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Trattner's Table for 2: Momocho in Ohio City

This west side staple is credited for bringing Modern Mexican cuisine to Cleveland.

CLEVELAND — Planning a night out on the town? Looking to impress a hot date or loved one? Tired of hitting the same-old restaurants?

In this new feature, 3News food expert Doug Trattner lends a hand as he highlights a great place to visit. From temples of fine dining to hole-in-the-wall casual joints, these places all have a few things in common: excellent food, good service, and local ownership.

So pull up a chair, order a beverage, and stay for the fun! Here's where Doug took our Mike Polk Jr. for the second installment.

LOCATION: Momocho

ADDRESS: 1835 Fulton Road, Cleveland

For his second location, Doug went to an old favorite in Ohio City: Momocho in Ohio City. Launched by chef and owner Eric Williams in 2006, this pioneering eatery introduced many local diners to the eclectic flavors and textures of "Mod-Mex" cuisine. The two-story restaurant is situated in a lovingly restored Colonial that features a main-floor bar and lounge and a more elegant but informal second-floor dining room with open kitchen.

Over the years, every conceivable surface, nook and cranny has been decorated with fun and funky Mexican-themed imagery, much of it with roots in Lucha Libre, the celebrated professional wrestling of that nation.

The menu is a delightful mix of tasty appetizers, small plates, tacos and chef-driven entrees, all packed with layers of complex flavor. To drink, there is a lengthy list of Mexican beers, margaritas and one of Cleveland’s largest selections of mezcal and tequila.

MENU STYLE: Modern Mexican

PRICE RANGE: $$$ (out of 5 $s)

Doug suggested he and Mike begin with a guacamole sampler for two reasons: One, the classic appetizer helped put Momocho on the map. Two, he heard Polk doesn't like guacamole.

From there, the two enjoyed build-your-own taquitos starring warm, plush corn tortillas that get rolled around melt-in-your-mouth braised beef. The main event consisted of Chilpachole, miso-glazed halibut paired with tamale dumplings and shrimp pozole. A side dish of carrot elote, a riff on the popular Mexican street corn, was also enjoyed. To drink, there were blood orange margaritas and palomas.

TOP THREE REASONS TO VISIT: Momocho manages to fire on all cylinders: exciting food and drink, compelling and unique atmosphere and top-notch service.

CHECK THEM OUT: momocho.com

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