Cleveland Restaurant Week – Exploring Local Fare
Cleveland Restaurant Week is a great reminder of why we should go to Cleveland to eat.
Basically, this is a genius concept – it’s a way for those of us outside of Cleveland and immediate surrounding areas to come up and try various places we might not otherwise. For a variety of reasons, whether it be a new place we’re not sure about, a normally pricey menu, or a menu full of items we’ve never ventured to try, THIS is the reason to try them all.
This year was the sixth annual Downtown Restaurant Week, held by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, and the theme was Pierogi, which is a pretty big staple in the history of Cleveland.
A three course dinner for $30 a person, or a lunch for $15, is an excellent deal. Generally, most of the participating restaurants prepare a starter, entree, and dessert. Although some of the places seem to begrudgingly put a menu together (we won’t mention any names, but some menus were far more impressive than others) the majority really put on a show.
Worried that your vegetarian lifestyle won’t work within this concept? No problem – there are many different options ranging from Vegan to pescatarian to complete carnivore (throw some more bacon on it).
While I tell you about these restaurant week menus, I have to fully disclose that I have never ordered off of one in the two years that I have gone. I do, however, pour over each of them and go crazy over some and pass by others. Nothing against the RW menus, but most of these place have great standard menus. I have taste tested from others who ordered the RW menus, though, and have to say they are pretty tasty.
This year we went to Hodge’s on the last Sunday of RW and had an easy time getting in. The RW menu included a pierogi with oxtail, salmon or filet of beef, and a brownie sundae with Mitchell’s vanilla bean ice cream, all of which were fantastic. Brought to our table as a “gift from the chef” was an awesome dish of sweet potato tater tots with maple syrup and cornbread. The food, presentation, and service were fantastic. (I also ordered the tuna poppers, hanky pankies and crab cakes – all of which were great and semi “exploded in my mouth”). I apologize; this isn’t a restaurant review.
Parking is not an ordeal – wow, impressive for downtown. You can purchase parking passes online for $2 and park at a nearby (participating) parking garage.
There seem to be more and more spots getting in on the production, which is great. There were over 40 restaurants that participated this year, showing how d-town Cleveland businesses collaberate together.
After the meal, it’s nice that there are things to do in Cleveland! We headed over to the Horseshoe Casino and decided to hang out for a while before heading back home.
Sad that you were under a rock from February 22-March 3? Awwwe. Well. If this post was earlier, you would have found out about the Cleveland Independents Restaurant Week whichwas March 4 – 16. But it wasn’t. These are annual and you have another shot in 2014!
In the meantime you’ll find we surprisingly have some special local groups that get together to celebrate how awesome the culture is around these parts and set up food tours and dinners. In the Cleveland area you can venture into new spots with Dinner in the Dark and the Cleveland Dinner Club. Canton also offers its own Canton Food Tours, all of which plan the adventure for you.