Last week I grabbed a quick one – hour lunch with two of my friends Shardy and Gabe. We had previously planned for the week prior, but I had a last minute meeting and had to back out. Prior to cancelling I suggested we meet at one of my old favorite places downtown, which had just reopened in a new location. My friends had never been so they agreed to try it out.
This restaurant was previously located in the alley of East 6th. I had gone a few times many years ago, and then once I started working in downtown in 2014 I would visit more frequently. It was literally a 3 minute walk from my office. So when I had time I would go sit there and sometimes I would just call ahead, pick it up and eat at my desk. My husband became hooked as well and we would go on lunch dates when he came downtown. Last year, when they decided to close for renovations I was truly sad. The blackened salmon was my go to meal, when I couldn’t decide on what to eat for lunch. I patiently watched as the signs went up that they would reopen Spring of 2017.
Spring 2017 came around and I didn’t notice any activity. It wasn’t until a trip to FedEx Kinkos on East 9th, that I realized it had reopened in a new space. I’ll be honest, the place is not in a highly visible location. If you’re on East 9th you won’t see the door as it sits black from the street, but there was a chalkboard sign outside which would help a newcomer. The space wasn’t really new to me though. It was previously a placed called Cest Lie Vie and I knew the owner. It was a restaurant during the day, and then turned into a club on the weekends. I had also been to a few private events there and held my baby shower there in 2015. It was a cool space, and upon arriving very little had changed with the design and layout. I only wondered if the gold booths were still there and yes they were!
I will note they added a few high top tables a little past the bar when you first enter. There were also two tv’s which I don’t believe I had seen in the past but, I could be wrong. We arrived for lunch at 11:45 which was extremely early for me but I guess normal considering 12 noon is lunch time. There were people eating but the restaurant was not full. We chose a table in the back, which was elevated and in the corner. I knew immediately what I was ordering and funny enough, my friends ordered the same. My favorite meal was the blackened salmon served over angel hair pasta with feta, balsamic reduction, tomatoes, olive oil and garlic wine sauce. I was like really guys, try something different, but since I raved that this was my favorite dish, they wanted to give it a try. Shardy did order calamari which I had never ordered from here and it was pretty good. All entrees come with a side salad, so I also had a Caesar salad.
The service was the same as I remembered, very timely. My food was great as I remembered, but I would have asked them for less oil next time. We were in and out within an hour. By the time we were leaving the restaurant was literally packed to capacity, so I guess going a little earlier we missed the rush.
All in all, it’s a great family restaurant. Great Italian food at a very reasonable cost. Next time I’m going to try the Chicken Parmesan for sure but this is a place I will always go back. Unfortunately, they are only open during the weekdays 11am to 10pm Monday through Friday and they are closed Saturday and Sunday. Bummer I know, but if you want to try something new I encourage you to visit Porcelli’s Italian Bistro and tell them you read about them on #CourtneyCoversCleveland