Thursday, November 25, 2010

Burntwood Tavern in Chagrin Falls

Burntwood Tavern is located just about a mile outside of downtown Chagrin Falls.  The restaurant has only been open since the end of September 2010 and is very unique because it was built using old lumber and barn boards.  It really gives it a rustic/earthy feeling, while still maintaining a finer dinning atmosphere.   A very good combination in my opinion!

Food--The menu featured a variety of items. To give you an idea of what I mean I'll give you a short list of possible appetizers and entrees.   Appetizers included chicken tenders, calamari, Artichoke Roasted Garlic & Tasso Fondue, and Flash Fried Zucchini Frites.  (There was also a selection of four salads.)  Sandwich choices included an Angus Burger, Smoked Turkey Wrap, Fish Sandwich and Grilled Chicken.  Possible entrees included Smoked Grilled Pork Chops, Cedar Planked Salmon, and the two that we picked were the Blackened Chicken, and the Salmon Spinach Fettuccine.
We both decided to order a salad in addition to our entree.  Salads were not included with the meal and are all priced at $5 each.  I ordered the Field Greens salad which came with feta cheese , chopped red onion, chopped tomato, spiced pecans and I substituted the house dressing rather than the raspberry balsamic. The dressing was slightly thicker than a balsamic and it paired well with the tomatoes and onions.  The highlight of the salad was the combination of the spiced pecans with the feta cheese.  This really finished off this salad and I kept searching the salad for more bits of the pecans.
My girlfriend ordered the House salad with Gorgonzola cheese, bacon, chopped tomato, and house dressing She enjoyed the house dressing as well and as salad lover this salad really pleased her palate.   I will note one thing that you might notice in the pictures.   Her salad looks and was more "Field Greens" than mine.  I think  they might have topped our salads backwards.  It looked like I got the house salad with the field green salad toppings, and she got the field greens salad topped with the house salad toppings.   I honestly didn't notice this until about 1/4th done with the salads and by this point we really didn't mind because the salads were excellent and so similar to begin with.  I should also note that the salads were huge!
For my entree I ordered the Blackened Chicken with tasso ham and B√©arnaise sauce. I asked that the mushrooms be left off and that was not a problem.  It came with a side of sweet potato fries and sugar snap peas.  The spices used to get the blackened flavors onto the chicken were excellent. The chicken was a little spicy and smokey in flavor.  The chicken also had almost a mini crust on the outside which played very well with the moist and perfectly cooked chicken breasts.   The Bearnaise sauce was well seasoned an added a creamy texture to the dish.  The sweet potato fries were seasoned with salt and were excellent.  I liked how soft the inside of the fries were, they were not dried out at all. Finally, the sugar snap peas added yet another texture to the dish, I just wish I could have eaten more of them, but after my large salad and this entree I was full!  I enjoyed my dish and thought it was reasonably priced at $16.
My girlfriend ordered the Salmon Spinach Fettuccine.  It was supposed to come with fresh poached salmon, but instead of  the salmon (my girlfriend  is not a seafood person) she asked if they could substitute chicken breast instead.  This again was no problem.  The chicken breast came in a tomato garlic cream sauce tossed with spinach and fresh pasta.   The creamy sauce was seasoned well, but the star of this dish was the fresh pasta.  Coming from a family where my grandmother makes the best homemade pasta in the world, I appreciated the thickness, size, texture and the way they perfectly cooked the pasta in this dish. The chicken, spinach and sauce were all very good, but what made this dish go from average to above average was the fresh pasta!  This dish was also very reasonably priced, considering the fresh pasta,  at $15.   Overall we both enjoyed our salads and entrees.  We felt the portion sizes for both parts of our meal were above average and the prices for the salads and entrees were reasonable.   We also appreciated the flexibility in being able to add and/or substitute items in our dishes.  Overall Score for Food is 4.25/5
Drinks--The drink menu features a very good wine selection that can be purchased by the glass or bottle.  There were 13 selections of white wine and 14 selections of red wine to choose from.  Prices per glass ranged from $6 to $14 and prices per bottle were $22 to $49.  If wine is not your drink of choice they also have several mixed drinks such as Martinis, Mojitos, and Margaritas.   If it is beer you are in search of your selection starts with traditional bottled beers from Bud, Miller, and Coors.  These beers might please some people, but I was looking for the Craftbeer selections.  The draft selection quickly switches directions to Craftbeer offerings from Dogfish Head, Great Lakes, Bell’s, Southern Tier, and Stone.  In total they had six different Craftbeers on draft.  My choice of the evening was the Stone Smoked Porter.  You can see my review of it by clicking on the name, or by going to the Craftbeer Review Page.   Overall the drink menu is sure to please most people.  I hope in the future they add the beer and mixed drink prices to the menu like they have the wine prices listed.   Overall Score for Drinks is 4.25/5

Overall--I really enjoyed the use of the local and natural materials in the architecture throughout the restaurant.  I thought it added character and charm to the overall environment. When you walk in the restaurant there is a large rectangular bar to your left and off to the right side is a large casual seating area.  This large area would be a great place to stop and have an appetizer and a few drinks with friends.  The main dinner seating area is in the back of the restaurant, away from the slightly noisier bar area which was a smart choice.  Our service was quick and prompt, and our waitress was friendly and helpful.  Burtnwood Tavern really seems to be going for a finer dinning experience. With that in mind, and in comparison to other fine dinning restaurants,  we would have liked  if our server was able to describe the dishes more thoroughly.  Servers at most restaurants will give you recommendations on popular dishes, what really takes restaurant service and fine dinning to another level for me personally is when a server can not only recommend a dish, but is also able to describe the dish and the flavors/ingredients that we will be experiencing.  This creates a picture in the mind of the diner and really showcases knowledge of the menu both at the front of the house and the back of the house.   With that being said our service was good and we were pleased.  I'm just making a comparison to other fine dinning restaurants that I've eaten at.
At the end of our meal we were informed that the menu is going to be reworked to offer even more choices, which shows that Burntwood Tavern is aiming high and working hard on making a their restaurant an even better dinning experience.  We liked that the restaurant recently added free valet service.  This was a nice added touch to the start of the experience because there is very limited parking on site.  This again shows that they are committed to making a fine dinning experience even better.   I do recommend that you try the Burntwood Tavern and I suggest you call ahead for a reservation because it was a packed house!  We will be going back hopefully soon for another review and look forward to seeing the new menu!  Overall Score is 4.25/5.
Burntwood Tavern on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Alicia at Poise in Parma said...

It sounds like you guys had a really nice meal. I always appreciate when the kitchen is flexible and is willing to do substitutions. I know it's not easy to do with so many orders coming in, so I always give a restaurant extra points for that. I guess I'm going to have to head out to Chagrin Falls sometime soon - everything looks uber tasty!


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