Since 2001, Avon’s iconic Alten House has been the home of Nemo Grille’s globally influenced American cuisine.
“It’s steaks, fresh seafood and pasta,” owner Bob Nemo says. “We dabble in Asian cuisine, Italian cuisine and pretty much everything else.” Special events include wine dinners.
The patio, which Nemo added in 2021, has become a popular gathering place replete with plants and flowers tended by Pinehaven Garden Center & Greenhouses. Strands of soft lights provide a welcoming glow.
“Everybody loves eating outside, and there’s such a small window to do that in Ohio,” Nemo says. “I’d been thinking about building a patio for 10 years, and finally I knew it was time.”
“We encourage our guests to select anything that catches their eye. But first-timers should try the Chilean Sea Bass with truffle cream sauce, gnocci, artichokes, leeks, spinach and roasted tomatoes or the Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast with caramelized onion mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and black mission fig-marsala sauce.”
Parker’s Grille & Tavern
When James Mowbray and his wife Victoria Mowbray opened Parker’s Grille & Tavern in Avon Lake in 2013, they “wanted to become the ‘Cheers’ bar of Avon Lake,” James says.
The American bistro-style eatery features favorites for every palate, ranging from specialty burgers to hand-cut steaks, flatbreads and fresh salads crafted by co-owner and executive chef Paul Kalberer.
“We look pretty unassuming from the outside,” Mowbray says. “But inside, its modern American with dark wood, tall ceilings and a beautiful wine cabinet filled with a
lot of great varieties.”
The vibe is enhanced by a variety of specials, including Happy Hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, Wednesday evening performances by solo-acoustic singer-songwriter Chad Hoffman and Sunday Wine Nights.
At this time of year, the patio surrounds diners with the intimate seclusion dogwoods, arborvitae and pots of summer blooms provide. On chilly evenings, guests are invited to settle into soft seating around the firepit.
“It’s very colorful, very pretty and very nice,” Mowbray says.
The BBQ Ribs. “Paul and I have been making them together for 25 years,” Mowbray says. “Paul slow cooks them in a convection oven, makes the best barbecue sauce out there, and away we go!”
The Boiler Room
The Boiler Room, located in The Shipyards along the Black River, is an ode to the years when the city’s dry docks were considered the largest on the Great Lakes.
“We’re in the last remaining building of the American Shipbuilding Company, so we’ve stayed true to the nautical theme,” says Kim Lucas, a partner in The Shipyards complex. “The walls are decorated with shiplap, anchors and ship’s wheels, and we’ve preserved much of original beams and bricks.”
With its eclectic menu, The Boiler Room, which opened in 2020, features tried-and-true favorites including artisan flatbread concoctions, sandwiches, salads, ribs, steaks — and a kids’ menu.
The maritime ambiance continues at the Shipwreck Bar on the canine-friendly outdoor patio, where libations — including Summer Delight, a pink lemonade vodka with fresh fruit, and Mermaid’s Tail Shooters, fruity rum-based shots — can be enjoyed amid spectacular views of the sunset and the iconic Charles Berry Bascule Bridge. Patrons are invited to anchor their boats for free on a first-come-first-served basis at one of the restaurant’s four docks.
“Because the patio overlooks the Spitzer Marina and the HarborWalk community, we’re often mistaken for being a private club,” Lucas says. “It’s become a great backdrop for wedding photos.”
The Lake Erie Monster Filet, a hoagie-sized walleye sandwich filled with lettuce, tomatoes, slaw and tartar sauce. “Our guests love the portion size,” Lucas says.