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My sister and I, and our respective SO’s, have been sporadically eating our way through a few of Cleveland’s hot spots in the last year… we both live crazy lives with busy careers and a multitude of family commitments, so making time for each other has become something that needs to be scheduled and planned ahead for.  Happily, we both found guys that really get along with one another, sometimes better than she and I do, I think.  Sisters, you know? Anyway, I was tasked with selecting the location for this Tuesday night’s dinner.  As its a weeknight, we agreed we wanted someplace simple and nearby, as well as relatively inexpensive.

We ended up settling on Oggi Ristorante, an Italian eatery located about five minutes from my apartrment.  I’ve heard amazing things about the place, but haven’t managed to make it over there yet, even after having lived here for almost three years now.  In the course of Googling their menu and then reading about chef/owner Carmela del Busso I stumbled onto an article that ran in the Cleveland Scene (a local broadsheet) last February. Entitled “To Die For: The 25 Restaurants Cleveland Can’t Live Without,”  I was intrigued and had to stop and skim through it. Unlike most other lists, this one isn’t about the hottest spots, or the up-and-comers, but about the foundational locations that make Cleveland’s food scene what it is.  (And if you’re rolling your eyes at the idea of Cleveland having a food scene right now, well, we have our own Iron Chef, do you?)

Inspired by this article, I’m going to challenge myself to visit each of these restaurants. It sounds like a fun challenge, and if nothing else I should be guaranteed some great meals.  I’ll try and post some pics from each as I visit them. Buon appetito!

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