Sunday, April 25, 2010

fire food and drink

We had the opportunity to meet some friends for dinner last night at fire food and drink on Shaker Square. We discovered fire during last year's Restaurant Week, and have visited it several times since.

fire is located where an Arabica coffee house use to be, one that I frequented during my high school years. The food offerings at fire can be described as a blend of American and European tastes, but with a distinctive Cleveland flavor.

One reason why fire is so good and why it's one of our favorite places is because chef and owner Doug Katz uses locally sourced ingredients as much as possible in his creations. This includes meats from local farms, fish from Ohio waters, as well as locally available seasonal vegetables and fruits like a variety of squashes and apples. This means that the menu changes throughout the year depending on what's in season, and the ingredients are much fresher because they didn't travel far to get to the kitchen that's right in the corner of the dining room at fire. Compare that to chain restaurants where most food is shipped frozen from distribution centers, dishes are partially cooked and then reheated when they're ordered. Think about it, how else can they serve lasagna in about 15 minutes?!

Our favorite appetizer at fire is called popovers. It's their signature clay oven bread served with honey butter. I usually don't put any butter on my bread, but I now always put honey butter on my popovers!

fire offers grass-fed beef from a local farm, but since we don't eat beef or pork right now, we usually order their organic chicken or duck, which Starla described as the best duck she's ever had. I've been on a fish kick, so my current favorite is their sautéed walleye with potato cake, roasted apples, riesling sauerkraut, and brown butter, which is what I had last night. All the dishes we've tried have been cooked to perfection, and the flavors just pop.

fire is our favorite special occasions restaurant in Cleveland, and it should be yours, too.

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