Tag Archives: Michael Symon

Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week 2014


I have been MIA for the past year and a half and I really don’t have a good excuse.  But, I am happy to be returning to the blogging world and what better way to come back during Cleveland Restaurant week!

Restaurant week is a great opportunity to experience what Cleveland’s booming culinary scene has to offer.  During restaurant week restaurants are offering $30 three-course  dinner menus with some restaurants offering $15 lunch options.

There is still time to join the fun! Restaurant week ends Sunday, March 2, 2014.  Click here to check out the participating restaurants and menu selection! (I recommend you make a reservation)

Jordan and I went to Lola Bistro, located on East 4th Street in downtown Cleveland.  Lola is owned by the famous iron chef and The Chew cast member, Michael Symon.

Jordan and I arrived a few minutes early and waited over at the bar to grab a drink.  One thing that is very different than most restaurants is that you order your drink with an iPad!  Jordan and I found this helpful so that you’re not yelling over someone who is seated at the bar.

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Wine case behind the bar.


We were seated on time in a comfortable spot in the restaurant.  We both started out with the mixed greens salad.  For our entrees Jordan tried the Beef Hanger Steak (that came with Lola Fries).  I tried the Scallops (with leek, sweet potato, mustard, and lemon).  Jordan and I were both very impressed with our selections!

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For dessert Jordan had the Key Lime Tart and I had the Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding with Salted Carmel Ice Cream (YUM!!).

Jordan and I were very pleased with our restaurant choice for restaurant week.  We always try to participate every year and the past few times Jordan and I walked away disappointed.  Lola is definitely a place we will come back to!

Molly Jean


The Rise of Cleveland’s Restaurant Scene


Picture taken from Bridgeview Apt on West 9th

Since I have moved back home after graduating from Ohio University in 2009 I have learned to love and appreciate Cleveland’s restaurant scene and all that it has to offer!  Cleveland has their own Iron Chef, Michael Symon, The fabulous and historic West Side Market (my favorite landmark in CLE), and many award winning chefs known across the country!  Cleveland’s restaurants have been featured on the Foodnetwork, The Travel Channel, The Cooking Channel, Food & Wine Magazine, and The New York Times!  Cleveland has developed into one of the top “foodie” cities in America!

One of the greatest trends among Cleveland’s restaurant’s in the “Farm-to-Restaurant” movement.  A majority of the restaurant owner’s and chefs want to provide local and seasonable ingredients as often as possible.  Many of the restaurants purchase from The West Side Market.  Cleveland also has many farmer’s markets.  The North Union Farmer’s Market hosts markets around the city on different days of the week providing food from local farmer’s and vendor’s.  They host market’s at Shaker Square, the Cleveland Clinic, Chagrin Falls, Crocker Park, Cleveland State University.  They even have an indoor market in the winter!!

So, since Cleveland has so many restaurants to try I have developed a list of places I want to try.  It is a lengthy one, which I was surprised because I thought I have already dined at a lot!  This list will definitely take me a few years to get through, but here it is!!

Restaurant’s to Try

  1. Amp 150
  2. Bar Cento
  3. Beach Club Bistro
  4. Beachland Ball Room
  5. Brew Kettle
  6. Brothers Lounge
  7. Bubba’s Q
  8. Chez Francois
  9. Cowell and Hubbard
  10. Crop Bistro and Bar (now in Ohio City)
  11. DC Pasta Company
  12. Dante
  13. Danny Boys- Rocky River
  14. Der Braumeister
  15. D’Vine Wine Bar
  16. Fahrenheit- Tremont
  17. Fat Head’s Brewery
  18. Flying Cranes Cafe (Cleveland’s Best 2012- patio dining- staff pick)
  19. Flying Fig (BRUNCH and Dinner)
  20. Georgetown-lakewood (Old Three Birds)
  21. Ginko
  22. The Greenhouse Tavern
  23. Grumpy’s Café  (BRUNCH!)
  24. Johnny’s Downtown
  25. Johnny’s Little Bar
  26. Johnny’s Mago’s World Café and Bar (BRUNCH! And dinner)
  27. L’Albatros
  28. La Strada
  29. Latitutde 41on (BRUNCH! And dinner)
  30. Lolita
  31. Lopez on Lee
  32. Lucky’s Café (BRUNCH)
  33. Luna Café
  34. Luxe (BRUNCH! and dinner)
  35. Market Avenue Wine Bar
  36. Menaro’s- West Lake
  37. Momocho Mod Mex
  38. Moosehead Saloon
  39. Moxie- Little Italy
  40. Nighttown
  41. Ohio City Burrito
  42. Old Angle Tavern
  43. Orale
  44. Parallax (Tremont)
  45. Pickle Bill’s Lobster House
  46. Pier W
  47. Pura Vida- East 4th
  48. Redd Stone
  49. Ristorante Giovanni’s
  50. Rocky River Wine Bar
  51. Sergio’s Sarava- Shaker Square
  52. Sokolowski’s University Inn
  53. Southside (BRUNCH and Dinner)
  54. Spice Kitchen & Bar
  55. Sweet Basil Pizzeria
  56. Sweet Melissa’s- Rocky River
  57. Sweet Moses Soda Fountain and Treat Shop
  58. Tartine Bistro- Rocky River
  59. Touch Supper Club (BRUNCH! And dinner)
  60. Tremont Tap House
  61. Washington Place Bistro & Inn- Little Italy
  62. Viaduct Lounge
  63. Vincenza’s (Best of Cleveland 2012- staff pick best pizza)
  64. XO Prime Steak House
  65. XYZ Tavern

If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment!  If you think a restaurant is not worth my time, please let me know!  If I am missing a must go to restaurant, please tell me!!  Also, let me know about the dishes you loved!

Here is a list of restaurants I have already been to (and hopefully will return to most so that I can blog about them!).  I think I have most of them.. I may be missing some.

  1. 87 West Wine Bar- Chagrin Falls
  2. ABC Tavern
  3. Aladdin’s
  4. Blake’s Seafood
  5. Bluepointe Grille
  6. Brasa
  7. Buckeye Beer Engine
  8. Burntwood Tavern
  9. B Spot
  10. Cabin Club
  11. Chinato
  12. Chocolate Bar
  13. The Chophouse
  14. Crostatas Pizzeria
  15. Deagan’s Kitchen and Bar
  16. Dewey’s Pizza
  17. Etna’s- Cleveland’s Little Italy
  18. Fat Cat’s
  19. Flannery’s
  20. Flemming’s Steak House
  21. Gamekeepers
  22. Geraci’s
  23. Great Lake Brewery
  24. Grotto Wine Bar- Shaker Square
  25. Gusto!- Cleveland Little Italy
  26. Heck’s Cafe
  27. Hyde Park
  28. Jammy Buggar’s- Lakewood
  29. Jeckyll’s Kitchen
  30. Jimmy Dadonna’s
  31. Joey’s- Chagrin Falls
  32. Johnny’s Downtown
  33. La Dolce Vita- Cleveland’s Little Italy
  34. Lola
  35. Mad Greek
  36. Mallorca
  37. Map Room
  38. The Market- Rocky River
  39. Market Garden
  40. Melt Bar and Grilled
  41. Mia Bella- Cleveland’s Little Italy
  42. Michaelangelo’s- Cleveland’s Little Italy
  43. Mithchell’s Fish Market
  44. Nauti Mermaid
  45. Nuevo Acapulco- North Olmsted
  46. Oliver Twist- Willoughby
  47. Pacific East
  48. Paladar Kitchen and Rum Bar
  49. Rick’s Cafe
  50. Rocky River Brewery
  51. The Rush Inn- Lakewood
  52. Salmon Daves
  53. South of the Border Café
  54. Steve’s Gyro’s- West Side Market
  55. Stino Da Napoli
  56. Stone Mad
  57. Sushi Rock
  58. Tommy’s- Coventry
  59. Trattatoria Little Itlay
  60. Two Dad’s Diner
  61. Ty Fun
  62. Wasabi
  63. West Side Market Café
  64. Yours Truly
  65. Zocalo

Hard to believe there are THAT many restaurants, and then some!  I can’t wait to start my adventure!!

Molly Jean