Authentic Asian cuisine is not exactly a specialty in Cleveland, or in the greater Midwest for that matter, but the Lotus Thai House is the exception to the rule in Cleveland Heights. The interior is sparse with exposed wooden beams that criss-cross on the walls, dotted with Thai artwork and mandala designs. The Lotus offers traditional Thai meals like aromatic curries and stir-fries, as well as a twist on the Vietnamese pho called kuai tiao. Portions are generous and imported beers are available by the bottle.
1918 Lee Rd, Cleveland, OH, (216) 371-9575
Marotta’s, which opened in 2000, has flown largely under the radar as one of the best Italian restaurants in Cleveland. A husband-and-wife team, owners Brian and Alicia Marotta, have designed this spot with an air of classic Tuscany. The diamond-checkered floors lead to an elevated outdoor terrace contained by an exposed brick perimeter, across from a rustic brick oven in the kitchen. To accompany the antipasti is a list of over 300 wines, exclusively of Italian origin, and a happy hour from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM on weekdays.
2289 Lee Rd, Cleveland, OH, (216) 932-9264
Chef and Cleveland native Eric Rogers opened Black Box Fix in March of this year, and its popularity continues to soar. After replacing another locals’ favorite, Sweetie Fry, this spot has made its name serving the best American comfort food in the Heights. All food comes in a signature black box, and Rogers infuses exotic flavors, mostly Asian and Creole, with American fare to create exciting new dishes like the ‘Hibachi Burger’ or the ‘OMG Philly Sandwich’ with blackened shrimp.
2307 Lee Rd, Cleveland, OH, (216) 383-8130
Although many consider Slyman’s to be the best corned beef spot in Cleveland, Mister Brisket, a humble butchery that doubles as a sandwich shop, stands to challenge that title. A simple blackboard menu behind the meat counter lists the sandwich selection, which includes corned beef, pastrami, and brisket entrees. Locals swear by the quality of the meat. Don’t miss the matzo ball soup, roasted beef brisket and potato knish side orders.
2156 S. Taylor Rd, Cleveland, OH, (216) 932-8620