The Classic: Don’s Pomeroy House
No. of seats: 140-150
The Vibe: Nestled under a canopy of mature trees, this outdoor space offers you a peaceful and private escape among the bustle of downtown Strongsville. “It always has a nice breeze even when it’s warm outside,” says business manager Laura Moyer.
What To Try: The special pub and patio menu offers lighter and more casual fare. The fish tacos ($15) feature deep-fried South Pacific whitefish, cheddar, napa cabbage and salsa on flour tortillas.
Why We Love It: While we’re fans of the fancy dining that happens inside the 18th-century mansion during the colder months, sneaking out back for an easygoing meal with our closest friends is like throwing an elaborate garden party without all the work. 13664 Pearl Road, Strongsville, 440-572-1111, donspomeroy.com
The Newbie: Luca West
No. of seats: 150
The Vibe: Since opening their second restaurant in November, owners Luca and Lola Sema have worked to make the Westlake spot — especially the new brick and terra cotta patio — feel like an Italian vacation. “It’s rustic, it’s very European, very Italian,” says Lola. “It feels like you’re somewhere else, not Westlake.”
What To Try: For those summer evenings spent outside, opt for lighter seafood dishes such as the sauteed scallops ($28) with saffron cream and squid ink linguini. Pair it with half-priced wine during the weekday happy hour from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Why We Love It: Lola’s little design touches such as terra cotta sculptures imported from Italy help elevate the space — and we’re all on board for her plans to plant roses throughout. 24600 Detroit Road, Westlake, 216-201-9600, lucawest.com
The Update: Tremont Tap House
No. of seats: 85
The Vibe: A popular hot-weather hangout for Tremont residents, the cozy patio already featured a walk-up bar. But the addition of risers makes it a prime spot to watch Indians games broadcasted on a projection screen. “I thought it’d be fun to add additional seating on the patio, because we always run out of room for sporting events,” says manager Chris Lieb.
What To Try: Choose from more than 100 beers and nosh on short rib poutine fries ($9) layered with braising gravy, cheddar cheese curds and fresh thyme.
Why We Love It: Lieb has found ways to activate the space even when there’s not a Tribe game. You’ll find us catching movies on Monday nights or hanging with our furry friends during Tuesday’s Yappy Hour. 2572 Scranton Road, Cleveland,