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The Early Word on Soho Newcomer The Cleveland

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Daniel Krieger

The Cleveland, a casual American restaurant from restaurateurs Paul Shaked and Hudson Solomon, opened last month in the Cleveland Place space that most recently housed What Happens When. Chef Ken Corrow, who previously worked as the sous chef at Anella and Acme, offers a small menu that includes classic bistro fare like a strip steak and a roast chicken, as well as Mediterranean-influenced dishes like cauliflower soup with curry and mint. While most diners praise the food, there are also gripes about the size of the space, the small menu, and the portions. Here's a roundup of what early diners are saying about The Cleveland:

The Good News: This Yelper raves about almost everything: "I opted for the duck risotto, which was out of this world. My portion was perfect, but my friend's branzino was on the small side. I stole a bite of my other friend's chicken which was perfectly cooked. Kale was great. Beets were excellent. Cauliflower soup was so good. The staff was very friendly and almost as excited about the restaurant as we were. They were a pleasure to talk to and we will definitely be back. Can't wait to enjoy the garden come Spring!" [Yelp]

The So-So News: One OpenTable user writes: "I had hoped so much more from The Cleveland and so I have had to reset my expectations. I think the Cleveland could really be more upmarket than it is by just swapping out the wooden tables and iron chairs. I found the menu a little limiting (appetizers limited to a vegetarian choice - there could've been a fish or a meat appetizer). The food was interesting — the taste and flavors just went so well together. The prices are also good so I assume that it all evens out. We were kinda squashed on top of each other, felt like I was sharing the table with the people next to us. Saying that I understand that we are in NYC. All up I enjoyed the evening BUT I didn't LOVE the evening." [OpenTable]

The Great News: Fiona Byrne of the blog Byrne Notice is as excited about the space (and the summer to come) as she is about the food: "The stripped back décor du jour lends itself perfectly to the pan-Mediterranean menu featuring current food trends (kale, salted caramel desserts etc.) and some atypical ideas such as a fragrant lemon-vanilla poached cod with charred eggplant, Lebanese cous cous (it's practically the size of chickpeas) with a spicy red pepper puree which was the talk of our table. Here's the best part: there's a huge patio out back and we just cannot wait for summer because that is basically where you will find us every night come May, eating kale and salted caramel gelato." [Byrne Notice]

The Bad News: Another OpenTable reviewer is not impressed: "Mediocre food and menu overall for the price. Surprising, considering the restaurant just opened! Our table had the chicken, the fish, and the skirt steak, and the beets. Although, not terrible there was nothing exciting or interesting about the food. The place itself is very cute but small. There are too many other better options in the city for the same price...probably would not go back." [OpenTable]

The Delicious Food News: This Yelper likes the food but also wishes the portions were larger: "Very delicious food and smart menu — smart meaning it's small but selections are wise and there's still enough variety. Kale, squash, and fries for the table were amazing. Skirt steak, although yummy, perfectly seasoned, and nicely medium-rare was luke-warm and a surprisingly small portion. The place itself is very cute but tiny." [Yelp]

The Possibly Too Good-to-Be-True News: An Eater commenter (possibly a shill) offers this take on The Cleveland: "Exactly what the neighborhood needs — an unpretentious, cool and simply delicious restaurant. The branzino is uniquely paired with an incredible harissa sauce a dish i will definitely be going back for. Fries, kale, squash and beets are all amazing sides and everything is perfectly seasonal. I look forward to The Cleveland's take on spring. Definitely recommend this place." [Eater Comments]

The Foursquare News: David J.: "Chicken is succulent!" Liza J.: "Amazing, the cauliflower soup is perfection. Get the chicken it's delicious. Everything is great." Nina Y.: "Don't ask questions. Get the skirt steak." Vladimir G.: "New place by chef Ken Corrow. Good crowd, still a bit hectic and far from organized. Get the Pork Belly if they have it (special tonight). The Poached Cod had a nice spicy bite to it. 3.5 out of 5." [FourSqure]
· All Coverage of The Cleveland [~ENY~]

— Anne Goldberg and Marguerite Preston

The Cleveland

25 Cleveland Place, New York, NY 10012 (212) 274-0900 Visit Website

The Cleveland

25 Cleveland Pl., New York, NY

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