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AllforOne

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I briefly searched for a thread like this, but didn't see one. It may speak to my suckitude as a thread-searcher, because I'm kind of surprised that this topic isn't a fairly active one already.

Anyway: I'm always looking for new places to eat, and am pretty sure that many of you know of places I've never heard of. So I figured I'd start a thread for it. The focus would probably be on northeast Ohio eateries, but if you want to share your take on Alinea or the French Laundry, have at it. (Speaking of which: it doesn't have to all be highbrow places. If you've found some hole in the wall that has the best ________ you've tasted, share it.)

I'll start with one of my favorites (and the place where Mrs. AllforOne and I are going tonight): Shy Cellars in Strasburg. https://www.shycellars.com/ It's an hour-plus south of Cleveland, kind of in the middle of nowhere ... and if it were in Tremont or East Fourth, it would probably be one of the hottest places in town. Great food, always-changing menu, terrific service. It's a small restaurant (maybe 30-40 seats) with an open kitchen. We make the hike out there every so often, and it's always worth it. I highly recommend it.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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I briefly searched for a thread like this, but didn't see one. It may speak to my suckitude as a thread-searcher, because I'm kind of surprised that this topic isn't a fairly active one already.

Anyway: I'm always looking for new places to eat, and am pretty sure that many of you know of places I've never heard of. So I figured I'd start a thread for it. The focus would probably be on northeast Ohio eateries, but if you want to share your take on Alinea or the French Laundry, have at it. (Speaking of which: it doesn't have to all be highbrow places. If you've found some hole in the wall that has the best ________ you've tasted, share it.)

I'll start with one of my favorites (and the place where Mrs. AllforOne and I are going tonight): Shy Cellars in Strasburg. https://www.shycellars.com/ It's an hour-plus south of Cleveland, kind of in the middle of nowhere ... and if it were in Tremont or East Fourth, it would probably be one of the hottest places in town. Great food, always-changing menu, terrific service. It's a small restaurant (maybe 30-40 seats) with an open kitchen. We make the hike out there every so often, and it's always worth it. I highly recommend it.
I'm leaving off some places that are good, but not prefered over places in the same tier. For example, Farenheit and Lola are very nice, but if I'm looking at that tier of a dining experience, I'd prefer other places. If you have questions about any of the places, or have things to add of your own, feel free.

My A-list in the Cleveland area (Chef flagships or similar quality):
  • L'Albatros
  • Dante
  • Plum
  • Chez Francois (Vermilion)
B-tier (Awesome places, just not on the fine dining level of those listed above):
  • Ginko (Dante's sushi place)
  • Astoria (Greek)
  • Banter (Poutine and Sausage)
  • Polpetta
  • Cantine
  • Luca
  • Mabel's BBQ
Wine/Beer focus, but still really good food (or really good atmosphere and good enough food):
  • Rocky River Wine Bar
  • Bin 216
  • Masthead
  • Collision Bend
  • Everything on West 25th
Oh, and if you've never been there, go to Farkas's pastry shop in Ohio City (in front of Great Lakes, on Lorain, between Ignatius and the Market). I honestly don't know if the owner is still alive, but his family would still run it. His napoleons and mocha mousse cups are two of the finest desserts you'll have in your life. When I was in Ignatius, they only sold to the public on Wednesdays. Now I think they're open for walk-ins seven days a week.

Just spit balling. I'm sure I've missed a TON.

Alinea's been on my list of places to go for a while now.

Best dining experience ever was Le Chateaubriand. If that guy's still running it, it's an absolute must if you're in Paris. I don't think my wife and I will ever forget the experience.

Best dining experience in Cleveland is Dante's chef's table.

Best steak house in Cleveland is a toss-up between Marble Room and Red, but if I want a really nice steakhouse dinner, I do it myself. A steak might be the easiest fine dish on the planet to do perfectly. Sous vide, sear, and make a good sauce.

Most recent high-end dining experience was Enigma. It was pretty good, very cool and interesting. I'm sure I was positively biased because I was dining at a chef Ferran's brother's establishment, but it still stands on its own.

Best dining scene in the country--I'm going rogue. It's not NYC or anywhere on the West coast. It's Washington DC.
 
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NorthCoastBias

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Thank you for starting this one. I know there’s been some various threads in the last few years asking about places to get specific types of cuisine around the area but no catch-all like this.

There are so many acclaimed places to eat around the Cleveland area. I’ve told my wife we need to make a concerted effort to hit up more than we have in the last couple years. We’ve gotten a little too comfortable with our local haunts in the Brecksville area :chuckle:
 
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Out of the Rafters at the Q

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Thank you for starting this one. I know there’s been some various threads in the last few years asking about places to get specific types of cuisine around the area but no catch-all like this.

There are so many acclaimed places to eat around the Cleveland area. I’ve told my wife we need to make a concerted effort to hit up more than we have in the last couple years. We’ve gotten a little too comfortable with our local haunts in Brecksville :chuckle:
Can you name a good place in Brecksville?

If I'm going out to eat in the area, Cantine is by far the best place in my book. Cozumel's okay for cheap, quick, decent "Mexican" food. 750ml is the only place in Brecksville I'd actually go to--and I probably haven't been there in maybe 4 years now?
 

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@Out of the Rafters at the Q I love The Plum. To me, they’re doing some of the most thoughtful, creative food in the city.

Also saw you mentioned Polpetta. Unfortunately, they closed last month. My wife and I are still mourning the loss of the previous restaurant by that ownership team, Cork & Cleaver in Broadview Heights. We were only a ten minute drive away and didn’t even need to take the highway to get there :chuckle:
 

AllforOne

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Dante ... Dante ... DANTE!!! [imagine it being said in the "Marcia Marcia MARCIA!!" voice]
I haven't been to Dante in Tremont (yet) -- but we've had many good meals at a couple of his other restaurants, DBA (Akron) and DC Pasta (Strongsville). DC Pasta is about ten minutes away from us, and it's our default "where should we eat tonight?" place. Sadly, they changed their menu recently, taking away the "taster"/small plates -- we would often order a few of those and share them for our meal.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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@Out of the Rafters at the Q I love The Plum. To me, they’re doing some of the most thoughtful, creative food in the city.

Also saw you mentioned Polpetta. Unfortunately, they closed last month. My wife and I are still mourning the loss of the previous restaurant by that ownership team, Cork & Cleaver in Broadview Heights. We were only a ten minute drive away and didn’t even need to take the highway to get there :chuckle:
Yep, cork and cleaver was great.

Every restaurant they've ever opened up has been fantastic--but they've all closed. I think Graffiti was my favorite.

I just realized I left off a ton.

Edwin's is ABOSLUTELY in my A-list.

Zoma, Pacific East, Fire, Toast, Washington Place... there's a really good place on the East side. It kinda felt like it was in a two-story house? I wanna say the name was one word, maybe it was "love" or something like that in a foreign language?
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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I haven't been to Dante in Tremont (yet) -- but we've had many good meals at a couple of his other restaurants, DBA (Akron) and DC Pasta (Strongsville). DC Pasta is about ten minutes away from us, and it's our default "where should we eat tonight?" place. Sadly, they changed their menu recently, taking away the "taster"/small plates -- we would often order a few of those and share them for our meal.
DC Pasta is, by far, the worst of all his restaurants. So if you like it, make sure to go to his other places!

Also, for transparency, I'm close friends with him. I took Italian classes at Dante (Tremont) for many years from his now ex-wife.

DBA is definitely his second best place, and my favorite place in Akron.
 

NorthCoastBias

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Can you name a good place in Brecksville?

If I'm going out to eat in the area, Cantine is by far the best place in my book. Cozumel's okay for cheap, quick, decent "Mexican" food. 750ml is the only place in Brecksville I'd actually go to--and I probably haven't been there in maybe 4 years now?
Guess I shouldn’t say just Brecksville. More Brecksville, Broadview Heights, et al. In Brecksville, we do love Courtyard. We’ve been regulars for a long time (both grew up in Brecksville, our families still live here) so there’s a great rapport with the staff. Drinks are stiff and affordable and the food is safe (burgers, sandwiches, chops, etc), but consistent and tasty.

My wife and I like Cantine a lot. We’re going next door to D’Agnese’s for dinner tonight to celebrate Valentines Day.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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Guess I shouldn’t say just Brecksville. More Brecksville, Broadview Heights, et al. In Brecksville, we do love Courtyard. We’ve been regulars for a long time (both grew up in Brecksville, our families still live here) so there’s a great rapport with the staff. Drinks are stiff and affordable and the food is safe (burgers, sandwiches, chops, etc), but consistent and tasty.

My wife and I like Cantine a lot. We’re going next door to D’Agnese’s for dinner tonight to celebrate Valentines Day.
I grew up in Broadview Heights, wife from North Royalton. Both families still in the area.

In Brecksville, Burntwood's decent--I like their happy hour pricing for apps and flatbreads. Not a huge fan of their normal entree pricing.
 

AllforOne

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DC Pasta is, by far, the worst of all his restaurants. So if you like it ...
With all due respect, that's an unnecessary comment. Maybe his other places are better to you. They're certainly more trendy/in more upscale neighborhoods. But if we like place X, it's not really necessary to chime in with "oh, that's the worst of his places." It makes me less likely to listen to what else you have to say, and I don't think that was your intent.

If somebody wants to come in this thread and sing the praises of Olive Garden, like that 80-year-old lady in North Dakota who got Anthony Bourdain coming to her defense, that's terrific. The idea here is to trade experiences and maybe find some new places to try.

Not trying to piss all over you; hope you don't take it that way. I'm just suggesting that there's a better way to make the point. Honey/vinegar.

P.S. -- I saw that he's going to be opening a sushi place in the space that used to be Chinato.
 

NorthCoastBias

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I grew up in Broadview Heights, wife from North Royalton. Both families still in the area.

In Brecksville, Burntwood's decent--I like their happy hour pricing for apps and flatbreads. Not a huge fan of their normal entree pricing.
Burntwood recently changed their HH menu. Fewer options and smaller portions. Service there has always been poor so we’ve lost almost all reason to go :chuckle:
 

NorthCoastBias

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P.S. -- I saw that he's going to be opening a sushi place in the space that used to be Chinato.
Yup. It’s going to be called Goma. From what I gather, it’s going to be Asian fusion, in the vein of Nobu. Definitely should be a great addition to E. 4th. I’ll also be interested to see what happens with the Greenhouse Tavern space.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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With all due respect, that's an unnecessary comment. Maybe his other places are better to you. They're certainly more trendy/in more upscale neighborhoods. But if we like place X, it's not really necessary to chime in with "oh, that's the worst of his places." It makes me less likely to listen to what else you have to say, and I don't think that was your intent.

If somebody wants to come in this thread and sing the praises of Olive Garden, like that 80-year-old lady in North Dakota who got Anthony Bourdain coming to her defense, that's terrific. The idea here is to trade experiences and maybe find some new places to try.

Not trying to piss all over you; hope you don't take it that way. I'm just suggesting that there's a better way to make the point. Honey/vinegar.

P.S. -- I saw that he's going to be opening a sushi place in the space that used to be Chinato.
I think you're taking it the wrong way. I like DC Pasta. It's just the one I rank lowest of his restaurants (they're all good, so being ranked the lowest isn't a bad thing!). It's also the one where he's the least involved. I'm not sure that's one-to-one, because he's rarely venturing down to DBA either, but that place churns out higher quality food. If you like DC Pasta, and you haven't tried his places that he puts more time and effort into, oh boy are you in for a treat. That's all I was trying to say.

I also preferred the older menu at DC Pasta. Small plates, all the different meatballs. That was a fun, approachable menu. He's turned over head chefs at that place a number of times since they've opened.

Saying something is the worst of a group doesn't mean that thing is bad. Apologies if it came across that way. Out of 5 stars, I'd give DC Pasta 3, whereas Dante is a 4, with 4.5 potential if you do the chef's table or the tasting menu (probably wouldn't give any place in Cleveland a 5. Edwin's and L'albatros might be closest).
 

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