761 Starkweather Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44113
Lilly Handmade Chocolate provides an experience completely out of the box for most dessert shops. The tiny store tucked onto Starkweather Avenue in Tremont serves delicious chocolates such as the Forty Winks Truffle (double chocolate lavender ganache, candied violet and rose petals and dark chocolate), the Old School Truffle (malted milk, vanilla bean and milk chocolate) and the Lime Truffle (fresh lime juice, clover honey and white chocolate) in addition to a selection of craft beer and wine for purchase as well. What makes this unique little chocolate shop even more of an attraction are the chocolate, beer and wine pairings. Stop in Tuesday through Saturday from 11am until 6:30pm for 2 ounce pours paired with truffles. A crowd favorite is the Port pairing, commonly served with a cinnamon dark chocolate.
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106
If you haven’t been to La Cave du Vin, you haven’t experienced the wonder of a bar packed with beer and wine options; you will likely find what you’re looking for here, and if it isn’t here, the happy bartenders will surely have similar recommendations that will surprise you. This is a great place to expand your tastes. With options and the knowledge of the staff, it’s easy to feel comfortable breaking out of your comfort zone. The wall of beer options may be misleading though, because the “wine cave” also serves wines, including ports and sherry.
15400 Detroit Ave.
Lakewood, OH 44107
Humble is Lakewood’s casual wine bar, complete with a food menu that includes everything from pizza to cheese boards. This place, while somewhat unassuming, likes a good pairing as much as the next wine bar. This is evident in the pre-selected cheese board options that are categorized by type of wine and the availability of a variety of wines that will pair well with anything on the menu – just ask the staff for some ideas and go from there. The desserts aren’t left out either. The menu includes six Port and sherry options that would go well with the truffles, chocolate tower and humble pie.
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11401 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, OH 44106
Nestled into a little “secret garden” on Case Western Reserve University’s campus, L’Albatros is nothing short of a treat. Whether you’re looking for a meal fitting for a special occasion, an affordable happy hour or to break out of your comfort zone, this is certainly the place to do it. This French cuisine is something to be treasured, and from the cheese selection to the pasta to the classic meat preparations, you’ll find something for every palate. In addition to great dinner and happy hour options, L’Albatros also has a mouthwatering dessert menu highlighting seasonal flavors in addition to items like the warm chocolate brownie and creme caramel. But, dessert isn’t complete without a delicious dessert wine, of which there is quite a selection, including at least two Ports that the waitstaff would be happy to advise on pairing.