Around the corner from Jekyll's Kitchen is the new West End Bistro (79 West St., 440.247.3460, westendchagrin.com), a sharp little eatery that replaced Village Exchange. Like the Exchange, West End is operated by Gamekeeper's Hospitality, the folks behind nearby Gamekeeper's Tavern and 87 West. Management retooled the short-lived restaurant from a casual salad and sandwich shop to a more ambitious American bistro. A snug little bar was installed in the petite dining room, pushing more diners either up to the loft or out onto the charming patio. The menu is built around wine-friendly starters and small plates. Diners can share a cheese board ($14), relish platter ($8) or goat-cheese pizza ($10). Small plates, which range from $10 to $18, include seared scallops, panko-crusted wild salmon and steamed mussels. There is a small but attractive beer and wine list, including house red and white pours for just $5.
Judging by the opening week crowds, Ohio City Burrito (1844 W. 25th St., 216.664.0908, ohiocityburrito.com) is plugging a gap in the area's dining scene. This fast-casual eatery, which opened last week adjacent to the Old Angle Tavern, offers diners a quick and relatively cheap mealtime experience. Similar in style and spirit to a Chipotle Mexican Grill, OCB prepares burritos, tacos and nachos to order for dining in or out. Choices are limited to a handful of dishes that can be assembled from the same handful of ingredients. The burrito ($6.15) drill is familiar: A large flour tortilla is quickly steamed, then filled with a choice of meats, beans, rice, cheese, guacamole and salsa. Meat options include shredded chicken, braised beef and roast pork. Beans are either black or refried. Salsas range from a mild pico de gallo to a fiery red sauce. Tacos ($2.25) come in both soft and crunchy shells. Apart from the temperature of the meat (unacceptably tepid), my burrito was flavorful and filling. Like Chipotle, lines can back up at busy times, snaking into the small dining room. Open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
On October 2, Fire Food and Drink (13220 Shaker Sq., 216.921.3473, firefoodanddrink.com) will launch Friday and Saturday lunch service. "We've gotten a lot of requests over the years," says chef and owner Doug Katz. The new hours, adds Katz, provide a seamless lead-up to the established Sunday brunch. Menu items will include a nicoise salad with arctic char, catfish BLT on grilled flatbread and chili pot pie with a cornbread crust.