Gandalf’s Pub & Restaurant has packed its menu with magical fall fare

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Gandalf’s has been recognized as serving some of Cleveland’s best. Here’s why Mimi keeps it in her regular dining rotation.

By Laura Briedis

Located in a historic home built in the late 1800s, which was once a general store with hitching posts out front, Gandalf’s Pub & Restaurant evinces a homey atmosphere—making it ideal for hosting private parties.

With separate dining spaces, an all-season room and expansive outdoor patio, the house-turned-restaurant is the perfect party venue. A private room tucked in an enclosed all-season patio with windows overlooking the courtyard can accommodate up to 30 people.

“We host everything from holiday parties to engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, birthday celebrations, baby and bridal showers, and business meetings,” says Sean Lackey, who, along with his wife, Michelle, owns the quaint restaurant and pub.

The restaurant also caters off site and can cook for hundreds of guests.

“We don’t have a standard catering menu to order from as we customize each event,” explains Sean. “Our chef works with customers to create and plan a menu just for their event. It’s not your typical trays of catering food, as we are more inventive.”

“We just did a taco bar for a bride and groom that suited their fun personality,” he says.

“More than just hard and soft taco shells with fillings and toppings, it also included salad and rice to make a meal and included fresh ingredients like chopped cilantro and homemade guacamole.”

Seasonal Comfort Food
Known for its comfort foods, Gandalf’s fall menu spotlights heartier fare. With a nod to European nuances, Chef Edward cooks up hearty food that will fill you up and keep you warm on a chilly night.

“From delicious lamb sliders with a tomato feta compote and Guinness beer braised stew to Shepherd’s Pie, our fall menu features local produce and meats,” notes Sean.

“And our signature Vienna corned beef is always on the menu, in Boxty and Reuben sandwiches, inside pierogies, topping a hamburger or even garnishing our Bloody Mary cocktails.”

Chef Edward shops every Saturday at farmers’ markets to bring back farm-fresh ideas and seasonal fare when cooking up hearty comfort food in this cozy neighborhood eatery, which is named after the owners’ rescued hound dog.

The restaurant smokes its pork in house, nurturing it for 12 hours until it is ready to serve. The maple smoked pulled pork is piled high in the Old Irish Smokey sandwich, complete with apple wood smoked bacon, Dubliner cheese and honey-garlic aioli. And in the Wild Hog sandwich, it is paired with stout barbecue sauce. Gandalf’s also serves up fine cuts of steak, with Filet Mignon and Delmonico available every day, and a Prime Rib feature on Saturday Steak Night. They proudly offer fresh Lake Erie perch dinners year-round.

This summer, Gandalf’s Ultimate Western Burger was voted one of the top 10 burgers in Northeast Ohio by This tasty burger is topped with bacon, cheddar, pulled pork, crispy onions and stout barbecue sauce. Also on the burger board is a Sriracha burger and wild mushroom with Swiss cheese. Plus, a portabella club with balsamic marinated mushrooms, seared red onions and spinach on toasted sourdough bread gives diners more options.

Fun in the Pub
Always friendly and creative, the bartenders are concocting seasonal cocktails with tasty fall flavors, such as apple cider mojitos and apple mules, and plentiful drinks with pumpkin spice rum.

“We have a fun European pub atmosphere with good food paired with cocktails and beer, as well as live music on Saturdays,” comments Sean, a certified public accountant by day, who is an entertainer at heart. He studied improv and acting at the famed Second City and produces Flanagan’s Wake in Cleveland.

From acoustic guitar music to country, rock and Irish folk music, the restaurant features different musical genres on Saturdays and select Sundays.

Looking ahead to the holidays, the restaurant has booked the Sarena Tamburitza Orchestra for entertainment on New Year’s Eve. Gandalf’s is now taking reservations for their New Year’s Eve celebration. Call the restaurant today to reserve your spot.

Gandalf’s Pub & Restaurant is located at 6757 Center Road in Valley City. Dining hours are Tuesday-Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. For reservations, call 330-483-1190 or visit to order to-go meals.