Cleveland Eats: Crop Bistro Ohio City
Last Friday, Lisa and I went on an ultra-rare, non-work-related day trip to the C-L-E. (#FridayFunday? …no, please no. Forget I typed that.) We both love a good meal out, modern art, and Cleveland, so the combo of the three – and a ‘press’ invite to preview some new art installations – was compelling enough for us to take a half a day off of work. (We would never venture to call ourselves press, but we’re pretty decent at publicity and def appreciated the invite.)
Lisa will share our amazing visit to MOCA Cleveland (Museum of Contemporary Art) a little later this week, but first we have to talk about our lunch with our good friend Lilia at Crop Bar + Bistro in historic Ohio City. It can’t go un-talked about. (And I’m kicking myself for not going soon.)
First, there’s Crop’s glam location on Lorain Avenue in the former United Bank Building, circa 1925. Anything short of STUNNING would be the understatement of the last century. The space is all 1920s opulence – a series of two-story-high arched windows punctuated by dark marble columns, a gilded gold ceiling that seems at least a mile overhead, and a floor-to-ceiling wall mural. Yes, a wall mural. And it’s gorgeous.
Take this setting, mix in a modern American menu, the bustle of a busy restaurant, some firefighters and false alarm in our case (long story), and you have Crop.
We shared an order of the truffle popcorn ($6) to start, at my insistence. In other words, I forced it on my dining companions. It was a winning combo of popcorn, truffles, balsamic, and parmesan, so I’m glad I was feeling pushy.
For our entrees, things got real, you guys. Crop has one of those upscale American menus where about half the options fall into the “I’d order that” category. In the end, I went with the Big Pile of Crop Pasta (their daily pasta special): a butternut squash cream sauce with pancetta, kale, Brussels sprouts, fresh mozz and some other stuff, too – honestly, I stopped listening after “butternut squash cream sauce.” It was even better than it sounds, and Futureman confirmed its awesomeness by scarfing the leftovers.
Lisa went with a BBQ beef wrap, and while that may sound a bit mundane compared to my dish, they managed to make it special with top-quality ingredients.
Lilia went for one of her faves, the Willie Bird Smoked Turkey sammie – an open faced ‘fall extravaganza’ of fancy corn bread, smoked turkey, Amish cheddar, cranberry chutney, and herb aioli. I may have to order that next time. Crazy good.
We loved lunchies at Crop and were so glad Lilia had the good sense to suggest it. I can’t wait to go back with the hubs…I think he’ll love it too, and *I* need to check out their Get Cropped Happy Hour.
2537 Lorain Ave
Cleveland, OH 44113