It has been a while since we wrote our “full” review of Fire. We have dined there a number of times since, but simply sent out a “Tweet” at JeffMicheleEat. In that first post, we indicated how much we like Fire and have, almost from the first visit. We are happy to report that, nothing much has changed. Fire is still great and still delivers some of the best food in Cleveland.
There are a couple of reasons why.
- Up to about a year ago, owner/chef Douglas Katz was ever-present. Regardless of when we stopped in to eat, he was in the open-view kitchen, or somewhere thereabout. During our last few visits, he has been absent, but after a number of years in business, he must have finally found someone that he trusts to do what he must to maintain the quality.
- The wait staff is remarkably consistent. Some of the skilled servers have been there as far back as we can remember. Even some of the bus help is recognizable. You are in good, professional hands when you sit down to eat. Relax, they know what you need and they know when you need it. They are that good.
- The interior is a wonderful communal room. Everything is open; you can see from the window to the kitchen. Inevitably, people see people they know. It is common to find the hostess waiting patiently as the arriving couple chats with the already seated foursome. This familiar comfort makes it a place that beckons you to return.
- While we are not patio people, this has to be one of the great Cleveland al fresco dining areas (perhaps only rivaled by Sarava, in the next quadrant of the square!) The sidewalks are wide, the people watching is excellent and of course, you KNOW the food will be good.
- Finally, the food. Normally, in these posts we detail the meal we experienced, but to do that with ALL of the food we have consumed here might overwhelm the blog server. Let’s simply discuss one constant. The duck confit. While we are not Fire historians, we can remember the duck being on the menu for a LONG time. While scores of restaurants have made the duck breast ubiquitous. Fire has decided to specialize in the lowly duck leg and has made it a signature. The skin is perfectly crunchy and crisp, the meat succulent, flavorful and nearly gravitating off the bone. If they can make this pedestrian piece of fowl taste so heavenly, imagine what they can do to everything else – or better yet, try everything else, as we have done again and again.
There are a lot of restaurant choices in Cleveland and as this blog promotes, many are VERY good. Like a select few, Fire has remained consistent while always catering to the needs of the patron. You simply cannot ask for more than that!
http://firefoodanddrink.com/13220 Shaker Square Cleveland, OH 44120 216-921-3473