GASTROPUBBING IN CLEVELAND
Jonathon Sawyer, chef-owner of The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland’s hip Gateway district, quipped during a recent dinner there that his oxymoronic restaurant concept is “snout to tail vegetarian”. That got my attention. Turns out Jonathon has more than downtown Fourth Street cred. In 2010, he was named one of Food and Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs.” Bon Appetit named the Greenhouse Tavern one of the country’s top 10 restaurants. Not surprising for a guy who has worked with Charlie Palmer and Iron Chef Michael Symon. Based on the dinner I had there, I get it. This guy is talented.
Above is a braised and laquered pig’s head. (Don’t tell my wife.) How many restaurants have that on their menu? We also dined on pigs’ ears, Lake Erie walleye, shredded beef brisket paired with donuts (awesome, BTW), house-baked breads and crackers with six or seven toppings–including well-seasoned “schmaltz”–chicken fat–and a dessert that had something to do with stoners. (If you don’t know what that means, I am not going to tell you.)
Not only is Jonathon all about local sourcing, but he ages his own bourbon, shelters a vinegar “mother” in his basement, and is so committed to the environment that he’s recycled bicycle tires into light fixtures. A return visit is on my agenda. Will order the beef shin next time. And maybe the vegetarian option–a milieu of quinoa, millet, barley, and other grains.