The third time was not the charm for chef Jill Vedaa, who didn’t make the final cut for a James Beard Award despite being nominated for best chef in the Great Lakes region once again. Lucky for us, the chef of Lakewood’s innovative small plates and cocktail restaurant doesn’t think like that. If she did, we might not have gotten the 28th installment of her modern American menus in April.
Though we’re always happy to see menu favorites such as the white bean puree ($13), which is similar to hummus but chunkier with more garlic and citrus notes and topped with mashed olives, how can you not get excited about the future when Vedaa keeps coming up with dishes like oxtail tostada with pickled vegetables ($16), charred baby octopus with a duck fat cauliflower ($14) and mushroom fritters with charred poblano mojo ($12).
So we’ll keep looking forward to what’s next from Vedaa — even if Mr. Beard doesn’t think it’s good enough for a gold medal. saltcleveland.com