Ahhhh autumn. We’ve missed your misty mornings and refreshing air. (Maybe give us a break on some of this rain, though!) We’re ready for cozy sweaters, barn coats, and boots, and we are so ready for your food.
In between pumpkin shopping and leaf raking, we’ve been indulging in some of the first tastes of fall. Here, we share a few ideas that make a perfect prelude to a crackling fire and some Netflix.
The Burnham, 100 Lakeside Avenue at the Hilton Downtown Cleveland: Chef John Rudolph debuts some new items this month, including a roasted carrot salad with Lucky Penny goat cheese, cranberries, cured turnips, microgreens, and sunflower seeds. He’s also plating a sustainably-farmed Barramundi fillet with saffron sauce, baby potatoes, and squash from The Chef’s Garden, though vegetables will change through the season. The Burnham is ideally situated for pre-Browns brunch, with a buffet that features omelets and standard fare, plus additions each week that give a nod to the visiting team. Don’t skip a sunset visit to Bar 32 (on the hotel’s 32nd floor) for sweeping shoreline views.
The Southside, 2207 W. 11th Street: Chef Natasha Pogrebinsky is going all in for autumn with seasonal features that range from playful to downright decadent. Natasha brings her Eastern European heritage into most dishes, which means layers of complex and interesting flavors. Pillowy soft sage and sweet potato pierogi are a collaboration with Perla Homemade Delights in Parma. “Old World Tots” are loaded mini potato pancakes in a nacho-like presentation. The Clevelander plate features sausage from J&J Czuchraj Meats at the West Side Market in a Portuguese stew of tomatoes, butter beans, and kale. Make sure you inquire about the pasta of the day—it might be Ohio City Pasta egg pappardelle, luxuriating in a heavy cream sauce infused with fried garlic and sage, ricotta and spinach. Don’t underestimate the pleasure of breaking a fresh, raw yolk over all that goodness.
Der Braumeister, 13046 Lorain Avenue: Der Brau is churning out reliably good Bavarian specialties just like it did in the 80s, when owner Jenn Wirtz’s Oma and Opa ran the place. The extensive and interesting beer list has you covered, whether you’re into Doppelbock or Dunkelweisen, or if a Dogfish Head is more your speed. Take the traditional route with paprikash, sauerbraten, or a plate of grilled weisswurst sausage (veal and pork) with apples, kraut, and mashed potatoes, or go lighter with a crunchy seasonal salad of honey roasted beets and walnuts, and an order of flammkuchen, a German-style flatbread. It goes without saying, this is the perfect time of year to end your meal with a piece of flaky strudel.
—Story and Photos by Lisa Sands