Whiskey bar

Char Whiskey Bar & Grille offers monstrous upscale tavern fare

This Rocky River restaurant has a 22-seat bar and over 130 different types of whiskey.

The very name of this Restaurant evokes the slightest hint of smoke. Indeed, stepping into this downtown Rocky River restaurant is like stepping into a mountainside retreat, where exposed brick walls and varnished, reclaimed wood tables coexist in a quaint, relaxed setting. Julie Mesenburg and Gabriel Zeller, owners of Barra in Sandusky and Amherst, opened this location in November 2019 inside the former Sweet Melissa space.

With a 22-seat hardwood bar offering over 130 different types of whiskey and a menu largely focused on soups, salads, gourmet sandwiches and decadent burgers, this place feels like a step up from the barbecue of good old dad. Start with the pistachio-crusted goat cheese appetizer ($13) with naan, honey and seasonal jams or try the jumbo lump crab cakes ($15), pan-fried and served with lemon aioli. But save room for the house-smoked short ribs, which steal the show in many dishes.

You’ll find it sandwiched between ciabatta bread ($11) with red slaw and sweet and tangy bourbon glaze, and in one of three types of mac and cheese ($13). This same short rib is even featured on the Char Burger ($15), stacked on a pretzel roll with a thick patty, melted Char cheese and crispy onion straws. However you slice it, the thick, charred meat beats any version of backyard barbecue.

When you go: char 19337 Detroit Road, Rocky River, 216-712-4591, char-rockyriver.com


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