Located on 73rd and Detroit Ave., Banter is the newest addition to the Gordon Square Arts District on Cleveland’s near West Side. It opened in the middle of December, so it was at the top of new restaurants I wanted to try in 2016.
Banter is focussed on four main things; beer, wine, sausage and poutine. It has a pretty extensive selection of beer and wine that you can either consume in the restaurant or buy at retail. If you choose to buy a bottle of wine and drink it while you hang out, there’s a very reasonable $10 corkage fee.
When my husband (Nick) and I stopped by around 8 pm on Saturday night, Banter was busy, but not crowded. The space is divided into three rooms: the first holds the bar, a few tables and the kitchen; the second has a few more cozy tables and shelves filled with wine, and the third room has coolers filled with beers. There’s probably no more than 10-12 tables, but there’s also seating around the bar and in the window.
Nick and I got a bottle of wine, and ordered the corn dog, the farm poutine (with pork pate) and the fried cheese curds. The cheese curds were by far my favorite dish: I don’t know why anyone would ever eat mozzarella sticks- cheese curds are way way better! The corn dog was very good- not as salty as fair dogs, and surprisingly, I liked that it came with the condiments already on it and not on the side. The poutine had great flavor, although I found myself wishing that the fries were a little less cooked.
Overall, Banter is a great spot: fun, casual vibe, good selection of beer and wine at really reasonable prices, and good bar food. I can see this quickly becoming a go-to spot for a fun, low-key evening!!
A version of this post was published at www.bombaytaxiboutique.com on January 12, 2016