popular Lakewood eatery Greek Village Grille, will open Santorini in the former BRGR 9 spot in the Warehouse District. At lunch, Santorini will offer quick, affordable pita sandwiches. Dinner will feature a more ambitious menu comprised of Greek-style "meze," or small plates, as well as shared platters and both traditional and contemporary Greek entrees. Late-night and even 24-hour dining might be added to the weekend mix.
Hansa Import House has been an Ohio City fixture for about 40 years, but it likely will attract a whole new fan base when its gleaming new brewery and restaurant open. A year and a half of construction soon will give way to a Laško-sanctioned brewery, beer garden, restaurant and rooftop patio. And good news for longtime fans, the retail shop selling specialty European foods is going nowhere.