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“Disappointing dinner”

Lola Bistro & Wine Bar
Ranked #5 of 1,875 Restaurants in Cleveland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings, Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Prospect Avenue
Reviewed October 16, 2012

Lola has a great vibe, were expecting a great dinner to celebrate my birthday, especaily after the earliest reservation we could get on a Saturday was 10PM, but we left disappointed. The soup was so good! It was a special, cauliflower & almond with pancetta..delicious. Also ordered the lobster roll app, which was small and difficult to eat - nothing special. My bf had the venison and I ordered the squash agnolotti. Mine was barely edible! It was like eating a bowl of almond butter. I tried to eat most of it because I felt badly that we were spending money on a nice dinner but it wasn't good. The venison was much better & a good portion but nothing exceptional. After putting a lot of time into selecting a restaurant to try while in Cleveland, I am pretty disappointed. We expected more from Michael Symon, I suggest skipping this one!

2  Thank meghan_simmons1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 16, 2012

I love Michael Symon, I love the Chew, I love Iron Chef, but I did not love Lola's. I wanted to love it, I really did, but I was disappointed on so many levels.
We arrived in Cleveland on a Friday and our reservations were for Saturday evening. We walked by the restaurant Friday night and I knew what was waiting for me on Saturday, I knew it would be a hard sell, but I wanted to give it a try and my Mom was very excited to try it also, she watches the Chew every day.
The staff was welcoming, but not warm, the restaurant was dimly lit with candles and although people were talking quietly the acoustics in the room were such that you heard a lot of noise from the kitchen.
I ordered the hangar steak which comes with french fries, others in our party ordered pork chops, and rib eye steak. My steak was perfectly cooked and delicious, however I don't like skinny french fries and they were skinny. Others enjoyed their meals, but they came with a smear of cheesy polenta. That's it, if you want more food, you must add it ala carte.
I think I probably went to the wrong Michael Symon restaurant, maybe a person like me would have been happier at his burger place or Lolita's? But if you are like me and enjoy a meal that has salads and sides included in the price of the meal, a place with adequate lighting to be able to see around the inside of the restaurant and a warm homey environment than Lola's may not be the place for you, actually I don't think it reflects Michael Symon very much either. He appears to be a fun outgoing person with his infectious laugh and huge smile and Lola's was none of those things for me.

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1  Thank micheled58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

After reading so much about Michael Symon's restaurants - I had to experience Lola's. We mistakenly did not make a reservation - and an hour wait was longer than we wanted. So, although we did not have dinner there, we did go back for dessert - the French Toast with Vanilla Bacon Ice Cream. I guess MEAT is the way to go when you go to Cleveland. And, to be truthful, I only ordered this to taste - I ate it all. It's unusual, and delicious. Sitting at the bar, the staff was terrific. The restaurant is chic - with an open kitchen view for most of the tables. The view from the street is the bar area and the wines - the wine selection is plentiful. All in all - Lola lives up to it's reputation, and the street is delightful - so many choices.

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Thank aspir4more
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

We went to celebrate a friends 50th birthday and had a party of 9. It was our first experience at Lola. The atmosphere was excellent with a low light ambiance accented by a backlit bar surface and an interesting wine cellar behind the bar. We had appetizers, salad, entree's, and dessert. Service was appropriate and the timing was perfect. Within our group we had Ceviche, pig ear, tomato salad, hanger steak, short rib, sturgeon, pistachio ice cream sandwich, chocolate crispy, etc. The food was excellent. If any criticism would have been leveled, it was that perhaps the sturgeon was trending slightly to the bland side. We all left feeling like we had taken part in a 'food experience'. Would highly recommend.

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Thank tbt4jc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Most foodies know who Michael Symon is. He's that bald guy from the Food Network. Well, he got his start in, of all places...Cleveland. He's a meat-loving, simple-menu kind of guy.

We'd been to Roast, his signature Detroit restaurant (read my review of Roast, also) many times and loved the food and the service. So, on a recent weekend getaway to Cleveland to see Todd Rundgren at the famous Agora Theatre on the east side of Cleveland, we decided to try Lola in the converted, trendy pedestrian alley, called 4th Street.

Since our concert started at 8pm, we opted for an early 5:15pm reservation. This was partially due to the availability of reservations, too. We found out the place really fills up on a Saturday night after 7pm.

We were greeted cordially and seated in a table that was too near the kitchen, too much in the traffic pattern of servers and way too loud. When we requested a move, we were easily accommodated (why didn't they do that in the first place?). There was too long a wait at our first table before anyone came by to bring us water, bread or ask us if we wanted a cocktail (we did!).

When we were moved, our new server did a great job.

The food was wonderful! We had Pork Belly appetizer, what amounted to delicately sauteed pork fat that literally melted in our mouths. We next shared the Cauliflower soup and Heirloom Tomato salad, which didn't disappoint either. Our entre' was a shared Beef Short Ribs dish in a heavy sauce which, again, melted in our mouths. We had a nice bottle of Cabernet with the meal, had that cocktail I mentioned earlier and finished with espresso and cappuccino.

All-in-all a pretty good experience with the bill, including drinks and the $70 bottle of wine for two at just under $200, not including tip.

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1  Thank mconley2100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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