Sterle’s Wins Best of Cleveland 2013

BEST Restaurant Update, by Cleveland Magazine

In the early ’60s, Frank Sterle designed his restaurant to look like his father’s hunting lodge in the Slovenian Alps. Five decades later, new owner Rick Semersky took on a challenge: how to keep Sterle’s Country House thriving. His answer is a smart mix of modernization and even deeper nostalgia. Semersky expanded the bar and beer list but slimmed down the menu, dropping German and Italian dishes to focus on Eastern European classics such as goulash, paprikash and Slovenian sausage. “We’re trying to awaken not only our older clients, but potential newer clients, to their heritage or new cultural perspectives,” says general manager James Gibson. A 100-plus-seat bier garden now stretches out next to the main building. Seven beers, made by Milwaukee’s Sprecher Brewery, carry house names, including Kindsvater lager, after the operator of a beer garden in the Slavic neighborhood before Prohibition. “We’re definitely trying to preserve the heritage of what Sterle’s is,” says Gibson. 1401 E. 55th St., Cleveland, 216-881-4181,