As the product of a lawyer-turned restaurateur, Designer Dogs offers gourmet hot dog options for the diners of the Mall at Fairfield Commons. A food court is a simple place to start something great, and this little stand definitely delivers something really fun on the front end. Gourmet hot dogs are a tricky thing to pull of and be worth the money, but this place does them in a very memorable way, I have to say I am impressed by what I have tried.
The skeleton-themed Barrio is a really cool idea that has sprung up in Cleveland and its suburbs. This Tex Mex joint specializes in over-the-top huge tacos and big margaritas. Definitely popular with the younger crowd craving Cleveland’s nightlife, the concept spread from Lakewood to downtown, Progressive Field and elsewhere with its loved build-your-own taco menu as well as brunch and casual atmosphere that emphasizes good tequila and beer. Owner Sean Fairbairn and Executive Chef Pete Joyce have a good thing going with this idea.
A relatively progressive concept which is settled its way into the Cleveland suburb of Ohio City, TownHall offers an eclectic menu of traditional American cuisine paired with ethnic tinged favorites from around the world. Created with the additional backdrop of offering GMO free ingredients, The restaurant benefits from the great variety of foods that it offer, as well as the great menu of craft beer, to produce an overall very memorable experience. It’s great to see how places like this have really changed the face of Ohio City.
An iconic name in Cleveland’s culture long before the current craze of Craft beer struck the nation, Great Lakes Brewing Co. has been brewing beers in the Ohio City neighborhood for over 30 years. Bottles of this beer have been a regional favorite around Ohio for years, and as the place becomes ever more well-known around the country, I can say for sure that this beer is one of the best known to come out of Ohio. In spite of all of this, the bar itself feels relatively low key, a classy establishment easy to love. You’ll remember the time you came here in person.
The homey, Cleveland suburb of Hudson has a lot of little charms of a small Midwestern town. In the midst of a town like this it’s natural to have a country kitchen-type restaurant, a little of an old-fashioned feel and a very comforting menu of tried and true Southern cuisine favorites. With Hudson a place that feels a little lost in time, this restaurant really does bring comfort with every bite.
Maybe the most high-profile Cincinnati-based craft brewer to result from the recent beer boom, Rhinegeist has quickly gained a statewide following in the few years since it was set up thanks to wide distribution and canning of beer that has brought many kinds across the state. True to form, the brewer itself opened up shop in a historic Over-The-Rhine warehouse once home to the Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. With a nod to that history, and the German character that helped bring this neighborhood to life in its time, the brewery’s open and welcoming beer hall is an experience by itself.
A home-grown barbecue joint serving Springfield, Ohio, Rudy’s Smokehouse barbecues just about anything you like. Set up as a walk up spot where you pick up barbecue at a counter and take it to-go or enjoy it on a bench in the dining area. The spot generally does its barbecue “Low and slow,” which is to say it’s all made in Hickory pit smokers. The result is a great and very tasty barbecue that definitely has acquired a local following.
As downtown Cincinnati has seen a renaissance of new and exciting restaurant concepts come to town, the top quality ones are getting quite a following, pleasing giant crowds and landing national attention. Cincinnati’s dining scene has become a national interest with a lot of new ideas coming to market. So it’s no wonder the fine dining scene here is filled with such creativity. In that time, we have Boca, “culinary curiosity in modern decadence” and a place where creative combinations simmer for adventurous palettes. It’s an experience.
A new restaurant opened in Kettering as the brainchild of Chef Dana Downs of Roost Modern Italian fame, Park City Grill is more of a classy comfort food establishment than its Oregon District sister. This spot offers a lunch menu of quality takes on Midwestern comfort foods, and a dinner menu heavier on the surf and turf. The menu is approachable yet extremely well thought out, and while you might find many familiar items here, you’ll also find a few things you won’t get the chance to try in many other Dayton restaurants. This fun concept is definitely worth a try.
Something of a new take on the old-fashioned steakhouse, The Chop House is a restaurant with about a dozen locations in the Midwest and South. With a menu of fresh steaks and seafood, and a giant helping of sandwiches and other fare, this restaurant offers over-sized plates and a comfortable interior, and a place where folks come to relax and enjoy the company of friends in a familiar experience. The menu strives to be a quality take on foods you already know and love, but it can be a bit hit-and-miss as far as these go.