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Fun, good quality, but not fancy birthday dining?

Cincinnati, Ohio
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Fun, good quality, but not fancy birthday dining?

Hi,

My girlfriend and I will be in Cleveland for her 30th birthday, and she's made a special request for a restaurant that is fun, good quality, but not fancy. The Prosperity Social Club sounds like it might be a good choice for her wishes from what I've read.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this place, or a possible alternative?

Thanks.

Cleveland
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1. Re: Fun, good quality, but not fancy birthday dining?

Will,

Welcome to TA and the Cleveland forum!

Here's a travel article that may help you. There are many "good quality, but not fancy" restaurants in Cleveland. Fancy restaurants may be limited to Lola Bistro, several steakhouses, perhaps the Blue Point Grille, and a few others. What do you mean by fun restaurants? Entertainment? Unique cuisine (if so, what appeals to you and your GF)? If you just want a great culinary experience, perhaps consider the chef's tables at Crop or Dante. These chef tables wouldn't be a budget experience, but would be memorable.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g50207-s501/Cleveland…

Cleveland has a plethora of good Italian restaurants. Bruno's on the near west side or Mia Bella and several others in Little Italy would be good options.

Most restaurants have online menus where you can check prices.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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2. Re: Fun, good quality, but not fancy birthday dining?

Sorry, I guess I should have clarified more on my definition of fun. A unique experience that falls somewhere in between blue collar dive and white collar stuffy. Her food tastes are very simple, so going somewhere like Lola is probably going to intimidate her more than entice her. Meat-wise, she only does white meat chicken, which is one of the reasons why my search has been more difficult. She loves italian, so I haven't ruled that out yet. So far, what I've found to look best for my iffy requirements are Latitude 41, Prosperity Social Club, L'Albatross (pushing it with fanciness), and table45 (like that they have a few different white meat chicken dishes to choose from, the hotel restaurant aspect of it is a bit of a turnoff for a unique local experience though). Tall order?

Cleveland
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3. Re: Fun, good quality, but not fancy birthday dining?

Table 45 definitely is not fun IMO. It's a hospital restaurant, part of the Cleveland Clinic, and often fairly empty, in my experience.

L'Albatros really isn't that fancy. No tablecloths and plastic chairs. Great food and service, however. I love the trout.

Bruno's on the west side is homemade Italian. It's in a sketchy neighborhood, but I've never heard of problems there. At night, there's free parking in a car wash across from the restaurant with a guard there. It's small, very intimate, but with very high quality food and relatively bargain prices. It's on the Plain Dealer A-list of the 100 best restaurants in Greater Cleveland. Check with Bruno's to confirm this, but anything they offer as a veal dish, they also will prepare as a chicken dish.

Reservations are needed both at Bruno's and L'Albatros.

Also, if your GF likes southern-style chicken, check out SOHO in the Market District. If you like beer, you'll be a short walk from the district's great breweries after dinner.

Edited: 01 October 2013, 20:12
Cincinnati, Ohio
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4. Re: Fun, good quality, but not fancy birthday dining?

Thanks for the tips! I'll definitely cross Table 45 off my list. Any experience with Latitude 41 or Prosperity?

Cleveland, OH
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5. Re: Fun, good quality, but not fancy birthday dining?

You might wish to consider Greenhouse Tavern on E. 4th. The young chef is highly regarded and it's a very comfortable environment on a fun street right downtown I love L'Albatros, too, and it is NOT at all stuffy French, but a fun French bistro. Latitude 41 is OK, but you might want something a bit nicer for a birthday celebration. In that same general neighborhood is XYZ the Tavern, a great gastropub, with outdoor dining, delicious food and a great beer selection. If you want to go a bit more upscale, check out Cowell & Hubbard in Playhouse Square. It's in an historic building (a fine jeweler), and it's run by Zach Bruell (who also runs L'Albatros, Table 45 (which I happen to enjoy), Chinato, & Parallax, among other great restaurants). http://zackbruell.com/ Hope this helps.

Cleveland
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6. Re: Fun, good quality, but not fancy birthday dining?

As PJSParma noted, East 4th St. is a fun street. Both Greenhouse Tavern and Chinato would fit your description of a fun restaurant. Chinato offers a mod Italian cuisine.

Spice Kitchen & Bar is another possibility, especially if you like cocktails. After dining there, you could go to Sweet Moses for dessert.

tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g50207-d25…

Cleveland
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7. Re: Fun, good quality, but not fancy birthday dining?

I also like the ambiance of Chinato better than Cowell & Hubbard, even though both are Bruell restaurants.

Please let us know where you ended up and how you enjoyed it!

Edited: 02 October 2013, 01:44
Cleveland
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8. Re: Fun, good quality, but not fancy birthday dining?

I searched TA restaurant listings for American and Italian restaurants with moderate ($$) prices and good for romance. Of the top 14 restaurants in the search results, the top three rated restaurants that came up were Fire, Fahrenheit and LockKeepers.

tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g50207-Cleveland…

The above link, for some reason, doesn't save romance as a dining option, so you must check that option under dining options if you want to recreate the search.

All are excellent restaurants. Fahrenheit is in Tremont, which you seem to find desirable.

Fire is one of Cleveland's best restaurants and is located in Shaker Square, as was the fourth-rated restaurant in this search, Balaton. Balaton is Cleveland's top Hungarian restaurant and would be an excellent choice if your GF likes chicken paprikash or schnitzel. It's very charming, especially window seats just inside the entrance.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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9. Re: Fun, good quality, but not fancy birthday dining?

Thanks so much for the input everyone, I think I'll have my choice nailed down in the next day or so. How about breakfast? I keep seeing Grumpys and Luckys at the top of all the lists, does anyone favor one over the other?

Cleveland
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10. Re: Fun, good quality, but not fancy birthday dining?

Lucky's is expensive, but is very good. There can be lines on weekends.

My fallback when in the area and desiring breakfast is the West Side Market Cafe. Unlike the market, it's open every day. Its food is a cut above the typical breakfast joint, partially due to very high quality ingredients, reportedly all sourced in the market.

The West Side Market opens at 7:00 a.m. and also is an option for breakfast. By 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays, the market can become very crowded.