Friday, June 29, 2012

Think Cool

It's a scorcher out there. 


Sticky, hot and humid.

My a/c isn't working and I'm melting so I'm trying to "think cool." Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

#TweetGoneWild

So some days are full of surprises, today was one of those. Last night, after having a fabulous dinner with my friend and her daughter who are visiting from Charlotte, I Tweeted about the service we received at one of my very favorite restaurants, Luxe


It's one of my go-to spots and I was eager to take my guests there, especially since it was the perfect night to sit on their perfect patio. During our dinner, our server was kind of distracted and wasn't exactly doing a great job. Thankfully we weren't in a hurry so it wasn't a big deal. We had lots of catching up and talking to do. 


The craziness started when our waiter went to serve my friend's daughter her first slice of pizza and dropped it on the table. He picked it up and put it on her plate saying it "hit the napkin" and was ok. He then went on to tell us that he had Ninja Pizza Skills. The kid didn't care if the pizza hit the table or the napkin and we just laughed about it. 




A few minutes later, we heard a loud crash at another table closer to the bar. A different waiter dropped some glasses right next to another couple. We know the lady got wet and think that she got cut by the glass too. I have since asked my friend's daughter if she SAW the cut or just ASSUMED and she did not actually see it. Anyways, while we felt bad for the lady, we thought the night was getting crazy and I Tweeted
"Servers gone wild at "
(sorry that I can't figure out how to copy the actual Tweet but that's it.)


With that, I learned a very valuable lesson. Context is VERY hard to convey in 140 characters. While we had a great night and thoroughly enjoyed our meal, this was not obvious to people reading the Tweet. And when I re-read it now, I see how the "#badservice" really makes it sound like we were upset with our experience. For the record, we loved our meal - in spite of the craziness that was happening with the servers. And maybe it even made it more fun because we got A LOT of laughs out of that pizza ninja comment!


And why am I bothering to tell all of you this? First of all - to make sure that the whole story is out there. 140 characters makes it nearly impossible to communicate a complex story. The humorous part of the story was never explained in detail in the subsequent Tweets. Second, because I feel terrible about possibly upsetting my friends at Luxe. Luxe is now, and has always been, one of my favorite spots in Cleveland. Especially now that Chef Brian Okin is at the helm. And thirdly, to hopefully help any of you avoid the same mistake I made. Next time I'll be sure to word my Tweets more carefully.


Thank you to my kind friends and followers who brought my misstep to my attention. We all make mistakes and they made sure they didn't make an otherwise bad situation worse. And for those that I upset or offended with my Tweet, I hope that this clears the air.





Wordless Wednesday: Cake


Monday, June 25, 2012

In the Park Homerun - Indians Townhall Meeting with Mark Shapiro

Last week was a week full of the Cleveland Indians for me. First I attended the Indians Tweetup, then I ended the week with a Townhall Meeting with Indians President Mark Shapiro! I was so excited to be invited to this event because I love baseball and I'm a huge Indians fan.

There was a full house at the Terrace Club as everyone gathered to hear Mark Shapiro speak and ask him all the questions you always want to ask. For the record, Moneyball is "all Hollywood."


We started out with a great lunch - including the mandatory (in my opinion!) hot dog!

Nothing beats a ballpark hotdog!
what a tasty lunch!
After we feasted and caught up with favorite Tweeps, Mark Shapiro took the mic. He was warm, forthcoming, honest and really funny as he answered questions and mingled with the crowd.  

Big news - he reads EVERY Tweet! Follow along @MarkShapiro. He may not reply to everyone, but he' really listening. He also said that another Townhall in the future is likely. Thanks to Mark Shapiro, the Indians are really committed to their social media fans.
We also learned that the team's #1 goal is winning the World Series (yes!). I love that they set their sights high and are constantly striving to be the best. He said that their commitments are:
1. Baseball - Obviously, this comes first!
2. Fans - we talk, they listen! From changing their rules on re-entry to creating the Kids Clubhouse, the Indians try to be the best team in the league at showing their appreciation for the fans. 
3. Ballpark -They want to maintain and improve Progressive Field to keep up with the next generation of baseball fans.
4. Community - There are so many charities that benefit from the ball club and they have a ton of green initiatives. Have you seen the wind turbine? 

@TLColson, @LaVieBoheme73, me and @WhyCLE


never thought I'd get this lucky!
After the Townhall, I'm even more excited about our team and the season. While we won't be seeing Manny Ramirez make a return anytime soon, there's a lot to look forward to. I'm especially looking forward to making my first appearance at the Cleveland Indians Social Suite next month.

Don't forget to vote for the All Star game! 
If you aren't familiar with the Social Dudes, be sure to check out their post too.

Cleveland Browns Hospitality Group



Big news for Cleveland today. We might not be winning the Super Bowl but things are looking up for the food scene for our Browns games. If you are lucky enough to have club or suite access, or you book a private function, you will get to experience some of the best chefs our city has to offer. Jonathan SawyerRocco Whalen, and Cleveland's sweetheart Michael Symon team up with Aramark as Cleveland Browns Hospitality Group to offer a premium dining experience for these lucky fans. Check out these article excerpts from Crains Business Cleveland:

Cleveland Browns, city's top chefs team up

Symon, Whalen, Sawyer will be featured in stadium's club, suite levels; parties, corporate functions also now have access
Photo credit: RENDERING PROVIDED
A rendering of Sawyer's Street Frites, a new option in the premium seating areas at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
By JOEL HAMMOND
4:30 am, June 25, 2012
The Cleveland Browns are making changes to their catering offerings in the premium seating areas of Cleveland Browns Stadium, and the new provider will bring with it the cachet of a few local heavy hitters.
Already with presences at Quicken Loans Arena, Michael Symon and Rocco Whalen will be featured in Aramark's new offerings in the suites and club level at Browns Stadium. They'll be joined by fellow well-known restaurateur Jonathon Sawyer.

The Browns have formed a new company, Cleveland Browns Hospitality Group, that will feature another of Mr. Symon's B Spot restaurants, a duplicate of Mr. Whalen's Rosie and Rocco's restaurant at the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, and Sawyer's Street Frites, which will feature the signature item from Mr. Sawyer's Greenhouse Tavern on East Fourth Street in downtown Cleveland.

“These guys are Cleveland champions and Cleveland sports fans,” Mr. Kearney said. “We've been discussing different opportunities with them for a number of years.” 

Mr. Kearney said the company's goal is to have the new spaces finished by July 29, when country music stars Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw play at the stadium.

I'm really excited that the Browns are keeping our food local and unique. What other stadium has an Iron Chef on their roster? With only 10 home games for the Browns, special events will be the best way to experience this Trifecta of Tastiness. Read the full article here. Read more here from Cleveland.com and the Plain Dealer


(I posted the content from Crains instead of directing you to their site because they are a subscription only service that is currently offering free access.)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kickin' Off Summer with a Cleveland.com Indians Tweetup

What a great way to kick off the first official day of Summer 2012 --- filled with lots of Tweeps and my favorite sports team, the Cleveland Indians!


It was another great Cleveland.com Tweetup! This time it was held at GoodFellers (the old Cooperstown and Local Heroes.) It was a hot night and by the time the room was full it was even muggy inside. This Tweep said it best!
Early birds got the worm Mike Hargrove bobblehead dolls and t-shirts plus they had giveaways of all sorts of fun stuff like tickets to the Social Suite and gift certificates.
We had some nibbles and brewskies and mingled. Got to see the awesome @sos_jr@KaseyCrabtree@MaryLeeS and @taawd and make some new friends too. 


So nice to meet some of my favorite Tweeps like @LaVieBoheme73,  @ClevelandChick@VerizonAL, and @azrael! I even tried to recruit Heather's friend Tim to actually JOIN Twitter instead of just stalking. We'll see if it worked! (I hope you are reading this Tim! - hint hint)


And I finally got to meet Mike from @didtribewin (the blog that beat me in the Blogger Bracketsand his super sweet wife. Happy Birthday Mike - glad the Tribe gave you a win for your special day! Missed @KTOinCLE and @nidhizzle (damn traffic!)
me and @MaryLeeS
A fun time was had by all. The Running Condiments even stopped by to show us some love.
Tribe Lovin' Ladies
Afterwards, I walked over to the ball field to check out the game. I didn't actually go in - it was WAY too hot and humid for me - but I was really wanting to cheer on our Indians!

When I got home, I watched the game in the air conditioned comfort of my living room. So happy for the win and the SWEEP! #WINdians at it again!


Thanks so much to the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland.com and Goodfellers for treating us to a really fun night downtown. @denisep@dan_labbe and @ack did such a great job!!


So now, get down to Progressive Field and see our first place Indians for yourself. And don't forget the hot dog!


Check out the pics from Cleveland.com here. You'll get to see me get squeezed by the ornery Ketchup!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Birthday Bliss - Part 1: Cleveland Pops & Michaelangelo's

Anyone that knows me, knows I LOVE my birthday. Not the getting older part of course, but the chance to have a day month just for ME. I am an only child but was never spoiled - I'm still making up for that now! Plus with a birthday of May 31st, there is always lots of fun going on and a guaranteed long weekend. 

So much fun was had this year (including a trip to Vegas) that I have to break it up into several posts - here's Part I:

We kicked off the festivities with a Cleveland Pops Memorial Day concert on Friday thanks to me winning tickets from The Intercontinental! What a great surprise! I've never seen the Pops and it was a fantastic patriotic start to the weekend. It's a yearly concert and I highly recommend it.

Instead of trying to use the hotel voucher and dinner for two with such short notice (Buffy couldn't go) we opted to save it for another time.
We instead chose to eat at Michaelangelo's in Little Italy. It's been on my list for years and I've been teased with samples at various functions including last year's Taste of Little Italy. We started out at the bottle of wine at the bar waiting for our friends to join us. We chose a fantastic Nebbiolo (Tavoleto, Tenuta Carretta, 2006) that even my one red wine hating friend enjoyed. 

The VP of E*D*C (my BF) ordered the highly recommended duck and it was delicious. We especially enjoyed the farro with dried blueberries. 
duck, Michaelangelo's, Cleveland, Little Italy
ANATRA CON ARANCIA E GRAND MARNIER
The orange was soaked with Grand Marnier  - perfect to squeeze on the duck!
But I think pasta is the real star at this restaurant! I love that you can order 1/2 portions - so much more fun being able to try several things instead of getting a giant bowl of all the same pasta. My combo was heavenly:

PAPPARDELLE ALLA BOLOGNESE
FLAT RIBBONS OF PASTA, VEAL, MUSCOVY DUCK, GUINEA FOWL AND TOMATO-BAROLO RAGÙ SACCHETTI AL TARTUFO

RICOTTA AND BLACK TRUFFLE STUFFED PASTA AND BLACK TRUFFLE CREAM SAUCE 

The sacchetti alone is worth the trip - I normally don't love cream sauces but this was creamy perfection. Not too heavy but still luscious with a kiss of truffle.

Luckily our friends like to share so we also got to try this:
AGNOLOTTI DI ZUCCA
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PARSNIP FILLED HALF MOON PASTA, SPAGHETTI SQUASH AND FONTINA CREAM and

TORTELLINI CON PROSCIUTTO E PISELLI
FOUR CHEESE PASTA, PROSCIUTTO DI PARMA, GREEN PEAS AND PARMIGIANO REGGIANO 
And this:

Michaelangelo's, Little Italy, Cleveland
Nightly special: Pork roulade with roasted fingerlings and greens
Because we loved our meal so much, we decided to go back for coffee and dessert. Good choice!
Panna Cotta
Baked Italian Cream, Organic Berries, And Warm Balsamic 
 
Cannoli E Biscotti
Assorted Cookies Ricotta & Chocolate Cannoli  
dessert, Michaelangelo's
Gelato Della Casa
Guava gelato with grapefruit cavier and fresh berries
What a delicious meal! Everything was great except for the cannoli. Skip those and head to one of Little Italy's bakeries instead if you are craving one of those. You can see what cannolis you should be eating here.


Lots more fun was had by this birthday girl - stay tuned!




Monday, June 18, 2012

Back to Reality Just in Time for a Funtastic July

Hi everybody!
I'm back from a fabulous vacation - Vegas was a blast! I want to thank all my awesome guest bloggers for holding down the fort while I was gone. THANK YOU Bite BuffOhio FestivalsAdventures of a Trapped 300lb ManCooker Girl and Clue into Cleveland! If  you missed their posts, especially if you have never read their blogs before, be sure to check them out. They are some of my favorite bloggers and they rocked E*D*C while I was sunning myself by day and being Eat*Drink*Vegas by night. More on that later.


In the meantime, here's some upcoming things you won't want to miss:


6/29-7/1 and 7/6-7/8 Boston Mills Artfest - the ski resort comes alive in the summer with two weekends of gorgeous art. Each weekend has a special preview party that includes wine, craft beer and hors d'oeuvres.


Weekend OnePreview Night: Friday, June 29, 6pm-9pm

Saturday, June 30, 10am-6pm and Sunday, July 1, 10am-5pm


Weekend TwoPreview Night: Friday, July 6, 6pm-9pm

Saturday, July 7, 10am-6pm. Sunday, July 8, 10am-5pm 


Get your tickets for the preview parties here.


{Update: sold out}7/2 The Last Tango in Tremont by Emerging Chefs. One of my favorite spots in Cleveland, The Velvet Tango Room, will be hosting a rare event that is sure to be a glorious mix of sublime cocktails by Paulius Nasvytis and cuisine by Chef Brian Rosander.

They plan on a silent showing of the movie Last Tango in Paris in the private courtyard (weather permitting) as an extra treat. These events are always fantastic but this one is sure to be extra special. The cocktails alone are sure to make you swoon. 6-9pm - $75.
Get your tickets here.

7/9 Dinner in the Dark, the monthly moveable charitable feast, is being held at Crop Bistro in July. You won't know the chefs or the menu until you get there - but you are guaranteed to have a truly memorable meal. 6:30-10pm. $87.05.
Get your tickets here


7/11 Cleveland Blogger Theater Tour - for any bloggers or blog supports out there, this is a great opportunity to meet local bloggers and get a behind the scenes tour of the fabulous Playhouse Square. The Ohio Blogging Association is a great group and the events are always a blast!


7/13 Grapes & Ale is a fundraiser for Our Lady of the WaysideEnjoy a benefit celebration of wine, blues, brew and BBQ while strolling under the stars through the Indians Hall of Fame and other exhibits honoring the franchise’s rich history at Grapes & Ale at Progressive Field on Friday, July 13, 2012. 6:30 - 10pm.
Wine, beer and BBQ - need I say more? There are two options: Premier Grand Tasting ($50) and Backstage VIP Majic of Wine Tasting ($125) Both include a souvenir wine glass, over 200 wine samplings, BBQ, and more. 
Get your tickets here.


7/15 Noodlebear come to the Greenhouse Tavern for a special kids cooking class. Costumed characters, a special Care Bears menu and donations to the Cleveland Food Bank. 2-4pm. $28 for 1 kid/2 adults. Regular menu available for adults. 
Get your tickets here.


7/21 Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration A crazy awesome event in Milan, OH with a ton of celebrity chefs at a rustic and beautiful setting at the Culinary Vegetable Institute. 5-9pm. Tickets start at $150. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.





7/23 Brick and Mortar Popups presents a cocktail hour on the The Greenhouse Tavern's rooftop patio featuring Amanda Freitag. She's one of my favorite judges from Chopped and I can't wait! Chef Sawyer and Chef Freitag will be putting together a special cocktail hour menu and it's sure to be don't miss event! 7-9pm. $19 (drinks not included.)
Get your tickets here.


7/23 Cleveland Botanical Garden Farm to Table A star-studded lineup of chefs offer their best dishes prepared from a wide variety of fresh, local summer ingredients benefiting the North Union Farmers Market. A great lineup includes Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, Chris Hodgson of Hodges Cleveland, Ben Bebenroth of Spice of Life Catering Co. and Michael Ruhlman - wow! 5:30 -9pm. $85/members and $100/non-members.
Get your tickets here.






















*Disclosure: I was provided a media pass for Last Tango in Tremont and Grapes & Ale. As always, my opinions and ideas are my own.*

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Guest Post: Western Reserve Wines by Cooker Girl

Sarah is one of my very favorite bloggers. Not only is she sweet as can be, she always is cooking up something delicious in her kitchen. If you need a cake or other goodies for a party, she can provide a recipe or even bake it for you! Plus, she's got some great dance moves...
One of her goals for the year is to drink more wine. Um, I'd love to help with that! Here's one of the ways she is working on achieving her goal. 
I think you'll want to join her!


Hey everyone, remember me?  I'm Sarah from Cooker GirlWhile Crystal is on vacation, I'm hosting Eat*Drink*Cleveland for the day.  I am going to fill you in on my favorite wine shop, Western Reserve Wines in Solon.  They have a friendly and knowledgeable staff, wines from all over the world, bottles for every price range and weekly wine tastings.


I've always wanted to be a regular, but I don't really go anywhere on a regular basis (other than grocery shopping).  But recently I realized that I AM a regular at Western Reserve Wines.  I'm not there every week, but I'm there often enough that they know me.
Every Saturday Western Reserve Wines has a casual wine tasting.  By casual I mean, stop in anytime from 2-5pm and take yourself on a tour of the day's offerings.  Tasting notes are provided and the staff will tell you about each wine as they pour.  The tastings are $5 (cash), 5-7 wines are offered and cheese and crackers are provided.  Tastings must be paid in cash, but all other purchases can be done with a credit card.  Fairly often customers will bring in a bottle from their personal collection to share with other wine lovers at the tastings.  In the picture above, the bottle on the far right was from a personal collection.


If you can't make it on a Saturday, stop into the store during the week.  They might have a few bottles left open from the Saturday tasting, just ask and they'll let you sample for $0.25.


"We taste the bad ones so you don't have to!"
Every other month they do a 12 under $12 tasting which costs $10.  You sample 12 wines under $12, and for the next 2 months they are placed in a special section so the current selection is easy to find.  I love a good deal, especially for wine, so you'll usually find me at these tastings.  The 12 under $12 is always on the first Saturday of every other month, the next one is July 7th.


Kathi Hays and her staff are incredibly helpful.  When I have a dinner party, I go in and tell them my menu and my budget (less than $20/bottle).  They always come up with a great suggestion.  Western Reserve Wines will also track purchases for you.  It's perfect for when you can't remember a certain wine that you've bought in the past.  If you mention it, they'll even note what you were planning on serving with each wine so you can go back to that pairing again.


My tastes have changed a lot over the past few years.  I have learned so much about what I like and don't like just by trying lots of different wine.  If you sign up for their email list, you'll get notified about the weekly tastings (menu and tasting notes) and special events.  They have a champagne and sparkling wine tasting event in November that is not to be missed!


Western Reserve Wines has a box where you can drop off your corks to be recycled.  Or if you want to bring corks home for your latest Pinterest craft project, the corks are up for grabs.  When the box gets full, they send it off to be recycled and eventually it becomes cork flooring.


You can check out their website to browse a partial list of their inventory, or even sign up for a registry!  Any winos out there getting married soon?  Go ahead and register for Riedel crystal and the wine of the month club.  Western Reserve Wines also does private tastings after hours.  My mother-in-law and her friend are having a combined birthday party where we'll be doing a private tasting.  I'm really excited for this tasting party for obvious reasons, but also because I'll be catering the desserts!


My husband Kevin, me, Amanda, Crystal and Scott (Amanda's husband)
I definitely recommend stopping by the next time you need a bottle of wine!  And wine tasting is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, especially if you're killing time before a certain blogger's wedding reception.


Cheers!




Western Reserve Wines
28300 Miles Road (in the plaza next to Miles Market)


Monday, June 11, 2012

Guest Post: Churned by Bite Buff


Next up is a fantastic and fun blogger that really knows a lot about the Cleveland dining scene. If you ever want some inspiration to spice up a night out on the town, or to find out about the new cool spots in town, Bite Buff is the girl! She beat me to a much anticipated new ice cream spot in town. After reading this - I'm REALLY jealous and you will be too.
 Enjoy!

Hi readers! I’m Katrina from the blog Bite Buff, where I share my dining adventures around Cleveland. I just moved here four years ago, and I love discovering what our local independent restaurants have to offer. Crystal and I have a lot in common: Eating. Drinking. And our love for our city. So when she asked me to guest post while she was on vacation, of course I said “Yes!”

Today, I wanted to share with you a new spot in one of my favorite Cleveland neighborhoods- Tremont. The geniuses behind my favorite cupcakes, A Cookie and a Cupcake, have opened a new ice cream shop right on Lincoln Park. Tucked just a few spaces down from the coffee shop Civilization, Churned opened quietly last week.
Churned, Tremont ice cream, cleveland
“R”, my boyfriend and the reason I moved to Cleveland, is an ice cream fanatic, and has been not-so-patiently awaiting its grand opening. If he could eat ice cream every day, he would. With a recent stop at Sweetie Fry in Cleveland Heights for the first time, his excitement over having a similar joint close to home was at an all time high.

Luckily, they did not disappoint. They had several interesting flavors of ice cream and two gelatos available, and they let you sample as many as you’d like. Trust me, making a decision is tough and you’ll need to try several small bites first!
A “regular” size includes two scoops, and they allow you to mix the flavors. This, I appreciated. I decided to go with the Smokey Chocolate with Salty Almond Brittle, and a scoop of the Maple Bacon with French Toast.
maple bacon french toast ice cream, Churned, Tremont
The chocolate was not too rich, and the few bites that included crumbled pieces of the almond brittle were great. Overall, it did leave you with a slightly smokey after-taste in your mouth. Some of the other flavors that I had sampled were a little more unique, and I’d probably try something new before ordering this again. However, the Maple Bacon with French Toast was dee-lish! Real crumbles of bacon throughout and a strong maple flavor. I didn’t quite taste the French toast, but there were pieces of what I assume were “French toast” bites in the ice cream. I would order this again in a heartbeat, although I did prefer Sweetie Fry’s version. “R’s” favorite was the Carrot Cake, which really did taste like carrot cake.

Churned is a wonderful addition to the area, and I can see us stopping in for a treat after dining in the neighborhood. Tremont is one of my favorite food areas in Cleveland, and you shouldn’t miss the Tremont Tap House, Fat Cats, Fahrenheit, Lava Lounge, and Lolita (just to name a few). Now you can stop in for your sweets fix at Churned afterwards. Welcome to the neighborhood, Churned!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Guest Post: Eat*Drink*Oberlin by Adventures of a Trapped 300 Pound Man

As my vacation continues, Kristian takes over the blog for the day. He's one of my favorite bloggers and I'm so happy to introduce you to him if you aren't already a fan. In spite of his fit and trim physique, this guy loves to eat and has really good taste! He's going to show off another Lorain county gem - Oberlin.


 Hi everyone!
 My name is Kristian Campana of the blogs
 Ohio Festivals and Adventures of a Trapped 300 Pound Man
Please check them out!
Today, I have the extreme pleasure of guest-posting for Eat*Drink*Cleveland in a post I would like to title...
Eat*Drink*Oberlin

Established in 1833, the city of Oberlin is known for its long history, as well as...

 ...its cool college buildings...


 
...a cooler college president (Marvin Krislov).

 
 ...and the super cool squirrels...

 
...that you could find in Tappan Square

 
 But if you were to explore downtown...

 
 ...you would see more than just Oberlin college T-shirts

 
 ...and a unique market/bakery...
 ...you would find some great restaurants.

At first, at the suggestion of my lovely wife (who LOVES Oberlin and everything it entails), I was going to list all the downtown restaurants and give you a summary of each. I even started to do this. But then, I realized that I simply don't eat at some restaurants, have recent (like yesterday!) bad experiences from others, or simply aren't very enthusiastic about what some offer - so I've decided not to even talk about them...
...sorry, babe.

Instead, I'm only going to tell you the ones I really like for whatever reason...

...because these restaurants should be special if you're coming in from out of town to eat there!

 Here's a map to reference as we go through them. Enjoy!
1.) The Feve Pronounced "fehv," the Feve used to be a coffee shop in the Lupitos space south of here many many years ago. Now, it has a full bar, a fantastic ever-changing brunch usually intertwined with holidays or events, and very delicious food.
 One of my favorite sandwiches is the Smoked Salmon BLT...
 
 ...behold its sandwich perfection.
 Along with deli sandwiches, specialty burgers, and wings, the Feve is known for their tater tots and the numerous dipping sauces that compliment them.
 2.) Lorenzo's In all the years I had lived in nearby Lorain, I never ate at Lorenzo's. I blame this mostly on just not being a big pizza eater. But ever since I first ate there last summer, I've eaten there many times! Not only do they have delicious pizzas with toppings that include fried eggplant, but they have some great looking entrees...
 
 ...and tasty sandwiches.
 Most importantly, they honor quality. One time, my wife and I got a pizza that was slightly overcooked around the edges. We never said anything because it was still delicious. Still, the kitchen made us a new one to take home because they weren't satisfied with it. That said - Lorenzo's rocks! And you can also buy a bag of dough to take with you if you want to try your hand at pizza-making in your own home.
 
3.) Black River Cafe The fancier of the restaurants mentioned in this post, although there's a playful charm in the restaurant's collection of salt and pepper shakers. Now equipped with a full bar, the Black River Cafe is a great place for steak, pan fried trout, risotto, seared scallops and daily specials. Although much better this year, the service can sometimes be slow. Keep that in mind if in a rush.
4.) Fresh Start
So I just realized that there are two other locations of this restaurant (Twinsburg, Chagrin Falls), so it might not necessarily be where you decide to go if from out of town. Still, they have some great breakfasts, earlier hours and diner-type entrees and sandwiches, so I'll leave it on the list.
 5.) Cowhaus Creamery The ice cream here is made in nearby Elyria from organic cream and local ingredients whenever possible. It took me a bit to warm up to Cowhaus at first because I didn't feel their initial flavors were strong enough. But as they began exploring more and getting bolder, they really got my attention.
For example...

 ...this is a ginger mango sorbet (on left) and pineapple jalapeno ice cream with hot pepper powder (on right). Really tasty! They also make cones on order (for a bit extra).

 So there you have it...my Oberlin list. Please come out and try some restaurants for yourself.