I’d heard a lot about the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland. It was named one of the 10 Best New Restaurants by Bon Appetit, and the chef, Jonathan Sawyer, is a James Beard Award finalist. (Coincidentally, his mom also teaches in my hometown’s school district). Fellow chef Michael Symon even named it one of his top places to eat in Cleveland. My friends raved about this gastropub’s farm-to-table freshness and innovative menu for months, so I had to try it out during a recent trip to Cleveland.
We were able to score a reservation on a Saturday night, something I was told is not an easy feat. We arrived at the restaurant in the popular East 4th area and were promptly seated upstairs. I’d describe the decor as hispter chic – eclectic with bikes fastened to the walls. We were lucky enough to score a window seat overlooking the street scene below, which made for some good people watching.
The menu is split into first, second and third courses. The firsts feature small bites, the seconds are shareables, and full entrees make up the thirds. Some interesting items could be found on the menu like beef jerky spaghetti and carrot frites. I decided to skip the famous roasted pig head for the more subdued gnocchi with mushrooms. I’m always impressed with a carbonara-like raw egg, and this pasta didn’t disappoint. The devils on horseback, or bacon wrapped dates, were a favorite of my table mates. We were all told that we had to try the wings, so the decision to order the crispy chicken wings confit was a no brainer. I’m glad I did. I’m not usually a fan of wings, but the crispiness of the skin and the heat from the green onions and jalapeno made these memorable. I can see why they are so popular. A friend’s pommes frites with rosemary were also a hit at our table.
After dinner we headed up to the rooftop bar. The warm weather made for perfect rooftop lounging. The atmosphere was fun and laid back, with string lights and good cocktails. I highly recommend an after-dinner drink on the roof. A stop at nearby Chocolate Bar for martinis rounded out the night. I still have to try the Fred Flintstone short ribs with the buttered popcorn pot de creme for dessert, both of which I heard are amazing. I’ll definitely be back next time I’m in Cleveland.