If you frequent downtown, you may be familiar with the infamous 627 Prospect Avenue address (right next to The Residences of 668 and Titan’s Gym), and the two businesses that have floundered over the span of just three or so years. First, it was Caddyshack, a golf-themed sports bar. Then, after some major remodeling, the location turned into Nexus Cafe, a coffee shop that didn’t make it past the six month mark.Â Being familiar with the area, I questioned the ability of the newly opened soul food restaurant Stonetown to survive. But after dining there this past weekend, I’m confident that they aren’t going down without a fight.
Service and Atmosphere
Walking in, I couldn’t help but to be charmed by Stonetown’s rustic and cozy interiorâ€”a warm fireplace and subtle decorations gave it a nice, homey feel. Perhaps I was most impressed by the seating versatility: a casual corner by the toasty fireplace perfect for relaxing and sipping a cocktail; a seat at the large bar great for grabbing some appetizers and watching a game; or a table in the more formal dining section to enjoy some of the tasty southern fare.
We snagged a seat at the bar, initially planning to just have a drink or two. The bartender was friendly and conversational, and attentive throughout our visit. He passed us a couple of menus to take a look at, and the tasty sounding options eventually prompted us to sample some soul food.
With no beer on draft and just a limited selection of domestic bottles, I was a little disappointed in this department. I opted for one of the two Great Lakes bottles on hand, a Dortmunder, which ran me $5.
There was ample wine and liquor to go around though, so I’m certain a non-beer snob would be perfectly satisfied.
If you’re like me and think $5 is a little steep for a bottle of beer, check out happy hour at Stonetown Monday through Friday 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. The bartender informed us that you receive $2 off all drinks, making the poor beer selection slightly more tolerable.
There were a lot of menu options that sounded interesting, but I eventually decided on the lobster quesadilla ($10.95), a combination of delicious lobster pieces, creamy chĂ¨vre (goat cheese, I later learned), sweet caramelized onions, artichoke, and kalamata olives. This dish was nearly perfect, all of the elements complimented one another nicely, save the confusing use of the kalamata olives. Nix those olives, and the lobster quesadilla would have been a perfect ten in my book!
We also sampled the mini gator burgers ($10.95) and two side orders of cornbread ($1.50 each). Never seeing fresh Florida gator as a menu option in Cleveland Â before, and never having personally tried it, I don’t think it’s fair to assess whether these burgers were good or bad. Instead, I encourage you to give them a chance, especially if you’re already a fan of gator. The cornbread, on the other hand, was great, and quite possibly my favorite part of the entire meal. It was jalapeĂ±o cornbread, so it had a great bite to it and it was super moist and tasty.
Other soul-inspired entrees include the buttermilk fried yard bird and red velvet waffle ($12.95), fried catfish and gritz ($13.95), and center cut pork chops ($13.95). Don’t forget to try some side dishes, too: mac and cheese, collard greens, fried cabbage, and coleslaw are just some of your many options.
Stonetown also features a Saturday and Sunday brunch, as well as a limited lunch menu Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Stonetown is a welcomed replacement to the previous businesses occupying this notorious downtown location. I’ll personally be going back, and I’ll be encouraging others to check it out, too. If you’re downtown and looking for something different, this soul food may be just what you need to hit the spot.
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