OK, so over the years I've been a little obnoxious about Ohio. Mostly because it refuses to let me have my luggage and makes my family throw up, but also because it's freezing whenever I visit it. And flat. (And yes, it also has amazing antiquing and Quaker Steak 'n' Lube and all sorts of other things I love, but whatever: 10-hour journeys with children make me grumpy and trips to Ohio always involve 10-hour journeys with children, so I'm grumpy. Sue me.)
One unexpected byproduct of these trips: I've discovered that the rural and suburban areas around Cleveland have some seriously good food. (I discovered this because my father-in-law is deeply invested in the quest to cement his status as Awesomest Father-In-Law Ever Who Feeds His Daughter-In-Law Awesome Food.) Sure, I've had terrible, horrible garlic-pickled eggs and bologna-slab sandwiches at (the otherwise very cool) Lehman's Hardware Store, but I've also eaten artisanal pizza at Gervasi Vineyard, phenomenal seafood at the Main Street Grille in downtown North Canton, and perfect aged Swiss at Guggisberg Cheese. So I think it's safe to say that I'm respectably well-versed in how truly excellent the food around here can be.
I've also been lucky enough to have the chance to eat at some of the very best restaurants on the planet. Nobu; Blue Ribbon; Daniel; Blue Hill Farm. I may not really know what I'm talking about when it comes to *why* a restaurant is remarkable - I vastly prefer Burger King Whopper Juniors to Minetta Tavern's Black Label Burger, so it's safe my palate couldn't be called the "refined" sort - but what I can say is whether a restaurant's food is delicious. To me.