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. Each year, a fresh crop of new eateries seems to spring forth from a bottomless well, eager to fill the slots left bare by others that failed to survive in an increasingly trend conscious landscape.
As one year winds down and another waits in the wings for its entrance, we thought we'd do a little recap of the newcomers that arrived over the last 12 months or so – and look ahead to what's currently waiting on deck.
In Lakewood, Eddie Cerino's Casual Italian, Eric Williams' El Carnicero, Dan Deagan's Humble Wine Bar and Izzy Schachner's StrEAT Burger all opened.
Doug Katz managed to open not one but three (four if you count the lounge) new restaurants in the last year, namely Katz Club Diner in Cleveland Heights and Provenance and Provenance Café in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
The Flats began is restaurant revival in earnest with three near-simultaneous openings: Willeyville, Lago and Ken Stewart's East Bank.
PlayhouseSquare continues to maintain a full head of steam by welcoming Zack Bruell's Dynomite, Seth Bromberg's District and Driftwood Catering's Cibreo, while just down the road Stonetown, Barroco Grill and the Cleveland Chop joined the downtown crowd.
Ohio City saw the arrival of Black Pig and Town Hall, Detroit Shoreway snagged Toast, and Tremont scored with Press Wine Bar. Just across the bridge, Luca Italian Restaurant filled the old Ponte Vecchio space.
Chefs Brian Okin and Adam Bostwick brought a little taste of downtown to Broadview Heights with their crowd pleasing gastro-bistro Cork & Cleaver. Meanwhile, down in Valley View, Demetrios Atheneos opened up a gastropub of his own called Oak Barrel.
Ethnic eateries of all stripes continue to multiply around town, with the Caribbean themed Callaloo Cafe and Bar opening on Waterloo, Saaj Lebanese Grill debuting in Solon, Latin-fueled Arepazo y Pupuseria launching in Fairview Park, and two new Vietnamese joints, Ninh Kieu in Asian Town Center and Pho & Rice on Coventry, coming online.
Out in the far east 'burbs, ML Tavern from Hyde Park opened in Moreland Hills, Cedar Creek Grille opened in Beachwood, Flip Side flipped on the lights in Chagrin Falls, and Melt Bar and Grilled brought comfort food to the shores of Mentor.
Way out west, Parker's Grille and Tavern opened in Avon and Bistro 83 brought some much-needed relief to N. Ridgeville.