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Viva Fernando a Culinary Vacation to Spain and the Mediterranean

You don't need a passport, but a reservation is recommended.

My trip to  got off to a rocky start. We had selected the Westlake restaurant after it was featured on a list of Cleveland’s best patios, but the weather had other plans. A downpour drove us inside.

I arrived at the restaurant a few minutes before my friend and quickly learned that I should have made a reservation. Fortunately, since there were only two of us, they were able to seat us.

Our biggest frustration was that we waited more than 20 minutes for a server to stop at our table. When someone finally came to take our drink orders, I selected their very strong sangria and my friend had a beer.

When we ordered dinner, I learned that many of the dishes come with a side of saffron rice, steamed vegetables, homemade chips and a soup or salad— something not included on the menu.

Our salads arrived quickly and were a good start to the meal, although a little heavy on the dressing. Just as we finished our salads, our entrees arrived— very promptly, especially considering how slow the service was at the beginning.

I enjoyed the Tilapia A La Cava— a melt-in-your-mouth dish, with grapes and a champagne reduction over the well prepared white fish. With the side dishes, it was well worth the price and I have plenty of left overs. My friend selected the Salteado De Camaronnes, Vieres Y Setas (grilled scallops, shrimp and mushrooms) appetizer.

For dessert, I had melon sorbet— a shining example of the restaurant’s presentation. The sweet sorbet is served tucked into a frozen watermelon rind, giving the appearance of real watermelon.

Once we were finally served, I found Viva Fernando quite enjoyable. The mix of Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine provides a variety of selections and large portions justify the price, which ranges from $15 to $40 for dinner entrees.

Reservations are strongly recommended by calling 440-808-0000. Viva Fernando is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and Brunch on Sundays at 10:30. They close at 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9 p.m. on Sundays.

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