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Steakhouses

In a recent Gallup Poll, one hundred men were asked whether they would rather (a) have a good steak, properly prepared, or (b) have sex with Cindy Crawford, properly prepared. All one hundred men responded that they would rather have sex with Cindy Crawford. Duh.

Hyde Park Grille
There are three Hyde Park restaurants in the Cleveland area. All serve great steaks and chops. The Hyde Park Chop House is located in downtown Cleveland near The Avenue at Tower City. Another Hyde Park Chop House is located in Twinsburg and there is a Hype Park Steak House located located on Conventry, a funky hip area of Cleveland Heights, which is approximately fifteen minutes east of downtown Cleveland.

The Hyde Park Steak House on Conventry is our pick for best steakhouse in the Cleveland area. From appetizer to salad to dinner to desert, Hyde Park on Conventry does it all well. They even have crab legs and lobster for non-meat eaters. Dark wood and dark green decor give the dining room a kind of club-like feel. Great place to conduct business or take a date. 

Morton's
Located inside The Avenue at Tower City this national steakhouse chain obviously believes bigger is better. Everything from the steak to the broccoli is served in gigantic portions at Morton's. If quantity is important to you, go to Morton's. 

We prefer the flavor of Hyde Park's steaks to those found at Morton's, but that's not to say you can't get a perfectly acceptable meal at Morton's. Morton's is favored mostly by businessmen, probably due to the high cost of a meal.

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
Another national chain that serves excellent but pricey steaks. Ruth's Chris is located on Chagrin Boulevard in The Eton Collection, an upscale shopping center in Woodmere on Cleveland's east side. Plan for a twenty-five minute ride from downtown Cleveland.

The Cabin Club
The decor of this steakhouse on the West Side matches the name. You'll find a rustic cabin-like atmosphere along with great steak.

Ferris Steakhouse
Ferris Steakhouse is located across from Gund Arena, offering a very convenient place to meet and eat before CAVS' or Indians' games. The bar at Ferris Steakhouse is a converted garage and in summer the garage doors are opened to the street. 

Steaks are not as good as the other steakhouses, but the fried mashed potatoes are pretty tasty. Less formal than the other steakhouses.


Casual Dining

If you're looking for good food and a laid back atmosphere, check out one of the restaurants listed below.

Hard Rock Cafe
The Hard Rock is located on the top floor of The Avenue at Tower City. It offers the same food that every other Hard Rock offers. It tastes pretty much the same too.

Wine Bar in Rocky River
Wine Bar in Rocky River is a long awaited and much appreciated addition to the already idyllic town on lake on the west side. Rocco Whalen, of Fahrenheit Tremont (see below), has created an elegant, charming atmosphere which is every bit what one would expect from this powerhouse chef and savvy restaurateur. Wine Bar has a fantastic patio complete with pergola and abundant, beautiful outdoor seating for dining and relaxing. The grounds are landscaped and inviting and yet the atmosphere allows for casual repast. Inside the decor promises warm and cozy conversation fireside or, perhaps, some of Rocco's delectable victuals in the dark paneled bar with luxurious granite top. The design allows for an indoor/outdoor experience by the ingenuity of a glass "garage" door which opens the Wine Bar to the warm weather. This is the place to be and we encourage everyone to stop in to check it out.

Luchita's Mexican
The only authentic Mexican restaurant in Cleveland. The chile rellenos are excellent as are the fresh made salsas and moles. Not fancy, but real good. Located on the near West Side of Cleveland, approximately ten minutes from downtown.

Shuhei
This is one of the few places to go in Cleveland if you are looking for good sushi. The fish is always fresh and the waitresses wear authentic Asian garb. You'll find plenty of other Asian specialty choices for people who won't eat raw fish. Located in Beachwood, an eastern suburb approximately twenty-five minutes from downtown Cleveland. Call for reservations, the place is usually packed.

Shooter's on the Water
The food is pretty average, but Shooter's is one of the best scenes in Cleveland. Located on the West Bank of the Flats, the outdoor deck is a hotspot for boaters and babes. The view of the river and the lake can be incredible. Don't bother going in the winter.

Flat Iron Cafe
The Flat Iron is also located in the Flats. The Flat Iron is known for its fried perch and wide selection of bottled beer. The food is good and very reasonably priced. Great place to meet for lunch or a quick meal before heading off into the Flats' bar scene.

Great Lakes Brewing Company
Cleveland's original microbrewery and brewpub. The food is actually pretty good, but go for the beer. Great place to meet, get drunk and eat sausage. Standard brewpub fare. Located on the near West Side of Cleveland, approximately five minutes from downtown. Check out our review of Dortmunder Gold.

Mama Santa's Pizza
Mama Santa's is located in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood. Little Italy has many great Italian restaurants and bakeries. Mama Santa's is our pick for pizza. While you're in Little Italy, make sure to stop in at Presti's for donuts or Corbo's for Italian lemon ice. A lot of local artists have chosen Little Italy as their home. Leave home early enough and you and your date can check out some of the local art galleries and shops before heading to Mama Santa's.

Fine Dining

Cleveland's fine dining scene has finally hit the map. There are plenty of great restaurants to choose from. Just make sure to call ahead for reservations and be prepared to lay some cabbage on the table.

Johnny's Bar on Fulton and Johnny's Downtown
Johnny's Bar on Fulton and its sister restaurant, Johnny's Downtown, are two of Cleveland's finest restaurants. Johnny's Bar on Fulton is located in a converted bar in a small Cleveland neighborhood approximately ten minutes from downtown Cleveland. The atmosphere at the Fulton location is loud, lively and eclectic. 

The downtown location is stately and the atmosphere is more subdued. Service at both the Fulton and the downtown locations is first rate. Veal is the specialty at Johnny's, but there are plenty of other offerings to choose from. The potato-crusted grouper is one of our favorites. 

Save room for the bananas foster, Johnny's signature dessert.

Fahrenheit
This fantastic spot in Tremont will have you coming back for more. Chef Rocco will make you a meal to remember.

Blue Pointe Grill
Blue Pointe Grille is located in downtown Cleveland's Warehouse District. It is famous for, what else, Blue Pointe oysters. The seafood platter appetizer features Blue Pointe oysters, crab legs and shrimp. The restaurant and bar areas are both visually appealing. The menu is predominantly seafood. 

The lobster bolognese and the lobster mashed potatoes make Blue Pointe worth the trip. The atmosphere is trendy, upscale and fairly loud. It's a great place to take a date.

Sans Souci
Sans Souci is located inside the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel in downtown Cleveland. The menu features Mediterranean cuisine. Each October is known as lobster month at Sans Souci. The chef creates a special menu featuring lobster entrees. The pre-dinner breads and house tapenade are delicious. Murals of a rustic French countryside make for a relaxing dining experience. For more information or reservations call 216-696-5600.

The Riverview Room at The Ritz-Carlton
The Riverview Room at the Ritz-Carlton is the most formal of Cleveland's fine dining restaurants. White glove service and hushed atmosphere set the tone at The Riverview Room. The food is excellent and the wine list extensive. Everything you would expect from The Ritz-Carlton.

The Baricelli Inn
The Baricelli Inn is located approximately thirty minutes from downtown in a converted greystone mansion in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood. As you might expect, The Baricelli specializes in upscale Italian food.

Mallorca
Mallorca is located in Cleveland's Warehouse District. Mallorca specializes in Mediterranean seafood specialties. The service is attentive, if not distracting.

Giovanni's
Giovanni's is located in Beachwood, an eastern suburb approximately thirty minutes from downtown Cleveland. Features upscale Italian food in a formal setting. Generous portions and creative desserts are the norm at Giovanni's. The only downside to Giovanni's is its location in the basement of a suburban office building.

Moxie
Another Beachwood eatery. Less formal than Giovanni's. Atmosphere is upbeat and the crowd is usually loud and lively. Service is good. Food is good.

Lola and Lolita
Creativity rules at these great restaurants in Tremont and Downtown Cleveland. Try the macaroni and cheese!


Cleveland Restaurants Web Guide

Plugged in Cleveland - Restaurants
Comprensive listings of restaurants in the Cleveland area with helpful reviews.

Cleveland.com - Dining
Restaurant reviews from the Plain Dealer.

About.com - Cleveland Restaurants

Articles about the best Cleveland restaurants by category.

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