Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More Fun Playing with Green Food at the Greenhouse Tavern

We were invited to join some friends at The Greenhouse Tavern last Friday for dinner. Twist my arm!

Friday was an especially bad allergy day in Cleveland - I'd been coughing much of the day and nothing was helping. One of our dining companions, who'd also arrived a little early, suggested something with ginger might help - and gosh darn if he wasn't right!

Ginger Flip
Goslings Rum, Egg White, Ginger Beer, Powered Sugar, Fresh Nutmeg

This cocktail was simply amazing - rich and tasty, and deeply satisfying. And not at all too sweet (which was my concern when I almost didn't order it).

After our table of 8 was seated, we ordered samples of virtually all of the "Firsts" on the menu.

Bread Service: On the Rise Bread, Pork Rilettes

I love the concept of serving rilettes instead of butter or oil with the bread - and the pork was delicious. But I thought it was a little too dry and sparse to accompany bread. For that reason only, I still prefer the duck rilettes that were served previously. The server said they intend to mix it up - fine with me!

Organic American Prosciutto w/ grilled bread

We'd tasted this during the preview dinner April 7 - a little taste goes a long way - magnificent!

House Made Fromage Blanc w/pickled thyme & grilled bread

Another repeat from our first dinner - a unique treatment of the house made cheese.

Crispy Chicken Wings w/ jalapeño, scallions & garlic

The chicken was so tender, it was falling off the bones. Exquisite.

The caramelized jalapeno really makes this dish.

Red Wine Braised Olives w/ niçoise, alfonso & coquina olives, ramps

I knew ramps would show up someplace! These tiny olives tasted heavenly together with the smooth caramelized ramps.

French Breakfast Radishes w/ butter & salt

We'd tried this on our last visit to The Greenhouse, and I'd found the radish a little too bitter for my taste (I'm not a big radish eater). I was so glad that I decided to give it another try - this radish was sweeter and tastier - who knows, maybe I'll learn to like them after all!

Moving on to Seconds (though the Chicken Wings actually also come from that section of the menu) - Edsel opted for the Fanny Bay Oysters w/ horseradish vodka & meyer lemon mignonette. He pronounced them fabulous.

English Pea Fritter w/ mint, cilantro, butter beans & housemade yogurt

This is a new menu item - and because I adore spring peas, I had to try it. The portion was so large, however, that sharing was easy!

Yum! Creamy and pea-y on the inside, crispy and yogurty on the outside - I loved this dish.

Ohio Beef Burger w/ raclette cheese, pomme frites & house beer vinegar

Bob went again for the burger, and it was done to perfection.

I decided to combine 2 Halfs for my main, instead of ordering a Third.

Wild Ohio Asparagus w/ poached egg & fromage blanc

I had just read on a food blog about poached eggs over asparagus, and had planned to make it for my Saturday breakfast. No need, thanks to Chef Jonathon.

The cheese - the same stuff (with the pickled thyme) that we'd enjoyed as a first, happily married with the egg yolk and asparagus to make a satisfying dish.

Gnocchi with Brown Butter

I know that this looks like a small portion. And at eight pieces, it sounds like a small portion. But it was incredibly filling - the butter was browned to perfection, and danced around the ethereally fluffy pasta pillows, complimenting the crunchy bits of pancetta that accented the top of the dish. I could barely finish my plates.

Roasted Tea Hills Chicken w/ ohio asparagus, herb salad & natural jus

Edsel ordered this - my taste was succulent, juicy and flavorful. Tea Hills Farm makes you re-think your instinctive disdain for chicken.

As we chatted and digested, Chef Sawyer dropped by the table to say hello. Our companions ordered desserts, but Bob and I could not. Chef sent over a cheese course for the table to sample.

Unfortunately, I missed two people's descriptions of the cheese, other than it was a cow's milk cheese that is aged. It was so delicious, I couldn't help but nibble a bit, even though I was full. The candied almonds and walnuts were a delightful accompaniment.

Fresh Plum Clafoutis

Edsel's dessert, which he let us taste - fresh and fabulous!

And so, our third dinner at The Greenhouse Tavern was overall the best - they really seem to be hitting their stride on both the food and service; it was practically flawless. We look forward to playing with the food there again soon!

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  1. The pea fritters look amazing. I can't wait to be really well and go there for dinner.

  2. So nice to see everyone last week! Pictures are fantastic.

  3. @Widow: What was the cheese? It was sooo good!