The inspiration: Flour is a neighborhood place with a Michelin heart. "I love using modern techniques — liquid nitrogen and some of the chemicals. But I also have a love for simple, classic food," says chef Matt Mytro. In his first course, the flavors of fava bean and red onion come together in a complex soup topped with a crispy tuille, caviar and lemon foam.
The vibe: Come with five friends or make new ones at this intimate tasting that explores regions of Italy.
The investment: The $125, nine- to 12-course menu takes about 2 1/2 hours. 34205 Chagrin Blvd., Moreland Hills, 216-464-3700, flourrestaurant.com
The inspiration: As illustrated by his simple menu descriptions, chef Jordan Hill starts with one flavor and builds the meal around it. "I try to focus on a specific ingredient and not overdo it," he says. He often favors seasonal gems such as morel mushrooms or radishes over showy proteins, flip-flopping the traditional dish structure by making meat the accompaniment.
The vibe: Pull up a chair around the farmhouse table at this industrial-chic pop-up event held monthly in the Hildebrandt Building.
The investment: A six-course dinner will run you just $50 and at least an hour and a half. Oh, and BYOB. 3619 Walton Ave., Cleveland, 330-398-5645, prixfixecle.com
The inspiration: Trentina is where the chefs come out to play. "It's nice to be able to come in and look at what we have and say, 'I really think these would go well together at this point in the tasting menu,' " says head chef Brett Sawyer. Dishes starring locally foraged ingredients such as wild grape flowers change constantly.
The vibe: Located in a former carriage house, Trentina's tiny digs add up to big impact, with stellar service, ultraposh decor and a genuinely unhurried experience.
The investment: Trentina's 12-course Menu Bianco will run you $115 and can take up to three hours. 1903 Ford Drive, Cleveland, 216-421-2900, restauranttrentina.com