James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour dinner showcases best of Cleveland chefs

What a Night!

Like a conductor who skillfully leads his orchestra, Urban Farmer executive chef Vishu Nath assembled a cadre of local chefs to lead a fine-tuned dining experience to a sold-out crowd in June.

One-hundred and seventy guests filled the main restaurant and private dining rooms at Urban Farmer on June 5 to enjoy the first James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour dinner at the modern downtown steakhouse. It was the only stop in Cleveland this year.

More than a dozen local chefs, including James Beard Award winner Michael Symon, created unique and delicious dishes ranging from crisped spring onion crepes to chicken liver matzo balls to lamb loin.

“It was a great night,’’ Nath said. “So inspiring and fun to see all the creative dishes that came out of the kitchen by some of the top chefs in Ohio.”

Chefs who prepared the nine dinner and dessert dishes also included James Beard Award nominee Karen Small of Flying Fig, Jamie Simpson of the Culinary Vegetable Institute, John D’Amico of Chez Francois in Vermilion and pastry chef Annabella Andricks of the The Dinerbar on Clifton. Urban Famer pastry chef Kara Swortchek and chef Justin Lucas participated as well.

For a full list of chefs, visit: James Beard Dinner: Clevelan opens in a new windowd

Each guest enjoyed the nine dinner and dessert dishes that were paired with a wine carefully selected by Nath and Urban Farmer general manager Andy Hata. Local varieties included the Reserve Meritage by M Cellars and the Cask Red Blend by Ferrante Winery.

Each dish was personally introduced and described by the chef who created it. Guests received a specially designed menu for the evening, which they got to bring home with them in addition to a salt cellar gift from premier James Beard sponsor U.S. Bank.

Nath was motivated to host the dinner after he and a select group of other local chefs visited the James Beard House last year to prepare a Cleveland-inspired dinner. Several of the chefs who were there with him participated in the Celebrity Chef dinner at Urban Farmer.

“It was great to bring a touch of the renowned James Beard House to Cleveland,’’ Nath said.

Learn How to Make Pasta with Us

Expert guidance for at-home chefs

Back by popular demand, our pasta class is for anyone and everyone who enjoys a hearty dish of spaghetti, rigatoni or other noodles.

On Saturday, July 13, our Chef Jared Bergen will lead an afternoon pasta class that will teach how to artfully shape pasta noodles and make ricotta gnocchi. Every part of the gnocchi dish is made from vegetables, including the pasta.

Bergen is not surprised at how much people love pasta – or how interested they are in opens in a new windowlearning how to make it.

“I think the popularity of pasta is in part because it is made in many different cultures,’’ Bergen said. “It’s a versatile food, and once the recipes and dishes are shared, the hype escalates.

“In addition, pasta-making is recognized as an artisan craft that many people devote their life to in the culinary world.”

Bergen believes it’s a common misconception that pasta making is time-consuming and requires special equipment. But that’s not the case, he said. Everyone can make it; you don’t need special equipment.

His class will put opens in a new windowa twist on pasta-making – a trend that’s become a popular carb and gluten-free substitute to the doughy noodles. All participants will make squash spaghetti, vegetable Bolognese with mirepiox and fennel in a tomato base sauce, finished with gluten-free breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Mirepoix is a combination of onions, celery and bell peppers and is common in Cajun and Creole cuisine.

After Bergen’s class, participants will be equipped with a straightforward and simple way to impress dinner party guests by applying their knowledge immediately.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to learn a fun and practical new skill and of course, eat the dish you make. Sign up opens in a new windowhere.

Get Ready for “Give Back Wednesday” Happy Hour to Kick off the Summer

Summer is almost here and we’re ready to celebrate with fun, friends and great food.

Starting June 19 throughout the summer, Urban Famer will host a “Give Back Wednesday” Happy Hour from 5-7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month.

It’s a chance to gather mid-week to relax, enjoy, and give back to the community. Each month, we’ll pick a charity to donate a portion of the proceeds. If 100 guests or more attend, Urban Farmer will donate an additional $100 to that charity.

Admission for each Happy Hour is $10 per person.

The Happy Hour will have a seasonal theme, which will be reflected in the menu. As always, our selections will stay true to our commitment to locally sourced food and drink and highlight our dedication to sustainability.

Guests will enjoy a complimentary drink special and delicious appetizers between 5-7 p.m. in our  bar and lounge.

We’re excited for our Give Back Wednesdays to stand out as one of the top Happy Hour events in Cleveland. We welcome business and social groups to attend together.

So come join us at our kickoff Happy Hour on June 19 and give back to our Cleveland community. Please keep an eye on our social media for our charity each month and to reserve a spot at the Happy Hour. And if you have one you’d like to recommend, please email our sales and marketing manager Barbara Gantous at Barbara.gantous@sagerestaurantgroup.com

Why We Value Local Partnerships

It’s trendy and popular now to shop local, support local and source local.

We think that’s great because that’s been a value of ours from the start.

At Urban Farmer, we build our menus around great local, farm-to-table food and appreciate our strong partnerships with local farmers, businesses and organizations.

We couldn’t provide the fresh, delicious, innovative food we serve without our local partners.

So as Spring approaches this month and we begin to usher in growing season, we want to recognize our wonderful local partners and talk about why we work with them. They include:

We’re proud to work with all of them because they reflect the same high standards, high quality and commitment to local that we do. In addition, their products stand up to the high expectations we have.

Take Ohio City Farm, Cleveland’s largest Urban Farm that is just two miles from our restaurant. We love this partnership not only for the fresh, local, healthy food it provides, but also because it is largely operated by the Refugee Response (TRR), which employs a team of newly-resettled refugees who work the farmland.

Tiger Mushroom Farm is another terrific partner with an amazing story: It was started by a young Cub Scout near Columbus, who wondered about how to grow things in the Ohio winter. His parents bought him a mushroom kit and his passion, ahem, has mushroomed into a growing business.

In addition, Ohio Wagyu is a great local source that provides hearty steak features on our menu. Currently, we offer a Sakura wagyu, wagyu-angus 14 oz ribeye and a 12-ouce Sakura-wagyu, waygu-angus New York Strip Steak.

We hope you come and support local and enjoy the freshest Ohio has to offer.

 

Come in from the Cold and Enjoy

When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing better than some warm food in a cozy setting.

On our new winter menu this month, we’re featuring Lamb Pot Pie filled with locally sourced lamb, baby carrots, pearl onions, potatoes, mushrooms and more. It’s a hearty dish that will warm you up on a cold day.

We also have our popular mainstay French Onion Soup with braised beef shank as an appetizer. This steamy delight, served au gratin, is perfect with a salad or sandwich. Topped with warm, melted gruyere cheese and sourdough croutons, it also can be a meal in itself for lighter eaters.

For dessert, we have our Baked Alaska that arrives flaming at your seat. It’s made with chiffon sponge cake – yellow cake lightened with meringue – layered with a Zabaione rum gelato, strawberry filling and roasted strawberry gelato. Its covered in meringue, toasted and garnished with cotton candy and flambéed to order, using watershed vodka, and served with strawberry compote. The flame is a welcome sight when it’s chilly outside.

Our delicious Baked Alaska Cassata with strawberry compote and a swirl of cotton candy on top goes up in flames to our guests delight.

Guests who earned Farm Dollars in November and December can use them toward these dishes or any other in January and February.

Knowing our guests are well-fed and well-cared for warms our hearts.

Our delicious Baked Alaska Cassata with strawberry compote and a swirl of cotton candy on top goes up in flames to our guests delight.

Guests who earned Farm Dollars in November and December can use them toward these dishes or any other in January and February.

Knowing our guests are well-fed and well-cared for warms our hearts.

 

Holiday Cheer at Urban Farmer

Urban Farmer, Cleveland’s Steakhouse, Cleveland, OH

Holiday Cheer at Urban Farmer
Visit us in December and Earn Farm Dollars to spend at our restaurant

It’s the perfect time of year to express our gratitude to our loyal guests and also, welcome new ones.

At Urban Farmer this month, we’re offering everyone the opportunity to earn Farm Dollars by simply enjoying our delicious local farm-to-table food and wonderful drinks and cocktails.

Anytime, during any visit from Dec. 1 – Dec. 31, our guests can earn one Farm Dollar for every $10 they spend. Then, in January and February, these Farm Dollars can be applied for cash value toward any food or drink purchase in the restaurant.

It’s our way of rewarding you for coming back again and again – or inviting you to try us for the first time. It’s also a great opportunity for guests to try something new.

Never tried our Meatless Monday feature? Stop by to enjoy a warm winter soup and salad.

Hankering for a hearty steak? Bring a friend and stop by for our fine grass-fed or grain-finished beef, which is purchased from local farms and butchered in-house.

Or maybe you want to get in from out of the cold after a long day at work downtown. Stop by and relax in our comfortable, cozy lounge and enjoy a warm winter cocktail with our popular charcuterie and cheese boards.

Of course, we know our guests have their favorite dishes, too, so our Farm Dollars can also be used to enjoy them more often.

What sets up apart from most other steakhouses is that we source our beef through our partnerships with different local farmer and ranchers. This allows our guests the opportunity to try different cuts and breeds they might have never tried.

Sourcing locally not only provides more variety and fresher-tasting food, it also benefits our regional economy. Raising beef is an intensive job, which supports a lot of families in our area.

So, come in from out of the cold and warm up with us this month. It’s our way of saying thanks for your loyalty and in turn, thanking our local farmers for their hard work.

Happy Holidays!

We’re Crushing it

Why we Recycle 80,000 Pounds of Glass Each year

 

Because so much of our restaurant’s food and beverages come in glass, we generate a lot of waste with glass bottles: About 80,000 pounds annually, which is roughly the equivalent of 13 average-sized adult elephants!

With our commitment to the environment and a sustainable planet, we didn’t want to throw so much waste in the trash, especially when it’s recyclable.

But because of an awkward trash pick-up station below our building, the City of Cleveland’s recycling truck couldn’t maneuver inside to haul and crush our glass on site. And most private recycling companies require glass to be crushed before they will collect it for recycling.

So we had to find another solution.

We considered crushing our glass on site, but that wasn’t feasible because we didn’t have a glass crusher and buying one was not a reasonable option.

Fortunately, we found Recycle Midwest, a Northeast Ohio company that would collect our uncrushed glass.

Adding this service continues our commitment to sustainability and working to be a leader for commercial – and especially restaurant – recycling in downtown Cleveland. Now that we have created a route for these recycling companies to come downtown, we hope it sparks others to recycle their glass and helps push down the cost as more restaurants participate.

Part of being a sustainable restaurant is taking care of the land and community in which we operate. We consider one of our social responsibilities to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfills as much as we can.

While recycling is important, reduction of waste is even more important. Through this glass recycling process, we’ve become more proactive by eliminating certain products that have excessive packaging. By eliminating the waste in the first place, we’re helping the planet, too.

Like many people in our community, we care about this issue and want to be part of the solution. We believe we’re crushing it!

 

7 Ways We Make Your Holiday Party Sparkle

It’s time to plan your holiday party. Whether it’s a company event or a gathering with family and friends, we can make your party sparkle. Here’s how we do it…

  1. Host you in an exquisitely designed Private Party Room
  2. Showcase and Serve Seasonal Cocktails
  3. Create Custom Menus
  4. Provide Excellent Customer Service from Start to Finish
  5. Offer Convenient Valet Parking and a central downtown location
  6. Deliver a Personal Touch, such as providing Urban Farmer swag bags or helping you to deliver special gifts of your own.
  7. Make it Fun! We want you to enjoy, relax, be festive and most of all, have fun. We make it that way by handling all of the details of your party, so you can leave behind the worry and embrace the fun!

Please contact Barbara Gantous at barbara.gantous@sagerestaurantgroup.com or 216-771-7707 to get your party started!

 

 

Chef Vishu Nath Rocks It in NYC

 

Chef Vishu Nath recently traveled to the Big Apple as part of a select group of local chefs chosen to participate in the “Cleveland Rocks” Dinner at The James Beard House in New York City.

Nath, who has served as the executive chef of Urban Farmer since October 2015, is known for emphasizing the importance of using high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients. Along with other influential connoisseurs from Cleveland’s culinary scene, he served up dishes that celebrated the diverse flavors of the Buckeye State.

For the dinner, Vish prepared an Ohio Summer Melon with Corn, Tomato, Basil, Mizuna and Negroni Citrus Dressing. Other dishes created by the chefs included Ohio Chanterelle Pâté with Sweet-and Sour-Duxelles, Cherry Tomato Jam and Smoked Garlic Scape Oil on house-made Mustard Toast and Cleveland Fish ‘n Chips with Radish, Tomatillo and Corn.

Check out this time-lapse video of dish preparation at the event on Instagram. The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse and sustainable for everyone.

Nath will participate in another James Beard event on October 18 in Columbus. The Celebrity Chef Tour in Columbus will take place at Gallerie Bistro on High Street and feature chefs from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and New York. Tickets can be purchased here.

 

Nath has participated in many high-profile culinary events since joining Urban Farmer Cleveland, including:

  • March of Dimes’ Signature Chefs Auction
  • University Hospitals’ Five Star Sensation
  • Gourmets in the Garden featured Chef at Cleveland Botanical Garden
  • 12th Annual Starchefs Congress and Vitamix Challenge (NYC)
  • James Beard Foundation dinner at The Burnham Restaurant in Cleveland
  • Autism Speaks Chef Gala at the Cleveland Art Museum with Michael Symon

Nath has been involved in the culinary arts since he was young. He has developed a passion for sustainability in both cooking and restaurant management practices, principles that Urban Farmer shares and puts into action with its composting and glass-crushing initiatives.

Come Mix it Up at Our Mixology Class

Come Mix it Up at Our Mixology Class


A fun, team-building event for any company or organization

  

 

It’s always nice to kick off a holiday with a special event and this July 4th we had the pleasure of hosting our friends at Studiothink for a “mixology” class. (Studiothink is our local marketing and public relations agency and a big supporter of what we do.)

A mixology class is part social event, part team-building and part “Bartending 101.” Like the other classes we host, such as our macaroon and butcher classes, our goal is to educate our guests about what we do here at Urban Farmer and how we do it, all while having fun and enjoying our farm-to-table food and drink.

Our classes are great team-building opportunities and a simple way for employees of all ranks to get away from the office, mingle and enjoy each other’s company in a casual setting.

We gather in The Pantry, one of our two private dining rooms, surrounded by a colorful array of house-preserved fruits and vegetables and let our experts engage directly with our guests.

For the mixology class, our restaurant manager Jackson Starr and bartender Ellen Traylor lead the group. Starr, both personable and knowledgeable, came up through the ranks at Urban Farmer, starting as a bus boy then bartender then manager. Traylor, an expert in all things liquor, fell in love with bartending and has been doing it full time for years.

Working off a detailed menu with a dozen different drinks, Starr and Traylor craft a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages as they talk about bartending techniques from shaking vs. stirring, the art of muddling and how to accurately measure a shot of liquor.

Guests can ask questions or just listen as they relax and enjoy hearty appetizers, including beef sliders on brioche, hush puppies, cheese plates and deviled eggs. Menus can be customized to guests’ preferences.

Starr and Traylor cover how to mix popular cocktails such as the Manhattan, Martini, Mojito and French 75, and invite guests to suggest drinks they’d like to see made. Then, those guests can step up the bar and make them, with guidance from our experts.

Anyone who wants a sample of the drink can have one. Non-alcoholic beverages are available and complimentary. The guest who requests the drink usually gets to enjoy the full glass. Guests get to take the drink recipe list home with them.

Starr and Traylor have been in the restaurant business almost their entire lives, making them not only great teachers for this class, but great employees here at Urban Farmer. They offer not only their bartending expertise but insight and interesting tidbits about their jobs.

Like our other class leaders, they are true professionals with extensive experience and a real passion for the restaurant business. We hope you join in a mixology class soon!

To find out more or book a class for your team, contact Barbara Gantous at
barbara.gantous@sagerestaurantgroup.com