Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Greenhouse Tavern (Cleveland)

First of all...sorry for the long hiatus. Last May I resumed blogging after another long break. I had fully intended to get back into it over the summer, but after only a couple of posts, I stopped.

But I have a great excuse! I was actually in the middle of working on my third post when R. and I decided, rather abruptly, to buy a house. So the ensuing few months were filled with inspections, packing, moving, unpacking, meeting with contractors, designing, remodeling, fighting with contractors...the whole shebang. It was pretty nuts, to say the least. But we looooove our new house, and after seven weeks of take-out, we have a spanking new and TOTALLY FABULOUS kitchen with a giant island, a super strong range hood that ducts outside, and two dishwashers. I absolutely love cooking in my new digs!

Anyway, I am back because I am working on a very special post. But in the meantime, I present the post that I was working on before being interrupted by life itself:

Back in May, I took my annual trip to Cleveland. On our first night there R. and I checked out The Greenhouse Tavern on East Fourth Street Downtown. The contemporary American gastropub—whose chef-owner Jonathon Sawyer is the reigning 2015 James Beard Award for Best Chef (Great Lakes)—is a place about which I had heard high raves and have wanted to try for a long time, so I was very excited to have finally had the opportunity.

The weather was nice on the day we visited so we opted for patio seating, but the restaurant interior, which is kept rather dim in the back corners, has an undeniably hipster vibe what with all the bicycles fixated on the walls. The creative menu, which focuses on organic, locally and sustainably sourced ingredients, aims to have something for everyone.

Although we were curious about the Roasted Pig Head and would have loved to try the Fred Flintstone Beef Short Rib, we were advised that these items were for 2-4 people to share (two if both have large appetites, so closer to four for us!) and would take 45 minutes to prepare (time we didn't have) so we will have to bring along some friends for that next time. Instead, I opted for the Seared Market Fish (walleye was the fish of the day, served with olives, potato confit, and brussels sprout), while R. ordered the Fried Brussels Sprout to share (maple aioli, lemon, fresh mint, raw red onion) and the Ohio Beef Burger (certified angus beef, raclette cheese, tomato, pickles). The staff also surprised us with two complimentary starters: Red Basket Farm Cabbage Salad (parsley root, fermented mustard, pumpkin confit, kale cirsp) and Chef's Garden Beet (poppyseed yogurt, radish). For full disclosure, R. had had a few drinks and blurted out that I am blogger. I suspect that is why we received the extra food, and as I don't like the idea of using my blogger status to get freebies, I made darn sure R. won't blow my cover again in the future! We didn't skip dessert, of course. Both the Ginger Coconut (with tapioca, fresh ginger sorbet, pudding, and sweet soy) and the Buttered Popcorn Pot de Creme (with caramel and sea salt) were exquisite. Definitely worth a repeat visit!

Seared Market Fish at Greenhouse Tavern (Cleveland)
Seared Market Fish

Fried Brussels Sprout at Greenhouse Tavern (Cleveland)
Fried Brussels Sprouts

Red Basket Farm Cabbage Salad at Greenhouse Tavern (Cleveland)
Red Basket Farm Cabbage Salad

Chef's Garden Beet at Greenhouse Tavern (Cleveland)
Chef's Garden Beet

Ginger Coconut at Greenhouse Tavern (Cleveland)
Ginger Coconut

Buttered Popcorn Pot de Creme at Greenhouse Tavern (Cleveland)
Buttered Popcorn Pot de Creme

Restaurant info:
2038 East Fourth Street, Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 443-0511
Table reservation recommended