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Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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Published: Thursday, 1/15/2009

Dining Guide

Summaries of recently reviewed area restaurants.

•AJ's Doolittles, 8525 Secor Rd., Lambertville, offers eclectic fare such as burgers, steaks, chicken dinners, fish, pizza, and Mexican dishes in an informal sports bar atmosphere. $$; 3 stars.

•Al Smith's Place, 3550 Executive Pkwy., is a modest restaurant that's a favorite stop for people interested in reasonably priced home-cooked food such as meat loaf, roast beef and mashed potatoes, chicken dinners, all-day breakfasts, homemade pies, and bread pudding. $; 3 stars.

w Chuck's, 4477 Monroe St., serves sports-bar food with a difference. The usual burgers, wings, fries, and chicken chunks are available, but so are exceptionally good crab cakes, salads, and tilapia sandwiches stuffed with two tasty, outsized fillets. $$; 3 stars.

•Fifi's Reprise, 1423 Bernath Pkwy., is all about elegance, with fine food prepared exquisitely, including the signature boeuf au fromage ($29), veal marsala ($25.50), New Zealand rack of lamb ($29.50), and various seafoods at market price. The service is sometimes bewildering, ranging from overly paternalistic one night to surprisingly mediocre on a night we dropped in without a reservation. $$$$; 4 stars.

•Fortune Inn Restaurant, 6725West Central Ave., is an unassuming Chinese restaurant that provides great food at affordable prices. The wait staff is gregarious and the appetizers and entrees are consistently excellent. $$ 4 stars.

•J. Alexander's, 4315 Talmadge Rd., is a chain unlike most chains, in that most of the food is made from scratch each day - such memorable fare as juicy steaks, grilled salmon, big salads, chicken pasta soup, and bubbly casseroles of macaroni and cheese. $$$; 5 stars.

wMancino's Pizza & Grinders, 6650 Centers Dr., Holland, one of five area outlets, serves up pizza, salads, spaghetti and meatballs, and two dozen terrific sub sandwiches, including the signature Italian sub that bulges with goodness. $$; 3 stars.

•The Mango Tree, 217 South Reynolds Rd., serves huge portions to a loyal clientele. The menu features steak, veal marsala, chicken Mango, Scottish salmon, and crab cakes, among many other meals. A few minor glitches from the kitchen and a tired interior are all that keep this South End staple from being first-rate. $$$ 3 stars.

•Maumee Chop House, 1430 Holland Rd., Maumee, is an upscale eatery that favors classic over trendy, both in dcor and food. The accent is on prime steak, pork and veal chops, and seafood ranging from lobster and crab to swordfish and sea bass. $$$$; 5 stars.

•Mon Ami, 3845 East Wine Cellar Rd. on Catawba Island in Port Clinton, has built its reputation on fine, locally produced wines, but it also draws diners far and wide for the likes of Kansas City steak, king crab legs, delectable lake perch, pork chops, weekend buffets, and live entertainment. $$$; 4 stars.

•Monroe Street Diner, 4514 Monroe St., is a typical breakfast and lunch eatery with a delightfully off-kilter nature. Fifty-seven clocks clutter the walls, and the food ranges from bacon, sausage gravy, and monster omelets for breakfast to grilled sandwiches and hot platters for lunch. $; 3 stars.

•Nagoya Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi, 6190 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg, is an architecturally elegant restaurant that serves such familiar Asian fare as hibachi-grill meals, sushi, teriyaki, lettuce wraps, chicken, lamb, and seafood. But it also prepares excellent steaks, including incomparable Wagyu beef, a very expensive variation of Kobe beef from Japan. $$$; 4 stars.

•Naslada Bistro, 182 South Main St., Bowling Green, specializes in the rib-sticking comfort foods of Bulgaria, as well as European fare from Greece, Turkey, Italy, and beyond. Among the choices are moussaka, goulash stroganoff, pork loin in burgundy sauce, shish kabob, panini sandwiches, and Russian potato salad. $; 3 stars.

wRanya's Mediterranean & American Restaurant, 608 Adams St., is a modest downtown spot that draws customers with a goodly variety of Lebanese food, from ground kafta to lemon chicken oregano, plus kabobs, gyros, burgers, and wonderful Egyptian lentil soup by the cup or bowl. $; 3 stars.

•The Seafood, 5504 Alexis Rd., Sylvania, serves a wide array of food in an unpretentious setting. The accent naturally is on seafood - perch, grouper, redfish, tilapia, crab, shrimp, lobster tails, frog legs, and other seagoing creatures. Landlubbers can choose among steaks, burgers, chicken, pasta, and salads. $$; 3 stars.

•Stella's Restaurant & Bar, 104 Louisiana Ave., Perrysburg, is an upscale, art-strewn eatery that serves such tempting choices as steak, lamb, ribs, seafood, pasta, sandwiches, and chicken Chadwick with artichoke hearts, shrimp, and hollandaise. $$$; 4 stars.

•Tony Packo's Caf, 1902 Front St., is an East Toledo institution that has served up flavorful Hungarian fare for more than 75 years - such belly-busting dishes as Hungarian sausage, chicken paprikas, chili, stuffed cabbage with tomato kraut, and homemade strudel. The eatery now boasts five locations, but the original East Side outlet remains the most interesting and nostalgic. $$; 4 stars.



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