Mar 13, 2016
Location: Cuyahoga Falls
Menu Offerings 5/5
One page. Complication ranges from eggs & bacon to serious French culinary achievements. The menu changes week to week, and is local & seasonal, though some favorites bypass rotation. And that's just the way I like it. My own menu philosophy is that menus should be short, varied, and if they're going to be seasonal (and they should), there still has to be a few dishes I can rely on.
It's apparent that service matters here. The servers are polite, timely and knowledgeable.
There were a few mishaps that stood out, all of which felt like the individual's neglect rather than an overall representation of service: The manager swiped our cream to give to another customer (we hadn't gotten to use it yet) and never returned it. Our waiter never once took any of our plates out of the way, which made it really hard to navigate the tiny tables. Another server, however, seemed to notice and began to keep our table bussed for us. Teamwork! And we waited 10 minutes for someone to appear behind the hostess stand, only to go unacknowledged.
I've paid $50 for breakfast for two quite a few times. In Cleveland, this has been the only place where I felt it was justified. If $15-$20 brunch dishes make you gasp, that's probably enough to make me discourage you from coming here. For some of us, nothing will ever be enough to justify such pricing for breakfast (I'll admit our total bill at our favorite local greasy spoon is less than what I paid for just one dish here). For a local, seasonal brunch dish that is consistent in both exquisite flavor and immaculate presentation, I'll pay $20. The ingredients were recognizably superior and we both left full.
The menu offered us 3 different varieties served French press style or a cup of regular old joe. The French Press was prepared just right and the flavor was on par with the rest of this place's offerings. Don't be discouraged by the $7 price tag - it's for a full carafe that serves at least 4 cups of coffee. You're not going to be served watery Folger's here.
I'll start by saying that their floor plan does make the most of a small space. That doesn't change that you probably will feel cramped wherever you sit. A narrow two-top barely affords you the space for coffee and a plate each. I saw larger parties pretty much sitting on top of each other. And while there was a small counter, it wasn't being seated (the wait staff was using it for folding napkins, literally all of it). The only solution would be a change in location, so simply arrive open-minded and be prepared to knock elbows.
Duck Score 5/5
As a bakery and cafe, this place more than delivers. For brunch, I might argue it's the best in the Cleveland area. They do have dinners and chef's tastings which I can't speak to, but those are a bonus anyway. And based on menus I've viewed and Yelp! reviews, it sounds like those are equally as superb.
Must Try: Chicken Fricassee
'An epic version of chicken pot pie' as my waiter put it. Tender pulled chicken in a light, simple gravy, lightly peppered... served in a puff pastry 'bowl' with brie and a side of greens. It's the most perfectly done savory brunch. I added a fried egg to pull the dish a bit more toward breakfast, but that's a personal preference - it certainly didn't need it.