Chowing Down, Cleveland-Style

Now that the Republican National Committee has elected to give Cleveland a star turn come 2016, it's time for political operatives (and reporters) to begin debating the only thing that really matters during nominating conventions: Where we all gonna eat?  

Granted, some would-be pundits and cash-strapped hacks may wind up wandering no further than whatever media-sponsored hangout keeps the complimentary drinks flowing that summer.  

But we here at HOH are all about exploring C-Town to the fullest. Which is why we asked Cleveland Magazine Managing Editor Kim Schneider for tips about navigating the city’s myriad dining and entertainment options.  

Toughest tables in town: Per Schneider, those looking to make the most of their visit to the “Sixth City” may want to begin lobbying the gatekeepers at Lola Bistro , restaurateur Michael Symon’s take on New American cooking; The Greenhouse Tavern , restaurateur Jonathan Sawyer’s sustainably-minded flagship; Dante , restaurateur Dante Bocuzzi’s modern Italian kitchen; Melt Bar and Grilled , a grilled cheese mecca (Schneider *hearts* the pierogi-topped Parmageddon); and Trentina , Sawyer’s fledgling Italian venture.  

Power Dining 101: Stalking decision-makers, Schneider suggests, requires staking out XO Prime Steaks , Johnny’s Downtown , Lago or Red, the Steakhouse .  

Laying Low: Prefer to fade into the local scenery? Schneider suggests sticking to hangouts such as The Rowley Inn , Reddstone , Edison's Pub , Prosperity Social Club , The Harbor Inn or The Flat Iron .  

Get Outta Town: Fanning out into the ’burbs is required, Schneider says, in order to experience the likes of Cork & Cleaver Social Kitchen (modern American), Flour (contemporary Italian), Peachtree Southern Kitchen & Cocktails (Lowcountry ) and The Katz Club Diner (greasy spoon).  

Beer Me: There is, in Schneider’s opinion, no shortage of terrific places to bend the elbow in Cleveland. She suggests bellying up to the bars at Great Lakes Brewing Company , Market Garden Brewery , Tremont Tap House , Fat Head’s Brewery or The BottleHouse .  

Cheers to Cleveland hospitality!