87 West is a great place to 'wine' about

At the end of the grassy expanse, in the heart of Crocker Park, lies a modern lodge-style restaurant with a cozy two-sided fireplace. 

As you walk up, the floor-to-ceiling windows provide a view of the modern interior, and allow patrons inside to gaze at the hustle and bustle of Westlake’s shopping mecca. During the warmer weather those same windows are opened to enjoy the fresh air. 

There are many different seating choices. From a handful of comfortable booths, tables and chairs to loveseats and armchairs, no matter where you sit you’ll feel right at home.

Glance above the bar and kitchen and you’ll see a collection of classic international icons. Have some fun with friends and challenge each other’s knowledge. 

Starting with a glass of wine is a challenge in itself.  87 West rolls out one of the most diverse wine lists in Northeast Ohio.  From California to Australia, France to Oregon and Italy to Chile you’re sure to find something to your liking.

On to the food.

What’s a glass of wine without some cheese? The Artisan Cheese Plate ($15) boasts a nice selection of cheeses accompanied by stone fruit preserves, spiced mixed nuts, dried apricots and assorted crackers.  There is no better way to enjoy a glass of vino.

How does Maine Lobster Nachos ($15.50) sound? Crispy chips topped with fresh avocado mash, lemon zest aioli and lobster cream, it’s just as heavenly as it sounds.

Let’s stay with a little more seafood. Vietnamese Battered Calamari ($9.50) is wonderfully crispy and the vinegar and Fresno chile dip gives it a really nice kick.

Moving on to a little za with the Chorizo Sausage and Roasted Red Pepper Flat Bread ($11): The fine blend of smoked Gouda, avocado crème fraiche and sriracha aioli is something a little different.

Tempt your sweet tooth with the 87 West Chocolate Fondue ($15). Fresh berries, pretzels, dried apricots and marshmallow grahams let you dip to your heart’s content.

Promotions are numerous and span the entire year. From foodie fests to wine tastings there is always something bringing you back.

The menu offers wine pairings for every single food item. So if you’re not sure what to order let the menu help you along.

Service is cheerful, friendly and knowledgeable.

Crocker Park offers a multitude of dining choices and 87 West shows why they’re in the hub of this Westlake entertainment destination.

Rating: four stars out of four.

87 West at Crocker Park; 287 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake; 440-250-2334; http://87west2.com

Steve Novak

Steve Novak is a Westlake resident and 30-year veteran in the restaurant industry, working at all levels from dishwasher to manager to chef/owner. The Observer makes two anonymous visits per restaurant and does not accept complimentary meals.

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Volume 4, Issue 7, Posted 11:18 AM, 04.03.2012