Tucked away in Fairport Harbor, this unassuming 44-seat bar and restaurant may not get the same kind of attention as its Ohio City and Tremont counterparts, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less worthy of recognition.
With such a small footprint, snagging an open table or a seat at the bar on the weekend here is a feat, since locals know chef and owner Rusty James Phillips is a genius in the kitchen.
So listen to us when we say that it’s worth the trip to the sleepy lakeside community just to get a taste of what Phillips is cooking up for his seasonal small plates menu.
Since opening in 2015 — first as just a bar serving some kick-ass cocktails — Phillips installed a small kitchen where he could churn out creative small plates that are big on flavor while using just a few simple ingredients.
This past winter, a rich tenderloin with butternut squash gnocchi ($24) graced the menu and left our bellies full and content. For spring, Phillips has plans to incorporate venison with spring vegetables onto the menu.
“We’re always using menu items in different ways from what they’re typically used as,” says Phillips.
For example, another new spring dish he’s workshopping: zucchini noodles. Instead of using the basic garden vegetable as noodles, Phillips plans on highlighting chayote squash, which has a slightly sweet taste reminiscent of cucumber.
“We start with different flavor profiles we want to play with and then refine things,” he says.
But don’t worry — menu favorites such as the roasted shishito peppers ($7) tossed with pink Himalayan salt and cocoa almond-stuffed dates ($10) full of sauteed Spanish chorizo and goat cheese — offer familiarity among a class of new dishes that will quickly become your new go-tos.
320 High St., Fairport Harbor, 440-639-0263, thepompadourbar.com
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