Magazine article The New Yorker

The Cleveland

Magazine article The New Yorker

The Cleveland

Article excerpt

Though it is situated on a distinctly urban block, just up the street from Mexican Radio and across scrubby Petrosino Square from La Esquina, the Cleveland, unlike those other two Nolita eateries, offers an almost pastoral dining experience. The most obvious explanation is the lovely back garden, a serene space bordered by beds of lavender and leafy heucheras, shaded by striped umbrellas and brightened at night by strings of amber lights. Its quirky aesthetic touches are more English country cottage than slick downtown boite: whitewashed brick walls, a bar made from rustic pine and zinc, a macchiato that arrived on a saucer with a ceramic green frog rising up off its lip. But what really brings the flavor of flora to the Cleveland is the cuisine: on a menu that shifts with the seasons, vegetables are the stars of the show.

A bulgur salad with eggplant, water spinach, and red peppers looked like a delicious box of crayons. Kale with apples and bacon was such a treat it was hard to remember that it was (mostly) healthy. A dish of lentils with duck confit was good, but what really elevated the dish were the slices of caramelized onion that came with it. …

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