Wine Spectator gave Lockkeepers in Independence (Cleveland) Ohio an honorable mention for their wine list when rating the top 100 restaurants of the United States. I was anxious to visit again.
Arriving early on a Saturday night with the plan bar-dining to chat with the bar staff, we found it completely full even at 5 p.m. Fortunately at a table for early dining, the servers were knowledgeable and graciously brought us several tastings of everything we asked to try. It was wonderful and better than getting the attention of a busy bartender.
Blogged separately, I ordered a Lodi Malbec by REGIO (http://winesagereview.com/region-malbec-lodi-ca/) to pair with lasagna (appealingly served in an individually-sized square pan), and the Faroe Island salmon. The latter was seared to perfection and combined with seasoned butternut puree and garlic mashed potatoes (which I requested instead of brussel sprouts). It was superb.
They serve warm crisp ciabatta bread with a wonderful olive bruscetta and butter and I loved the olives.
We understand why the wine list was noted. It relies heavily on Italian selections. Since I sell Italian wine I appreciate the separation of Barolo, Barbaresco, Amarone, and other Italian regions. If you are an Italian fan, you will love the wine list. The price range was good, with decent $30-40 bottles to budget-busting $300-1,500 ones.
A review I read stated they thought Lockkeepers had the best creme brulee so I was compelled to try it. It was super-sweet and amazing but overfilled my companion and I as the servings were plentiful.
Kudos to a lovely evening at Lockkeepers. We were out of the place by 7 after planning to join happy hour. We left full and happy. It was a wonderful experience.