Growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland, it has been a pleasure to be in a city with so many fine restaurants. My family and I have been loyal to many places, but there are a few restaurants that stand out above the others. This list gives you a few quality places that are worth going to whenever you're visiting Cleveland, a very cultural and dynamic city.
Pearl of the Orient
20120 Van Aken Blvd
Shaker Heights, Ohio
This is an amazing restaurant situated in Shaker Heights, near the end of the Van Aken subway train line. I grew up going here, and have never had a bad meal in the thirty years I've been going there. The food is upper scale Chinese, with the best sauces of any restaurant I've ever known.
87 West St
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
This beautiful restaurant is in the heart of Chagrin Falls, on the outer east side of Cleveland. It has a courtyard in the back, which is a wonderful place for lunch. With white linen tablecloths, attentive wait staff and an eclectic continental menu, it is sure to please.
13220 Shaker Square
Cleveland, Ohio 44120
Located in historic Shaker Square on the near east side, Fire's chefs are classically trained and are artists with food. The brunch is to die for. The recipes they use are flavorful, and not the usual, boring fare you see in most restaurants. In the summer, you can eat outside on the outdoor patio. Reservations are recommended.
12447 Cedar Rd.
Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44106
This is a chain of Lebanese-inspired restaurants with inexpensive prices but very quality meals. They even have coffee-house fare (excellent coffees and a large variety of beautiful desserts). If you want a quick lunch or plan to stay awhile, this is the place to go when you're in Cleveland Heights or Independence (two of my favorite locations). They may have opened other locations since writing this, but whichever branch you go to, you will leave pleasantly full and satisfied with the courteous service.
20600 Chagrin Blvd
Cleveland, Ohio 44122
If you love Indian food, the Saffron Patch is sure to please. They even have a rather large lunch buffet with many favorite dishes available. This place is busy all the time, because everyone in the area knows they make the best Indian food around. It started as a small restaurant in Solon but quickly grew to its current large size, in the lowest level of an elegant office building in Beachwood, due to a large following of loyal customers.
Carolyn McFann is a scientific and nature illustrator, who owns Two Purring Cats Design Studio, which can be seen at: http://www.cafepress.com/twopurringcats . Educated at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, Carolyn is a seasoned, well-traveled artist, writer and photographer. Besides handling numerous assignments in the US, she has lived and worked in Cancun, Mexico. Clients include nature parks, museums, scientists, corporations and private owners. She has been the subject of tv interviews, articles for newspapers and other popular media venues.