The show must go on. When the curtain closed on Cleveland’s oldest restaurant, Otto Moser’s, in September 2018, it left a sandwich-sized hole in Playhouse Square’s dining scene. But Driftwood Group owners Scott Kuhn and Chris Hodgson took over and renovated the space as an upscale theater-esque pub with black leather-backed booths. Executive chef Josh Hagg created a menu centered around American fare that’s both hardy and full of spotlight-worthy flavor before opening its doors in February. For the first act, try the poutine ($12.99), a mouthwatering shareable masterpiece featuring waffle fries smothered in black pepper gravy, scallions, thick bacon chunks and white cheddar curds. When it comes to entrees, the chicken fried chicken ($19.99) deserves a standing ovation with a buttermilk-battered thigh fried crisp after a 2-hour dill pickle brine. Nestled on a cloud of whipped potato and drenched in black pepper gravy alongside hickory-sweet bourbon-bacon green beans, it serves as a reminder that this new spot isn’t a simple dress rehearsal, but a new classic.
When You Go:
Republic Food & Drink,1425 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, 216-400-7133