The Willeyville: Revival of The Flats
I’ve been sitting on this post for a month or so. I’m sorry, I’m mean. I should have shared The Willeyville sooner because it’s that good.
This Cleveland restaurant boasts the tagline “Handcrafted Consumables,” and I feel like it’s totally justified after having dinner and drinks there.
Eric heard about the spot from a friend and knew exactly where it was. I on the other hand have heard of the flats, but it was a bit before my time. So, this was a perfect introduction to the area for me.
The atmosphere is fun, upscale-casual and perfect for a few different groups including dates, girls night, or after-work cocktails. The seating works well for it, with quite a few two-tops, some longer high top tables and various other seating arrangements.
We started off with cocktails from their extensive list; I opted for the Shady Lane (it comes in a mason jar) which is one of their few gin options and it was probably one of the best mixed drinks I’ve ever had. The blackberry and lillet rouge mixed with Beefeater was a new concept to me, one which I will definitely try again in the future. E had The Derby (martini) which was a Maker’s Mark concoction, and he liked it enough to stick with it for one more. Biters and syrups are house made – and well executed. I think they were around $9 a piece.
- Shady Lane: Beefeater Gin, Lillet Rouge, Blackberry Lime Syrup, Lime Juice, Key Lime Bitters
- The Derby: Maker’s Mark , Sweet Vermouth, Orange Curaco, Lime Juice
Our server was really sweet; he knew the specials, had some really good suggestions and helped us decide when debating between two items. Actually, when we debated we actually just got both but, he did make suggestions.
We started with their handmade bread which was a freebie, and ordered warm marinated olives and the ricotta tasting. I could have ordered 3 more of each of these, especially the ricotta tasting, which is always changing. Basically, you get three types of ricotta, crackers and flatbread. DELICIOUS. Ours was merlot marinated, cocoa crusted and whipped. Loved the olives, too, but still felt like a barbarian when spitting out the pits. Fancy.
- warm marinated olives and smoked peppers $5
- ricotta tasting with apricot preserves, flatbread, crackers $10
Our dinner was great. I usually opt for multiple small plates in lieu of an entree so I gravitated to the shrimp ceviche and calamari for a dinner. The ceviche was pretty decent, not sure I’d get it again, but the calamari was wonderful. It was cooked just right and the toppings of cilantro aioli, relish and ginger flavoring were complimenting of the dish, not over powering. E went for the Duck Squared which was pretty good; the duck was cooked perfectly and the garnishes and sides were spot on.
- crispy ginger’d calamari with sweet & sour peanut relish and cilantro aioli $10
- duck squared with confit, bacon wrapped breast, red cabbage-feta strudel, candy cane beets, whipped carrots and cilantro $22
We both loved the restaurant and plan to head up again soon. Right now, there aren’t a ton of things to do within walking distance, but it’s great for those just going out to eat. Also, there is a pretty neat hotel next door called Aloft that would be cool for those looking for a weekend staycation, or just a night.
MON-FRI LUNCH: 11:30AM-2:30PM
MON-THURS DINNER: 5PM-10PM
FRI & SAT DINNER: 5PM-11PM
Happy Hour: MON-FRI: 5PM-6:30PM