On Sunday night, Jamie and I were fortunate enough to be included among the eager and downright giddy that had the pleasure to attend The Greenhouse Tavern’s family and friends preview.
People often ask me why I am so passionate about local restaurants and not so positive towards chains. Take one step inside this restaurant and you will know why. It’s people like Jonathon and Amelia Sawyer, Everest Curley and the entire GHT crew. Because their passion is contagious. Because to fulfill a dream it takes months upon months of hard work, resolve and sacrifice. Because there is a dedication to support their communities and neighbors. And because there is a genuine desire to put exceptional quality on each plate. All while leaving as little of a footprint as possible.
Chef Sawyer, who was happily back in the kitchen after a four-month hiatus, treated guests to a generous sampling of menu items. We experienced:
- Hand ground beef tartare with a poached egg and wild ramps
- French breakfast radishes with butter and salt
- Cod in papier with black truffle and potato
- Roasted Tea Hills chicken with bread heels, carrots and herb jus
- Chevre salad with Ohio goat confit, herb salad and sheep’s milk cheese
- Roasted bone-in skate wing with capers, garlic and anchovy
- Crispy chicken wings with chili pepper, scallions and garlic
From start to finish, with each passing course, to say we were impressed would be an understatement. We ate some seriously good food. My two favorite items were surprisingly things I don’t even care for: chicken and radishes. I rarely make chicken let alone try it in a restaurant. It’s just something I never cared for. Until now. The crispy skin and meat were packed with flavor. And the radishes, simply perfect. My other favorite was the chevre salad with Ohio goat confit. We had a similar dish at the Brooklyn Beer dinner last month so we were eager to sample this again. And it didn’t disappoint. The only dish I wasn’t crazy about was the skate wing. While the table seemed to enjoy it, I felt it was just okay and that the garlic and anchovies weren’t as prominent as expected. Nonetheless, I wasn’t too concerned because I was surrounded by wonderful flavors and aromas and tablemates (thanks Steve & Julie) that didn’t seem to mind my wandering fork.
Chef Sawyer’s dishes are simple and use straightforward ingredients. But when combined, the result is a complex, layered dish full of unique flavor. Much like the space itself featuring four different dining levels. It’s a brand new restaurant yet it has many stories to tell, some decades old. It’s worthy of post all its own, which I will do in the very near future.
Yes Cleveland, the wait is almost over. In two short weeks, the restaurant will officially be open for dinner, with lunch and brunch not too far behind. This restaurant is just one more reason why there is a very happy foodie living in Cleveland.