Chef Rusty James Phillips enjoys a dichotomy. His 44-seat Fairport Harbor restaurant is cooking some of the region’s most innovative food, miles away from far hipper dining scenes.
“The majority of our support comes more from further west,” he says.
He works massive flavor into small plates, which he calls tapas but have admittedly become not very Spanish. Savory dishes such as the pepper-crusted lamb rib chop ($16), braised short rib ($16) and seared margaret duck ($15) are served with sweet notes such as honey maple drizzle, rum-infused banana mash and wine-macerated strawberries. But Phillips says the Pompadour is best defined by a dish like the Humble Vegetable ($13), an exploration of temporal differences that tops a six-hour, low-roasted tomato with grilled mushroom, garlic green beans, pickled chayote, avocado vinaigrette and toasted sesame.
“I love playing around with dishes,” says Phillips, “that have both hot and cold temperatures in your mouth at the same time.” thepompadourbar.com
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