One of the best meals I have had in America was in Cleveland, OH.
The restaurant is extremely large – two levels, in fact – in a warehouse-like space. Eclectic and quite casual, I felt comfortable there in jeans, but I would also feel at home there in a little black dress. It manages to be relaxed and special occasion all at once.
Foie Gras Steamed Clams with Butter, Red Onion Brulee, Late Harvest Viognier Vinegar, and Grilled Bread
Hand Ground Beef Tartare with Pommes Frites, Three Minute Egg, Salted Fresno Peppers, and Condiments
Grilled Ohio Lamb Burger with Stinky Cheese Fondue, Champagne Shallots, Olive Oil Dusted Pommes Frites and Tangy Yogurt
I can’t overemphasize how incredible the meat was. It really showed me that when you buy locally, your products are just that much better.
As we finished this eating extravaganza, we opted to buy the kitchen staff a round of beers (an awesome option on the menu that I would love more restaurants to offer). When we went downstairs, ringing a bell, to announce that we had bought the beers, the staff was so jovial, so appreciative, and so obviously happy to be at work that it reinforced what I had felt all night – that Chef Sawyer must be an AWESOME guy. Though I didn’t personally meet him, anyone with this much passion, creativity, dedication to local and sustainable food, and with an enthusiastic front and back of house staff, simply has to be a wonderful person.