Happy Hour Spotlight: Corleone’s Ristorante & Bar

Corleone’s Ristorante & Bar | 5669 Broadview Rd. | Parma, OH

Credit: tripadvisor.com

Setting
Today’s happy hour spotlight is proof that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Located at the end of a Parma strip mall (next to Dollar General), just north of Snow Road, stands a staple in Cleveland’s Italian dining scene—Corleone’s. Guests can expect a casual, polished atmosphere inside the establishment; an elegant lounge and dim lighting in the main dining area serve to establish a sophisticated vibe.

Food and Drink
Let’s start here—all the food on the happy hour menu is just $5 and comes with fresh bread. While the selections and portion sizes aren’t as robust as other featured restaurants, the quality is no less impressive. My recommendation is the calamari, a meltingly tender treat accompanied by a savory dipping sauce. On second thought, maybe I should recommend the eggplant rollatini, a delectable offering of breaded eggplant filled with spinach and ricotta, topped off with provolone and marinara. You know what … try them both. Other menu items include sausage and peppers, bruschetta and stuffed peppers.

Credit: corleonescleveland.com

Business picks up with the drinks, as everything featured on happy hour ranges from $2 to $6.50. Highlights include beers that are between $2 and $4; house wines—sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon, pinot grigio and chardonnay—for $4; an Italian wedding cake martini for $5; and a $6 Moscow mule. My mom fully endorses the Italian wedding cake martini, which she describes as a sweet, flavorful and satisfying libation. Another nice feature—all non-happy hour drinks are $1 off.

Notes
Corleone’s happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3 – 6 p.m. in the lounge area. Seating is first-come, first-served and limited, as the lounge is comprised of a bar and six tables. Only two of the tables can accommodate groups of three or more. Service has been stellar during my visits, with the bartenders demonstrating impressive product knowledge. Because Corleone’s resides in a strip mall, parking is easy and readily available. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the restaurant’s patio; it’s a true hidden gem.

Credit: Celeta S. via yelp.com

Rating Scale & Verdict
🍷 🍷=Average 🍷🍷🍷=Good 🍷🍷🍷🍷=Excellent

🍷🍷🍷 Fine Italian dining and delicious drinks on a dime—Corleone’s happy hour offers just that. The one caveat is that it’s not conducive for parties greater than three. A way around this is to take advantage of the restaurant’s early bird specials (Monday through Thursday from 3 – 6 p.m.), which prove both delicious and cost effective. Pro tip: Go to the bar and purchase your drink at the happy hour price. As long as you cash out, you can bring it back to the table. No matter what, a trip to Parma should be in your future. Cheers!

Update 8/9: My mom and her friends (The Happy Go Luckys for those you who didn’t read my introductory post 😉) had a subpar experience at Corleone’s yesterday. They had a group of six (with the seventh meeting them later) and arrived at 4:30 p.m. for the early bird special. The size of the party flustered some of the restaurant’s staff. Despite plenty of tables being available, the group wasn’t seated for 10 minutes. They had to ask for waters and menus. They weren’t given bread until after the main courses arrived. Perhaps most disappointing was that the seventh person, who arrived later than the rest of the group, was seated at a separate table. (The server said that it would be a fire hazard to pull up an extra chair to a table of six. If that’s the case, the group should have been given a larger table.) I expect more from Corleone’s and hope this experience was just an aberration.

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