25 Best Restaurants: Trentina
Jonathon Sawyer cozies up to his familial roots with an Italian menu full of experimentation.
Trentina’s cozy carriage house sets the tone for the homey feel of every aspect of the dining experience. “We love the setting,” says chef and owner Jonathon Sawyer. “We’ve always wanted the dining room to be a big neighborhood place, like a diverse family.” For Sawyer, Trentina digs deep at his roots by exploring the cuisine of Trentino, Italy, the ancestral homeland of his wife Amelia’s family, while expanding his culinary vision with a commitment to foraged ingredients such as bolete mushrooms and the region’s most experimental tasting menu. The deliciously familiar Bucatini Della Nonna ($16) — the name itself means grandma’s bucatini — starts with house-made pasta prepared to an al dente firmness that is even more pronounced thanks to the pinhole in the center, which also gives the gently creamy heirloom tomato butter an extra place to reside. Sawyer’s experimentation with traditional ingredients gives rise to treats like the grilled broccoli ($10), which features a salsa made from local apples — a signature crop of Trentino. The apple salsa, normally used to liven up Italian pork or poultry, works the same magic over broccoli. “We’re using the tartness in the apples as an acid,” he says. “We’re dressing this wonderful charred wood-fired broccoli with it.” Don’t Miss:
The table bread ($8) is a crusty, airy puff playfully accompanied by a freeform beef suet candle. The drippings elevate the bread from merely delicious to salty and sublime. Dig In:
Try the root veggies. Northeast Ohio’s clay-rich soil is remarkably similar to what’s found in Trentino, Italy, so the local produce of both places yields a similar rich, sugary taste.1903 Ford Drive, Cleveland, 216-421-2900, restauranttrentina.com