The Sawyer House – $$$
9740 Mentor Ave.
Mentor, Ohio 44060
I was lucky enough to have recently been invited out for a dining experience at the Sawyer House in Mentor. I was leaving my employer after 6 years and he wanted to express his gratitude for my hard work. Now this wasn't my first time eating at the Sawyer House, so I did have some expectations going into the meal. That being said all of those other visits were during lunch, so this was to be my first dinner at the [tag}Sawyer House[/tag].
My girlfriend and I arrived at the a restaurant a bit early, so we spent some time perusing the vast [tag]wine[/tag] selection at the Sawyer House. I personally can not stand the taste of wine and I only consider it to be halfway to a good thing, vinegar. But for those of you that are into wine, they've got pretty much every variety you can think imagine, from chardonnay to champagne. It is all organized by variety and region for easy selection.
The rest of our dinner party soon arrived and we were seated outside on the patio. While I personally dread the notion of having to eat any sit-down meal outdoors, it was early evening and the humidity was greatly reduced from earlier in the day. What the patio was nice, it was defiantly didn't fit the upscale motif. There were bricks and mortar missing, broken or missing light fixtures and the view of the trash dumpsters was less than appealing. It wouldn't take much to correct those problems, but it should would help to round out the appeal of the patio.
When our waitress brought our menus I was literally shocked by the prices. Not that I was paying, but I had recalled their prices to be much more reasonable. However, that was only their lunch menu I had seen. Make no mistake, the Sawyer house is [tag] upscale cuisine[/tag] for an upscale budget. I would actually venture to say that they may be the most expensive restaurant in Mentor.
All that price stuff aside, the food is probably worth every penny. It was truly amazing. From the bread to entree, everything was prepared perfectly and tasted great.
I started off with the Caresse salad in which the kitchen stacked alternating slices of tomato and fresh mozzarella cheese, sprinkled with chopped basil and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and real balsamic vinegar. Everything was very light and served at the utmost level of freshness, just the way it is supposed to be. Along with my salad I tried some of the homemade bread and flavored butters. There were 3 flavored butters: tomato, honey and black truffle. Each was good in its own right, but the black truffle butter really stood out to me. The smooth and creamy butter mixed with the earthy truffles was a perfect combination.
When my entree came to the table, I knew I would be eating well. For my entree I ordered a pork chop dish, unfortunately, the name escapes me now. The pork chop appeared pan fried and was placed on a bed of pork confit risotto and asparagus spears. Finally, the pork chop was topped with red wine soaked onions. As a whole, everything was perfectly seasoned and cooked. What I enjoyed most though was tasting each individual component of the dish. For example, the [tag]pork confit risotto[/tag] was by far the best risotto I have ever had. I could have eaten an entire plate of it with no problem. It was salty and creamy, a perfect compliment to the juicy pork chop. I also really liked the onion topper, their sweetness and acidity really cut the fattiness of the pork and the risotto.
Even though it was an enormous portion, I even surprised myself and finished the entire plate. Unfortunately, this left me way too full to get the desert I had been eying, the creme brule sampler. Oh well, my arteries will thank me for it someday. I will say that everyone else at the table who ordered desert was extremely satisfied.
If you are concerned about prices, then the Sawyer House may not be for you, at least for dinner. They offer a wide ranging lunch menu every afternoon and if you ask nicely, I'll sure they would let you order off it for dinner. As I said, it offers much more reasonable prices. Even if its not a place you are going to visit regularly, the Sawyer House would be an excellent choice for the special occasion meal. They just might be serving the best food on the East side of Cleveland.
[tags]Mentor, East side, pork chop [/tags]
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