12113 Mayfield Rd.
Cleveland, Ohio, 44106
websiteCleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood is a charming place, while it’s relatively compact with just a few main stretches of businesses, those streets are full of art galleries, bakeries, and restaurants with great pizzas and pastas right on the street. All of that charm really shows through in these neighborhoods; little eateries with friendly and loquacious staff always ready with a joke or a drink but definitely focused on making sure your experience in their business is tops. Maxi’s Bistro is just as wonderful.
This is the old-school Italian fining destination. The food is simple and good and served up in a formal and friendly atmosphere. Some of the things to try:
- Calamari Pasta: Ample amounts of linguine with escarole, roasted red pepper and fresh garlic with a tomato basil sauce. This dish is notably spicy with a warm heat to it; as texture goes it’s a bit all over the place but still pretty good!
- Marghertia Pizza: This pizza is topped with sliced tomatoes, oregano, and shredded provolone & mozzarella cheeses with a baked crust topped with a buttery garlic and herb sauce. Like all of the pizzas this one comes in one mega-large 14-inch size. The typical version of this pizza is lighter on crust and features less cheese. Compared to that, this pizza is a bit more doughy than anything else.
- Garlic knot: The appetizer bread stuck together and with a little bit of olive oil, Parmesan and pepper flakes on the side. Very nice!
- Calamari: The appetizer features “flash fried” chunks of calamari with herbs and lemon. Bite into one and it’s very crispy with a nice little citrus. An app meant to be shared by a group, because it’s endlessly warm and welcoming.
The restaurant has sort of a nicer interior, as though this is a nice romantic spot to take a date or a small group of people. What’s better, it’s got a very nice little space on the sidewalk on nice days that lets people sit out directly and enjoy the weather. I should warn you, price points are high-normal, and the food is served in big portions. The pizza for instance comes in one huge 14-inch pizza that will easily feed two (or be two meals) and the pasta comes in great size.
The service is a bit slower, the interior a bit more formal, but that’s the real charm of the place. An old school family dining spot. A good little Cleveland dive.
- This restaurant makes for a good place to take a small group of people. It’s a date spot but also one that serves big food.
- Parking can be difficult, you might be able to land some street parking on some of the main avenues but there are some paid lots nearby.
- Getting pizza? Plan to feed two or three.