Long gone are the days when this Midwest industrial city was a mere blip on the culinary radar. Cleveland has two James Beard–winning chefs to its credit, a vibrant music scene, and a craft beer center in Ohio City that rivals any in the nation. The Republican National Convention offers a chance for the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to showcase its diverse and booming restaurant scene to the world.
Edwins Leadership & Restaurant Institute
Notable: More than 200 wines and 150 spirits with a focus on French and European regions
Brandon Chrostowski’s restaurant, which equips formerly incarcerated adults with the hospitality skills and support needed to successfully re-enter society, is more than a feel-good story: It’s simply a great venue with an equally stellar beverage program.
The French menu carries an average check of $60 and features elevated dishes like Lapin à la Moutarde—braised Briarwood Valley Farms rabbit leg, lemon potatoes, braised fennel, and Dijon mustard cream sauce. Beverage directors Jordan Levine and Jon Bosworth helped earn the restaurant a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. There are more than 200 selections, predominantly focusing on French and European regions, as well as some California labels. A spirits list of more than 150 leans toward French Cognac, Armagnac (a brandy produced in Southwest France), Chartreuse, and other dark offerings such as bourbon and Scotch.
Adega Modern Mediterranean
Notable: A wine vault houses upward of 200 varietals
Travelers hustling down East Ninth Street can peer into Adega and envy the glass wine vault, an impressive centerpiece holding around 200 varietals. Fittingly, the name Adega means “wine vault” in Portuguese, and the restaurant’s signature is visible from nearly every corner of the space. Wine Spectator gave Adega an Award of Excellence in 2015.
Housed in the Metropolitan Hotel at The 9, this doesn’t feel like a place to simply sip a drink before the cab arrives. Eddie Tancredi, who is a seasoned competitive chef, cultivates a modern Mediterranean style that focuses on Spanish and Portuguese flavors. Pasta is hand-rolled.
The spirits list is refined, and one selection—the rare Remy Martin King Louis XIII cognac—carries a price tag of $350.
Notable: Fifteen martinis, 22 rotating taps of beer, and 30-plus wines
Brothers is a vibrant venue with a pub, wine bar (with its own stage and piano), and a music hall, which books jazz, blues, and touring acts months in advance. There’s even a video of Kevin Costner singing on the website. Dating back further, legends like Buddy Guy and B.B. King have taken the stage. Owners Rodger Riggs and Chris Riemenschneider renovated the space in 2008 and have created an 11,000-square-foot establishment that caters to the working class as well as the ritzy.
Craig McDowell’s beverage program has 22 rotating taps of beer, additional bottles and cans, more than 30 wines, a full bar, and 15 martinis. Executive Chef Shannon Burns’ menu features favorites like Fried Lobster Mac & Cheese and Sundried Tomato & Garlic Ravioli.