umami made my daughter cry

I suppose it was bound to happen. I’ve heard stories but secretly hoped we were immune. I mean, we’ve made it this far and at some fabulous places to boot, weren’t we home free? Not so much. Thirty-six minutes in, two barely touched glasses of cabernet and $77 later, it was our turn -Natalie cried in a restaurant.

Technically, I suppose we’re to blame. When we dine out with her, we try to keep early bird hours so we don’t interfere with other diners – just in case. But tonight we tempted fate. It was a little after 5 p.m. and she usually eats around 6-ish. But since she’s been so good at every single restaurant we’ve exposed her to (and it’s a pretty lengthy list), we decided to push our luck and see if she could make it. Through the first round of beautifully prepared small plates, she slept. And while we waited for our larger plate and the check, she stared and smiled (we always ask for the check early when we eat out with her just to be safe). But as I looked up and saw the chef finishing our pad Thai special, she let out a wail and didn’t stop.

My husband and I looked at each other almost in disbelief then quickly went into evacuation mode. I grabbed her bottle, which she wouldn’t take, all her gear and went straight for the outdoors while Jamie signed the bill, apologized to our server and had the dinner made to go. In minutes flat we were in the safety of the car where of course Natalie was once again smiling and laughing, no doubt at her parents moment of panic. (Natalie, you owe mommy a glass of wine.)

Metromix brought us into Umami tonight, the new Asian eatery in Chagrin Falls. We’ve attempted to go a few times, but kept getting sidetracked. And when we finally made it in, it was cut short. But in that quick 36 minutes, we were wowed. This ultra tiny yet intimate space is beautiful and sophisticated and responsible for equally as impressive dishes. We sampled five different items and one in particular I’m craving more of right now: the togarashi crusted, plancha seared white tuna with hoyu and tobiko.

I’ll share more details and specifics with the full Metromix review, but in the meantime, I’m so happy this un-Chagrin Falls like restaurant is in Chagrin Falls. Hopefully Natalie will have better luck at what’s sure to be more Umami visits in our future.


  1. Allison M.
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    As an almost former server, I don’t mind if infants cry – it’s what they do. You can’t help it.

    What I don’t like is when parents let children throw dough, food and salt/sugar everywhere from on top to under the table and don’t make the slightest effort to clean it up. (Picture a tornado hitting the table with food everywhere and the salt and pepper shakers emptied along with all sugar.)

    And, the usual response is, “that’s what kids do.” No, that’s what kids do when their parents let them act like feral children.

  2. Christina K
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like you’ve had a great run so far, with one blip. Keep it up!