Ken Stewart’s Lodge | 1911 N Cleveland Massillon Rd | Bath, OH
Friends, do you remember when Shaq played for the Cavs? It was in 2009-10, during LeBron’s disastrous last season in Cleveland (the first time around). Side note: Isn’t it easier to look back on that knowing we—yes, I said we—ended up winning a championship? Anyways, when Shaq was here, he rented a mansion in Richfield. Rumor has it that he was a regular at Ken Stewart’s Lodge. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to check the place out. Accompanied by my wife Tiffany, I finally did so last month.
How can I describe the restaurant? It has a woodsy, cabin-type feel to it. OpenTable has an apt description: Employing an Adirondack-style atmosphere, [The Lodge] “features stone fireplaces and moose antler chandeliers [while] offering alfresco dining.”
The restaurant is known for its wines, steaks and seafood, with notable menu items like filet mignon, New York strip steaks, halibut, lobster tail and bronzini.
So, what took me so long to visit? Well, I had sticker shock. Most dishes cost between $30 and $50 and the restaurant is à la carte. Nothing wrong with that … after all, the Lodge has a great reputation—just a little rich for my blood.
If only there were a magical way to do five-star dining on a dime. Ah, but there is. The solution—as you know from reading this blog—is happy hour!
The Lodge’s happy hour menu is wide-ranging—13 items total—and reflected in the prices. The bites and appetizers are on the cheaper side while entrée-sized dishes are more expensive. Items like sauerkraut balls, sliders, calamari and tuna chips can be had for $10 or less, whereas options such as smoked salmon, twin 3-ounce filets, French dip, escargot and a lobster roll range from $15 to $23. Smoked salmon and lobster sliders fall in between.
There are drink specials, too: select beers are $4; house wine is $6; champagne runs $8; martinis cost $8.50; and Final Word wine is priced at $10.
Tiffany and I ordered sauerkraut balls, calamari and lobster sliders. Overall, everything was fine. The sauerkraut balls were the best of the bunch. Crispy on the outside and flavorful on the inside, they were simple but effective. While the calamari were sizeable, I thought the breading was a bit bland and undercooked. Similar story with the lobster sliders—no complaints about the portions, but we both felt underwhelmed … they kind of had an artificial/canned taste, if that makes sense. Then again, it was January in Cleveland, so perhaps I should have tempered my expectations for fresh seafood.
As for the atmosphere, I’m torn. I enjoyed the cozy, intimate nature of the lounge. I’d describe it as rustic class. Side note #2: Is ‘rustic class’ a phrase? If not, I’m coining it. However, I despise seeing animal heads on walls—and there’s plenty of that at The Lodge. It’s just a personal preference. I could have left if I had chosen and in no way am I judging—nor would I ever—anyone who visits the restaurant.
One thing I’m not torn about—the service. Thumbs up all around. From the hostess to the manager to our server, everyone was professional and welcoming.
Happy hour at the Lodge—available in the lounge only—is Sunday – Thursday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Friday from 3 to 6:00 p.m. Props to the restaurant for having happy hour on Sunday and extending it to 8 p.m.
Rating Scale & Verdict
🍷🍷=Average 🍷🍷🍷=Good 🍷🍷🍷🍷=Excellent
🍷🍷1/2 While not my favorite, the Lodge’s happy hour is still a great way to check out a high-end restaurant. Truth be told, I prefer its sister restaurant, Tre Belle, which sits next door. Tre Belle’s happy hour is Monday – Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m. and, in my humble opinion, offers a better atmosphere and food. Try them both out and let me know what you think. Cheers!
Coming tomorrow: It’s shaping up to be a busy weekend in Greater Cleveland. We’ll preview some food and drink events happening in the area.
Coming Friday: Who’s in the mood for sushi and Japanese? We’ll visit Sakura in Fairlawn.