Best Culinary Scene-Stealer


The past 12 months have been light on heavyweight restaurant openings. Zack Bruell added Chinato to his holdings, Michael Herschman returned with Menu6, Amp 150 landed at the Airport Marriott, and Zinc Bistro debuted in the Theater District. But apart from these, the past year was largely consumed by grilled cheese, hamburgers, hot dogs, and rabidly chased food trucks. That is not to discount this year's most dynamic new addition, Dante — for even in the most crowded of fields, this Tremont scene-stealer would have been the odds-on favorite to nab the prize. Set in a small, elegant, and undeniably spectacular bank building, Dante is one of the most fetching hash houses on Tremont's crowded Restaurant Row. Chef Dante Boccuzzi's extensive travels have given him a Swiss army knife of skills that, in the wrong hands, could be disastrous. But Boccuzzi artfully blends cuisines like Italian, French, and Asian in ways that feel less like gastronomic whiplash than smooth, smooth sailing. Stellar cocktail and wine lists round out an enterprise long on professionalism, short on attitude, and wide with diner smiles. Dante is yet another world-class restaurant that we are blessed to have at our disposal.

2247 Professor Ave., Cleveland, 216-274-1200,