Andrew Watts & Vinnie Ciminio’s Midwest restaurant, Cordelia, known for their “Modern Grandma” menu has been named Best New Restaurant by Cleveland Magazine, continuing a run of accolades for the founding duo, in just under one year. In September Cordelia was honored by Cleveland Scene for “Best Place to Work” and “Best Burger” and “Best Midwest Tasting Menu” by Cleveland Magazine. In December, Cordelia was named one of the Top 22 New Restaurants in the U.S. by Tasting Table.
Opened July of 2022 at 2058 E 4th St, home to Michael Symon’s former flagship Lola Bistro, the restaurant is inspired by the land around it and what former generations of Cleveland heritage and their families stood for. Guests are greeted with a lot of “Midwest Nice”, just like dinner at grandma’s – but with friends, cocktails, a shared table of food, and leftovers. This, combined with a work culture that prioritizes the overall health, wellness, and growth of their team has warmed the hearts of locals and made Cordelia a destination for those visiting Cleveland.
“Being named Best New Restaurant in Cleveland is a dream come true. This is the best city in the world and our intention was always to make it proud while having our team and guests know we care for them like family,” says Andrew Watts.
Chef Cimino’s menu features dishes that connect back to the partnerships he’s built with farmers throughout his career; bringing to life a menu full of heritage-rich seasonal recipes showcased in new ways. “Our menu is all about collective creativity. I look to our relationships with local farmers and the harvest itself to find inspiration – and the rest happens in the kitchen. Just like our approach to hospitality, we are food for the people.”
The cocktail program, curated by Bar Manager, Sebastian Albornoz (formerly of Cloak and Dagger) is inspired by his South American roots, and love of exotic fruits and flavor profiles. The menu features craft beers, wines, and a list of creative cocktails featuring ingredients like coffee, oat milk, matcha, turmeric, and carrot. Cordelia is also known for their non-alcoholic cocktail collection.
Cordelia’s interior mimics an old-style tavern bar, featuring an exposed brick wall against a floor of mosaic penny tile. A 12-person communal table flanks the bar and invites guests into an eclectic yet delightfully nostalgic environment. Design features highlight some of the building’s original brick and mortar structure including exposed concrete pillars, original coffered ceiling, and refurbished terrazzo floor. A mix of reclaimed barn wood, upcycled furniture, and handmade pieces, rich in color and texture, add depth and warmth to the interior. A combination of vintage and classic serving ware complements the overall homey yet vibrant presence.