Thursday, January 14, 2010

Clyde's Bistro and Barroom, Cleveland Heights

It's a sure sign I've been spending too much time in my native California when I can look at my thermostat (to the right) and go "Oh, 39 degrees. It's warm enough for a walk!"

There are two diner cars on Lee, mere footsteps from my home, that were home to one failed diner-style restaurant after another, and have sat vacant more or less the entire time I've owned my home. Late last year, I heard that something new would be attempted... that something new would be Clyde's Bistro and Barroom, 1975 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-321-7100. I'm not exactly sure when they opened, but for the past few weeks I've been wanting to give them a try.

They do not (appear to) have a website, which instantly makes me somewhat suspicious, and them somewhat enigmatic: How does one figure out what their hours are? What's their menu? The first time I tried dropping in they appeared to be closed; then every subsequent time I've driven by the parking lot has been overflowing, which caused me to bail [for the record they do offer a complimentary valet, I just feel valeting my hunkajunk is a little too ostentatious].

Tonight, the mild temperature combined with my hunger and bachelor's refrigerator* I decided to walk over there -- probably about 7 minutes on the high side-- and it really wasn't too bad, though the sidewalks were a bit treacherous.

I was instantly greeted and seated; the atmosphere inside the cars belies the exterior. To be sure, if you were lead in blindfolded you would not think that you were inside two classic 1950s diners. The service was among the most courteous I can remember. While the furnishings are sturdy and the lighting is dim, the atmosphere is light, airy, and genuinely relaxed.

I am quite possibly the pickiest eater you will ever meet, though that has been softening recently. With that in mind nearly everything on the menu sounded fantastic, eventually narrowing the choice to between the 10oz Delmonico Steak and the 7oz Fliet Mignon.

I took the filet with a side, or rather two, of french fries. I'm honestly not sure which was better. The fries were among the best I've consumed, and the filet was phenomenal in every respect.

I do believe that at $19 the filet was the most expensive item on Clyde's menu which includes salads, a diverse set of entrees, and some sandwiches that don't break the $10 mark.

* - Complete inventory: Tons of bottled water, Mountain Dew, Coke, three sticks of butter, a lone slice of pizza well past its prime, some milk firmly in the "questionable" category. An empty freezer.


  1. Do you have any pictures available of the interior? We are wondering what modifications were done inside the cars. Thanks.
    -Diner News and History staff

  2. Sorry, no photos of the interior (yet)... on the "restaurant" side (right half) it's an open dianing area where I would expect to see the counter. Zebra striped carpet, dark wood. Some stainless steel exposed from the curve of the ceiling up.

  3. Lincoln, this is Clyde. Thanks for eloquent description and kind words. We are a family restaurant. My daughter Vivian is the GM, grandson Bryan is the front of house manager, grandaughter Lilly and husband Paul run the kitchen, granddaughter Sydney is Super busser and great grandson Days (he's 1) lifts our spirits with his daily visits. We have been involved in foodservice for many years.Please say hello on your next visit