Tag Archive | Coventry

Insider’s Perspective: Ryan Kenneth “Mickey” McLean

EDITOR’S NOTE: We talked to a few notable Clevelanders and asked them what they liked about Northeast Ohio. Here’s Ryan Kenneth “Mickey” McLean, popular chef at Ohio City’s Flying Fig and Cosmo’s Sexiest Bachelor.

I think you were born in Rochester. So when did you move to Cleveland?

I came here in 1999. It’s crazy, because I was actually just traveling through. I was done with a job in Nashville and was moving back to Rochester. Since I went to a Jesuit school in New York and I knew a couple of guys at John Carroll, I called them and asked them if I could crash. I hung out all weekend, met a few people and next thing I knew I was here for four or five weeks. I picked up the applications for John Carroll and within two months came back for school.

And what part of town do you live in now?

Now, I arguably live closer to John Carroll than some of the buildings on campus. I am in University Heights and I can see the bell tower from here.

What’s the best thing about your neighborhood?

It’s unique because you have this dichotomy of young college students and young families and there are a number of elementary schools. You also have Orthodox Jews because of the temples and the ability to work there. It’s a unique situation especially as you get closer to campus. One house is for college kids, the next is for rabbis and the next is for college kids. Saturdays are crazy around here between all the kids walking home and the people going off to temple.

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Shatterproof Summer Dates: Five Romantic Dinners and Destinations Not Even You Can Screw Up

THE MEAL: You wine and dine at home this date, but feel free to plan your dinner magic with a little brainstorming visit to the Great Lakes Brewing Company(216.771.4404) or the Market Avenue Wine Bar (216.696.9463), both in short walking distances. Relax on a rustic outdoor patio, sip locally-brewed beverages and figure out hors d’oeurvres, the main course and little late night dessert.

THE COST: Research some recipes that sound fancy, but are fairly easy to make (like soy-glazed salmon, pan-seared filet mignon, or lemon-garlic chicken). Visit Pinzone Meats (Stands B-4 and B-5) and grab two fresh sirloin tips for $5 a pound (about $15 per steak), which are great and cheap for grilling. Or visit Kate’s Fish (Stand F-12 and F-13) and pick up two Atlantic salmon filets for $8.99 per pound, for a healthy, late night affair. Throw in some veggies ($10) and a few Great Lakes beers ($15) and you’ve got a pretty cheap date. 

THE KNOWLEDGE: Adventurous food choices will show an open mind willing to try new things. In contrast, hunting for the perfect hamburgers between complaints about the cleanliness of the fruit will unleash the miscreant date monster beneath. Pay close attention to their urban diplomacy skills. The ability to wrangle with artful street vendors (while being funny, smart, and getting a good price) will only add bonus points to the long-term relationship formula.   

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Rediscovering Cleveland with Friends (08.07.08)

Public Square Downtown

Public Square Downtown

This past week I had some Italian friends in town, so of course I put my money where my mouth is and tried to show them that Cleveland is full of interesting things to do. We were disappointed, but not for lack of activities—with all there was to see and do, we actually ran out of time. We spent three days out sightseeing, shopping and museum-hopping and didn’t even fit in one-third of all the things I would have liked us to have done.

On Wednesday we went to University Circle to visit the newly-reopened art museum, then dashed over to the botanical garden for a delightful trip through Madagascar, Costa Rica and the outdoor gardens. (By the by, if you museum hop in University Circle, present your admission ticket from one museum at another and get a $2 discount!) We finished up that day with a stop inside the Frank Gehry-designed Peter B. Lewis building, and then recuperated with mochas at Arabica, a local coffee shop. 

Thursday was our shopping day, starting off at funky Coventry in Cleveland Heights. City Buddha, Record Revolution and Big Fun did not disappoint. Next we went for a melt-in-your-mouth lunch at the Melting Pot and took in the sights and stores of Legacy Village in Lyndhurst. By the time we finished with all those stores we barely had time to tour the shops down the street in La Place across from Beachwood Place and take a peek at the incredible delicacies at the White Flower Cake Shoppe. That evening I was proud to take my friends to Nighttown, a neighborhood joint with an Irish soul and world-class jazz. We indulged in flourless chocolate cake and watched the jazz trio work the crowd like the pros they were.

Friday was the big downtown day. We headed to Tower City on the rapid with plans to do a quick tour of the building and the downtown area, then head over to the Great Lakes Science Center for an afternoon of interactive exhibits. We never made it inside the museum—Cleveland itself proved too distracting. First, there were all the cute shops in Tower City. Chic et Mode enticed me to buy a watch, the Hard Rock Café enticed my friends to see Jimi Hendrix’s purple velvet pants, and the guitars placed all around the mall beckoned us to come and take a picture with them. We then headed out to Public Square where we admired the architecture of the Old Stone Church, and reveled in the cool marble hallways of the Cleveland Public Library. As we meandered over towards North Coast Harbor, one friend said to me, “Cleveland is so big!” I informed her that Cleveland is actually about half the size of her home city. She was incredulous and concluded that everything here just felt big.

Great Lakes Science Center on a sunny day.

Great Lakes Science Center on a sunny day.

We got our first good view of the lake walking down West 3rd Street, heading towards Browns Stadium. Although it’s not an afternoon in Cleveland without running into diehard fans of the Indians, the Cavs or the Browns, we didn’t know the Browns were holding an open practice that afternoon. When we reached the stadium there were throngs of people decked out in brown and orange, along with food, games and live entertainment. From the edge of Browns Stadium, the view of the science center was gorgeous, the glowing white of museum and wind turbine silhouetted against the blue sky and blue lake. I was thrilled that my friends would have this picture of Cleveland in their mind. I also thought it was a shame that my Cleveland friends don’t have the same picture. Hopefully, with my newfound appreciation of all there is to do and see here (plus 475 Cleveland photos courtesy of my friends), I can help change that. –LB


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