Thursday, July 3, 2014

Trentina's Modern Opulence

Trentina's front entrance

Last Friday evening, we were fortunate to be invited to Trentina’s “soft opening.” It has been a long time coming, but Chef/Owner Jonathon Sawyer is just about ready for his July 8th open. The final details are being fine-tuned, but we were told that Trentina will offer a 12-course tasting menu for 100 dollars per person, plus optional wine pairings for an additional charge. With Trentina’s proximity to Severance Hall and everything else that the University Circle area has to offer, I can’t imagine a better location for a high-end, “haute cuisine” restaurant with a prix-fixe tasting menu. Sawyer plans to introduce some lighter fare and wood-fired pizzas for patio patrons, and a la carte options for the dining room, later this summer. 

The following are pictures of the 12 course-tasting menu we sampled. Most of the courses were served with two different variations of the theme per couple.

Celebratory Bubbles
Primi Assagio - Crusto di Polenta, Carne Salata alla Trentina, Cured Sable, Celerry Vegetables from our Larder & Fields

Caviar + Ciccoli - Sumac, Latte, Cucumber & Puffed Pasta
Danieli Soave

Crustaceo Crudo - Vintage Ohio Apple & Citrus

Sable Fish Al Cartoccio - Caltuce, Wild Ohio Crown Tipped Coral Mushroom, TNT Larder Yogurt & Fumet

Sable Fish Al Cartoccio - Caltuce, Wild Ohio Crown Tipped Coral Mushroom, TNT Larder Yogurt & Fumet

Edible Candle - 24K Gold Honey, Aged Beef Suet, Crunchy Salt & Fresh Bread

Cabbage Dish

Marco Cecchini Tove

Pasta Alla Chitarra

Pasta Cuscino

Game Birds

Game Birds

Beasts Roasted Over Embers

Beasts Roasted Over Embers

Primi Dolce

Strudel Alla Trentina

More Dolci

Chef Jonathon Sawyer, Tom Futey & Kathleen Morgan Futey 

Commemorative signed menu

There was a final "Grazia" dessert course consisting of two gold chocolates. How's that for opulence?

Our reservation was for 8:30 PM, which was the final seating of the evening. It was one of those rare summer nights where the humidity was low and the temperature was warm. Perfect. We enjoyed our first course on the patio and the rest of our dinner in Trentina’s cozy, avant-garde dining room. Modern opulence was not only expressed in the interior design of the room but in every fabulous creation that came out of the kitchen. We enjoyed the company of friends and wished everyone involved nothing but the best. 

As you may know, soft openings are a first chance for chefs to test their creations in a new kitchen where all the logistics have yet to be worked out. Keeping that in mind, I’d say Sawyer and his crew are off to a blazing start. 

The meal was nicely executed and mostly kept to the traditions of Trento – an autonomous region of Italy with a unique blend of cultures. The lone exception being the Edible Candle with 24K gold honey, aged beef suet, crunchy salt & French bread. It’s possible that there is nothing more opulent than 24K gold honey (!). The melted beef suet – presented as a spread and served with bread – is an old English tradition rather than one associated with the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region. That aside, it was rich and decadent, and integrated seamlessly with the overall menu.

Cleveland has a well-earned reputation for the quantity and consistent quality of its food scene, although some who follow the trends bemoan the lack of truly daring, inventive fare. Frankly, it remains to be seen if this market is ready for prix fixe exotic dining. 

Jonathon Sawyer has enjoyed a steady rise in local and national dining circles. His dishes are rarely boring and they’re always prepared with élan, and despite the occasional quirks and odd menu spellings, we should all applaud his audacity and wish Trentina much success. Bravo, Chef!

Trentina is located at: 

1903 Ford Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 421-2900

Prices: Spendy $$$

Reservations strongly suggested

No comments:

Post a Comment