There are other cocktail lounges in Cleveland, and a good many of them are fine places to spend an evening. But we've yet to stumble across one as intoxicating as the Katz Club. Long abused, and occupied by a sad series of doomed ventures, the elegantly decorated Mountain View dining car has been given a new lease on life as the speakeasy of our dreams. Thanks to reality blocking drapery, guests can pretend they're just about anywhere. But we prefer to accept the fact that we're right here, where classic drinks like Sazeracs, Old Fashioneds, Pisco Sours and Ramos Gin Fizzes are crafted with due care. Sitting at the lengthy wood bar and sipping ice cold martinis in a stately bar car from the past just might be our new favorite pastime. If and when hunger strikes, order up a platter of West Coast oysters, or nibble on mini potato latkes topped with house-smoked salmon and a dollop of crème fraiche. One friend put it best when he said, "It's a throwback place. It reminds me of a sexy joint you'd find in New York City or Chicago. And the music is great, perfect for a club like this." True and truer.
1975 Lee Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-932-3333, thekatzclubdiner.com