New Foodie Favorites
Local chefs are cooking up new culinary locales
By Denise Koeth
Crop Bistro's Steve Schimoler has been expanding taste buds and appetites for years. Now, he's expanding his brand - first with Crop Kitchen in University Circle's Uptown district - a more casual little brother to the original bistro. He also opened three drastically different spots in the Flats East Bank: Crop Rocks, a Haight-Ashbury-influenced eatery with a VW microbus parked out front; Crop Sticks, offering Asian food and a zen garden; and On Air, a hybrid broadcast studio, event space, and dining spot.
Sawyer's Italian Studies
Jonathon Sawyer is dropping science. His new northern Italian-inspired Trentina in University Circle is both a restaurant and on-site food lab where Sawyer works with his team - including a wild food forager and (our dream job) a larder master - to test recipes, cure meats, ferment sauces, grow salts, harvest local plants, and then serve it to you. Did we mention that Sawyer won a James Beard Foundation Award for the Best Chef Great Lakes category in 2015? We should mention that.
Bruell Goes Coastal
Zack Bruell has conquered Cleveland. Now, he's eyeing the ocean, bringing both together with his eighth local restaurant, Alley Cat Oyster Bar, in the new Flats East Bank. Accessible by car and boat, this oyster bar offers outdoor patios and prime views of Cleveland's waterfront with a casual, coastal-vibe that won't break the bank. Bonus: The seafood fare is complemented with vegan and land mammal menu choices.