pier w

Speaking of my stylish friend Danielle, we went to Pier W last night for a fun little dinner party she arranged for Russ’ birthday.

When I was a kid, we celebrated many Easter and mother’s day brunches at the old Pier East on Shaker Square. This was my first outing to Pier W, though.

I know this place was recently renovated and that it’s known for picturesque views of Lake Erie and the city. Aside from the construction that surrounded the exterior, as soon as we stepped into the restaurant, we felt like we were on vacation. This place just has the feel of a restaurant you’d find in Florida or the Carolinas, with its beautiful lake views, contemporary bar and subtle aquatic theme that’s felt throughout the restaurant, but not in a over-the-top, Red Lobster-ish way.

The menu is what you might expect, with its heavy emphasis on seafood. And with a menu like that, you won’t find any complaints here. Keeping with my vacation feel, I ordered the 1.5 pounds of king crab legs for dinner, a staple in my diet whenever I’m on vacation, and the wood roasted heirloom beets with goat cheese, marinated watermelon, balsamic and dill.

Jamie also started with the beets and opted for the Copper River salmon special instead of the filet. After our server went over the specials, I was telling people about Dominic Cerino’s involvement with Copper River and how he and Regan Reik, the chef at Pier W, just got back from Cordova, Alaska for an event focusing on these very salmon. I knew this dish would be better than the filet.

For dessert, we split the chocolate and peanut butter bomb with caramel ice cream, toasted marshmallows and peanut brittle.

From start to finish, every single bite of every dish was delicious. While I am very loyal to the beets at Lolita and still think those are the best in town, I have to say presentation goes to Pier W on this one. It really was a beautiful dish and the taste was equally as satisfying, although the goat cheese was barely noticeable. I would have enjoyed more goat cheese to compliment the sweet watermelon.

As for the steaming giant crab legs, they were loaded with meat and did not require any butter or lemon. I was the happiest person in the restaurant, which is usually the case when you put a plate of crab legs in front of me.

Finally, the dessert. In a word – wow. From the presentation with the perfect grid of dots under the mini pyramid of chocolate and peanut butter, to the overall taste. This was one extremely satisfying dessert.

The evening, atmosphere, food and company were so enjoyable, I’m going to start counting down the days to Russell’s next birthday!


  1. danielle
    Posted July 31, 2008 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    we had a blast too!!! and thanks for leaving out that whole “slab” thing! :)

  2. Anonymous
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    I thought copper river season was over, isnt it usually mid may to mid june?

  3. michelle v
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    The slabbin’ slab of salmon – how could I forget that!!

    I’m not sure when the copper season is over, all I know is that the server said they would have it available for another week or two.

  4. lifeinrecipes
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this review. I always forget about Pier W, and after reading your piece I realize that I shouldn’t.

  5. Hayley
    Posted August 1, 2008 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I am so excited that you went there! (I just commented about it on 7/24!)

    I pretty much had exactly what Jamie had and loved every bite! Definitely a great place to take out of town visiters as well!

  6. Nancy Heller
    Posted August 2, 2008 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Chef Regan was on Good Company this week, and explained that three different salmon varieties come from the Copper River – King (which season is over by the end of June), Sockeye (which is over end of July) and Coho, which runs through September. You can watch the video at http://www.wkyc.com/video/default.aspx?aid=68752

  7. Anonymous
    Posted August 3, 2008 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Glad to hear you had a chance to experience Regan’s food. They have a brunch there that is probably the best in town. Michelle, you need to do a chef interview with Regan, there is a good story there. He was living in Battery Park and working for Alain Ducasse on 9-11-01.


  8. ikate
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Okay, Michelle – I’ve going to give the westside a chance! This weekend is my birthday and I just made reservations to haul to the other side of town to check this place out. As a new Clevender, your blog has lead me to some great places!

  9. michelle v
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday! I think you made a wise pick! Enjoy :)