Nexus Cafe & Coffeehouse // The name alone makes us think of lattes, mochas and macchiatos. But there's more than a cup of joe brewing at this Prospect Avenue space, which was most recently home to the Caddy Shack Lounge. The new downtown lunch spot is half caffeine-obsessed, half culinary-driven. A warm, inviting coffee nook is curled up on one side of the room, while an open kitchen with a walk-up counter creates a casual and fun, food-focused atmosphere. The menu of salads, wraps, sandwiches and flatbread pizzas comes from chef Mickey DeAngelo, who uses his fine dining experience at the former Saucy Bistro in Westlake and Vaccaro's Trattoria in Akron to create upscale yet affordable options. He puts an inventive spin on seafood with the Crabcake Salad ($8.50). One of six salads, a flaky crabcake sits atop baby greens, fennel, Granny Smith apples and cherry tomatoes, and is served with a tangy celery seed dressing. While there's the tongue-in-cheek Boring Flatbread Pizza ($6.75) of fresh tomato sauce, sharp provolone and asiago, opt for the more daring Coffee Smoked Beef Brisket Flatbread Pizza ($7.50). The bold combination of the sweet, charred tomato sauce and melted blue cheeese will make you glad you did.
12:00 AM EST
June 17, 2012