Larry Olmsted, the weekly "Great American Bites" restaurant columnist for USA Today
, eats out a lot, and his yearly Forbes
list of standout restaurant meals from the past 12 months is filled with choice bites from around the globe. Two out of the 15 are meals in Cleveland spots.
"One reason these lists remain pertinent is because unlike most food publications, I don’t confuse 'new' with good, and just because I ate someplace this year for the first (or fifth) time doesn’t make the restaurant better or worse. What matters is simply how good the restaurant is," he writes.
Red, The Steakhouse
"Red succeeds at the high-end steakhouse game – where so many others fail -- by getting four key things right. 1. They make a great steak, using exclusively Certified Angus Beef that is mostly dry aged, and cooking it perfectly. 2. The appetizers are amazing, especially the Oysters Rockefeller and Red House Salad. 3. The classic steakhouse sides are perfected, like creamed corn and the only mac & cheese I have ever had that might actually be too rich, as the four cheese blend includes creamy Swiss raclette – and is offered with or without lobster. 4. The desserts are stunners and the Apple Pie Croissant bread pudding was OMG!"
"Chef-owner Jonathon Sawyer is a hometown hero in Cleveland for his eateries, and if you visit his flagship Greenhouse Tavern it is easy to see why. He does many of the trends that are being embraced from Portland to Brooklyn, but he does them better: he makes an extensive array of his own vinegars, breaks down his own pigs and cows for snout to tail eating and completely embraces local farmers and ingredients. But while many pay lip service to these ideals he lives them, and the food shows. It is fun and wacky fine dining that puts twists on classics from around the world: his lunch menu includes a take on iconic Quebecois poutine called “gravy frites,” which covers a platter of fries with mozzarella curds, veal gravy and sometimes fried eggs. He has gotten a lot of press for his “Properly butchered rib steak,” cut in house of course, but the must-have signatures are the crispy chicken wings confit and roasted pig’s head served with little brioche buns to make your own pig’s head sliders.
Check out the entire list here