Summaries of recently reviewed area restaurants, in the order in which they were reviewed, with the most recent at the top. To see previous Bill of Fare reviews on the Web, go to toledoblade.com and type "Bill of Fare" into the search box and click enter.
●Irish Eyes Heavenly Pub, 3324 Secor Rd., is a large, open bar with homemade food that’s mostly off the fried/grilled grid, save for burgers and sandwiches. Lamb stew, fish and chips, and sheppards pie are stand outs as are chocolate potato cake and Irish bread-and-butter pudding. Lunch/dinner menu is the same and all meals are $9 or less. $$ 3 stars.
● Toledo Museum Cafe, 2445 Monroe St. Tucked in the museum just inside the Grove Place entrance, the museum's cafe features creative pairings that reward diners who have a sense of adventure. The menu is fairly limited — which befits a place that generally specializes in lunch — but there are a few masterpieces. The salmon BLT is fantastic and the market salad is an addictive combination of flavors and textures. Plus, you get to visit a great museum on your lunch break. $$ 3 stars.
● Degage Express, 301 River Rd., Maumee. The lunch version of Degage Jazz Cafe features an expansive menu, laid-back ambiance and intriguing choices. The offerings are heavy on soups and salads, but the servings are large and the restaurant's emphasis on fresh ingredients is evident. We loved the homemade kettle chips, Degage's superb take on chicken salad, and its winning approach to a basic pulled pork sandwich. $$$ 3 stars.
● 5th Street Pub, 105 W. Fifth St., Perrysburg, cites that it is Ohio’s only certified Neapolitan pizzeria and that is good news for northwest Ohio residents. The pub, located near the city’s historic downtown, houses a handmade brick oven imported from Italy, and it is used to make some of the freshest pizzas around. Priced from $9 to $16, the pizzas are sure to attract gourmet food lovers as well as pizza enthusiasts. $$ 5 stars.
● Forrester’s on the River, at The Docks (26 Main St. in the former Navy Bistro), open since late 2012, has a long patio with superb river views of downtown and the setting sun. A sandwich menu for lunch ($5 to $12) covers the basics. Dinner emphasizes steaks ($23 to $33 - the rib-eye oozed with flavor), and six other entrees are $9 to $15. There are a few delights on the menu, including some vegetarian fare. Things weren’t perfect from the kitchen or the service side, but the place is young and the owners know the business. $$ 3 stars.
● DiBenedetto’s Italian Bistro, 121 S. Main St., Bowling Green, is a charming family-owned restaurant that belies its college town surroundings. Highly recommended is the gamberi con aglio featuring fettucine, shrimp, and bacon in a garlic cream sauce. We can also vouch for the seafood dishes, the gnocchi, and the delicious shrimp scampi. $$$ 3 stars.
● 31 Hundred, 3100 Glendale Ave., despite all the changes the hotel has undergone, 31 Hundred, the restaurant inside the Hotel at UTMC hasn't wavered from serving quality dishes. Our favorites included the black pearl pork chop ($22) and the roasted wild salmon ($20). The ghost town atmosphere makes for a lonely dining experience. $$ 3 stars.
● Gradkowski's, 1440 Secor Rd., is a new restaurant on the campus of the University of Toledo that will be a draw for non-student dollars for some time to come. The establishment, owned by former UT football star Bruce Gradkowski, boasts a classy atmosphere and several unusual menu items such as scallop and bacon pizza, maple-glazed donut, fried lasagna, and a $20 burger. $$ 4 stars.
● Tasty Thai, 1515 S. Byrne Rd., offers those same qualities you love about your favorite Chinese place, but with a kick of heat and a touch of exotic flavors. Recommended dishes include the Tom kha soup and the seafood clay pot. You'll fill your belly here without breaking the bank. $$ 4 stars.
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