I, along with nearly 20 other bloggers, was recently invited to a five-course tasting at Cleveland's Urban Farmer, a steakhouse that prides itself on having a relationship with local farms and utilizing local produce, some of which is pickled and found jarred around the restaurant.
The restaurant is a bit eclectic in its decor...
...perhaps channeling the energy of the first Urban Farmer in Portland (which was named as one of the Best Steakhouses in the U.S. via Travel & Leisure Magazine just last year)...
...and I say this completely as a compliment, as I love Portland, its quirkiness, its food culture and its creativity.
That said...allow to take you along this tasting journey...
Upon arrival, we were given the option of three cocktails...
..and I selected the Paw Paw Daiquiri - a bit sweet for my personal tastes but delicious.
Soon after came a table with bread, two varieties of oysters...
...and boards covered in pates, sliced meats, mostardas and jams (bacon jam in particular).
I tried to fit as much as I could on one piece of bread (delicious!).
By the time I got to the cheese...
...we were moved into the back room with Portlandia decor...
...and equipped with our tasting menu.
Beef Tartare with deviled egg
I am a fan of beef tartare and found this to be rather delicious. An interesting extra of this dish was the addition of beef heart slivers found throughout. They were tender and added a varied texture.
Rolls and cornbread with salted butter
Pretty good cornbread (I didn't try the dinner rolls).
FYI - I would later use some of this salted butter with my steak.
Chilled Lobster, tomato, avocado, fennel, mint, verjus sorbet
Although the lobster pieces were pretty generous in this dish, it was the avocado cream on the bottom and the verjus sorbet on top that really blew me away. Since verjus, or verjuice, comes from squeezing unripe grapes or sour fruits, the flavor was very acidic and really different. I loved it.
This was probably my favorite dish. Refreshing and different.
Seared scallop, corn, candied bacon, tomato
Nice dish overall. I love scallop and the candied bacon was nice (as well as the bacon jam underneath). The tomatoes and corn were also subtle and delicious.
Roasted 21 Day Dry-Aged Strip Loin, boulangere potato, summer squash, tallow
Let me simply say that the beef was delicious and very tender and flavorful. The potatoes that cooked under the steak to absorb its drippings were also rich and delicious. I left the tallow alone, being that it had an intense flavor and I was getting a bit too full to fully appreciate it.
Great Lakes Malted Barley Custard, malt balls, honeycomb
A fantastic finish - a custard that reminded me of smooth tapioca, chocolatey malt balls and honeycomb that tasted like burnt honey marshmallow. Different textures, different flavors and an overall end-of-the-meal happiness.
If you're interested in an Urban Farmer dining experience, you can visit them online at...
...or simply make your way out to...
1325 East 6th Street
Cleveland, OH 44114
Cleveland, OH 44114
Be sure to let me know what you get!