One of the things that Stephanie and I have in common (beside both playing on BvBCLE Football Teams), is our love of Cleveland food. My group of friends and I have all decided that we all have our go-to spots and our favorite chefs in town. One of the best things about living in Cleveland? The fact that we have so many great spots in town and so many wonderful chefs. This year, I had the wonderful opportunity of getting to know some of these chefs better and also seeing them show their Cleveland pride while celebrating the West Side Market 100th Birthday.
My top 3 favorites? I selected based on food, atmosphere and staff - all three make a huge difference in a dining experience. My top three are pretty obvious choices but here are my go-to’s in town:
- The Greenhouse Tavern - Jonathon Saywer. Reasons I love this location: It’s on the gorgeous East 4th Street. GHT has a beautiful rooftop bar where you can enjoy a great view of the city, while enjoying a fabulous mixed cocktail (my favorite is the Smartie). The food is to die for. Seriously. I recently took a client to GHT for dinner and every course, from the special Fifth Quarter to our entrees was cooked perfectly.
- SOHO - A newer Ohio City spot, the southern feel touches this Northern girl’s heart (even though I’ve always wanted to move south...specifically Dallas or Austin). A great brunch menu is always important and this one is a favorite. The drinks are fun and when celebrating the WSM100 with friends on a cold, rainy day, the staff went above and beyond to make sure we had warm apple cider with rum. One of my favorite brunch drinks is bourbon & bubbles - two of my faves!
- Hodge’s Cleveland - Chris Hodgson. This spot has quickly become my home away from home. A great, affordable menu with fun spins on classics, Hodge’s is a place where you are sure to find multiple entrees that you will enjoy. The new fall menu features plenty of seasonal food and I can’t get enough of the new gnocchi dish or the spaghetti squash. If you are looking for a great drink - you cannot go wrong with the Pete Rose. My favorite thing about this restaurant though - it just feels like home. I’ve become friends not just with Chris, but also with his staff. There’s something to be said for a staff that knows your favorite drinks and calls you by name.
Those are my three go-to’s when I have friends, family or clients in town and want to show them a great evening. What’s yours?