By John Long, Laura Taxel, Doug Trattner & Michelle Venorsky
When our city talks about food, we trot out the corned beef sandwich, the perogi and paprikash. But these days, there are a few more things we can’t shut up about: Table 45 — our best new restaurant, and one of Esquire’s top 20 new restaurants. Iron Chef Michael Symon (of course). Pork belly. Our bounty of farmers markets. Seasonal menus (the bane of the monthly magazine food writer). Locally sourced meats and cheese. Christmas Ale. Sustainable farms. Upscale comfort food. Organic everything.
So although we’re destined (and probably required by some forgotten Cleveland bylaw) to love a mile-high pile of corned beef, our palates are being reshaped by the moment, courtesy of our chefs. As we’ve watched in wonder, they’ve returned home, or stayed home, and now national food writers are getting a sampling too. We’re eating locally (score another buzzword for us!) and we couldn’t be happier. This is ... the year of the cleveland chef.