Monday, July 30, 2012


On Thursday, I was able to cross another restaurant off of my 2012 "To Dine" list. The lovely Crystal and I had our first dining excursion together at Bruno's Ristorante on West 41st Street. Once I realized how close to home this classic Italian spot was-- I was a little embarrassed that I hadn't made it there yet. Or even heard about it until you, loyal readers, selected my 2012 list for me. They take online reservations, which is always appreciated. Our table was waiting for us when we arrived, but it was a little hard to find. The poor restaurant had lost power, and we walked into a dark dining room. The staff did their best to open curtains and supply tables with candles, and assured us that the kitchen was still operational.

This didn't stall us, and we quickly made our menu choices. She had been craving their Ravioli with Meat or Cheese (or both! They mixed them for her) in red sauce for just $10.95. Crystal suggested getting something with their marinara sauce, and also noted that the seafood pasta was packed full of seafood. So, I went ahead and ordered the Bruno's Famous Linguini alla Pescatore ($22.95).
The picture doesn't do this dish justice. It was huge. I felt like I ate, and ate, and ate...and barely put a dent in it. It included clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp, and scallops. The pasta itself was served al dente, which was appreciated. After a couple of shakes of red pepper, I was good to go. The mussels were overcooked and dry, but the rest of the seafood was very good and there was plenty of it. I had at least half of it left over, and they happily packed it up for me. It made a great lunch the next day, and the pasta was more flavorful after soaking up some of the sauce overnight.

Both main courses included a standard dinner salad, and I liked their House Dressing of a balsamic Italian. The fun part? Each salad includes one single rotini noodle. I thought that a pasta salad noodle had gone rogue and made its way onto my plate, but no--this was intentional.

I thought that for the price, it was a lot of food and was good for straightforward classic Italian fare. I also ordered a Tiramisu to go, for "R". I stole two bites before he inhaled it, and it was delicious. The piece completely filled up the to-go container. They certainly aren't shy with their portions.

The lights eventually came back on (and the A/C, phew), and I saw that the restaurant and bar area is quite cozy and traditional. There aren't many tables, so I do suggest making a reservation. Parking is free in a small lot across the street, and check out their website for coupons before dining there. Our server was outstanding, and so pleasant and attentive even though she was working in the dark and heat. They really tried to make us feel at home there. Our ice water was never empty!

Will I be back? The answer is yes. For my Italian experiences in Cleveland, it made its way to spot #3. Above it? Gnocchi from Trattoria and Maxi's sauces (both in Little Italy).

Bruno's Ristorante
2644 West 41st Street
Cleveland, OH 44113


Holly said...

Very fun. I have started a list of restaurants to visit from reading food blogs like yours. Now I track them in an Excel sheet so I don't forget! :)

Katie O. said...

Sounds delicious!

I just got a very similar dish from Chez Francois in Vermillion and had the same reaction- everything was superb except for the mussels! Maybe it has something to do with the prep.

Can't wait to try Bruno's!

Bite Buff said...

Thanks for the comments, ladies!

I also love the idea of an Excel spreadsheet.

Crystal @EatDrinkClev said...

What a fun night it was! In spite of the heat and mood lighting, it was great! Thank you for not mentioning that I had NO leftovers. ha ha

Wearing Mascara said...

First date with Crystal? Kinda a big deal! ;-) Glad you guys had fun. It looks delicious and I'll have to try it! xo