These dining spots are welcome holiday retreats

It may well be “the most wonderful time of the year,” but it’s also — easily — the most expensive time of the year. And time-crunched, too.

And that makes it all the harder to cram in all those long-postponed get-togethers with old friends and family members: the kids who are only back in town for a few days, that buddy you’ve been meaning to see for months.

With that in mind — and the demands of the season, rapidly melting credit cards and trying to make the most of the waning hours before the new year — here’s a list of some places you might want to tuck away in the back of your mind.

Some are kid-friendly. Some are family friendly. Some are budget friendly. A few are for those of us who want to get away with friends after the last gifts are unwrapped and Uncle Smedley starts retelling his most embarrassing stories.

To begin, why not kick things off with a bargain-basement drink special? Through December, loyal guests can order a $1 Long Island Iced Tea at Applebee’s Restaurants. And from there …


With the kids: How about making a gingerbread house with your child? From 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, Luna Bakery Cafe (2482 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights) in Cleveland Heights will help you and another “decorator” put together the holiday house of your dreams. For $65 per duo, they’ll provide all the fixings, plus cookies and hot chocolate.


Share: Anyone who has ever faced a tight budget, or who likes to pass plates to share good flavors, knows that one of the best ways to party is to order a bunch of stuff and grab bites from every plate. Order a few pastas or other less expensive dishes and a couple of higher-priced proteins, then have at it. You can do that at all but the stuffiest places (and really, who wants to eat there anyway?).

Some menus are perfect for sharing. The D.C. Pasta Co. (one of Dante Boccuzzi’s spots; 12214 Pearl Road, Strongsville) is a great example. A broad selection of pasta dishes isavailable in half- or full portions, polpettes (meatballs) are $3 each and a variety of appetizers call out your hunger as you comb through the menu of salads, entrees and sides.


Sunday specials: You’ll find a nice prix fixe menu at Delmonico’s Steakhouse (6001 Quarry Lane, Independence), with a choice of salad or soup, any one of three entrees and dessert. Normally $39, you’ll get the full meal for $10 off on Sundays.

Or consider the $39.95 Sunday dinner for two at The Woods Restaurant and Lounge (21919 Center Ridge Road, Rocky River). The Italian-themed restaurant also offers a $12 steak night on Thursdays.


Nights: As in “specials nights.” Check out Deagan’s Kitchen Bar (14810 Detroit Ave., Lakewood) for its taco Tuesdays, breakfast-for-dinner Wednesdays and $10 burgers-and-a-beer Thursdays, each from 5 to 10 p.m.

And Sunday through Friday nights, Corky Lenny’s (27091 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere) offers a daily special: 10% off senior meals on Mondays; a free kid’s meal for a child 10 or younger accompanied by an adult spending $10 or more on Tuesdays and burger night on Wednesday. And consider the $22-for-two chicken dinners with two sides, rolls and butter, and a fountain drink on Thursdays.


Christmas escape: I don’t know about you, but back in the day, one of the best parts of Christmas was finishing dinner with the family then heading out to meet friends at someplace cool. If you’re looking for a place that’s open, Ohio City’s Sam McNulty will have tables ready on Christmas night at Bier Markt and Bar Cento (1948 West 25th St., Cleveland; call ahead to ask about chef Sean Conroy’s family-style Italian dinners), Market Garden Brewery (1947 West 25th St., Cleveland; Conroy will serve Grandma’s Christmas Ham Dinner with all the fixings, Dec. 18-25); and Nano Brew Cleveland (1859 West 25th St., Cleveland; burger specials each week in December).

Article source:

Speak Your Mind