Whiskey Takes Flight

Whiskey Takes Flight

Have you sampled our new whiskey flight? If not, you should land yourself a seat soon to enjoy these five signature bourbons!

 

We’ve partnered with some of our favorite distilleries to create a sampling of single barrel whiskey selections that are exclusive to Urban Farmer.  The flight includes Knock Creek Single Barrel, Cleveland Underground Honey Locust & Hickory, 1792 Single Barrel (full proof), Maker’s Mark Private Select and Eagle Rare Single Barrel Select. The flight lands with an immediate wow factor once served, thanks to the custom reclaimed wood board made by 2 Sails Woodworks.

 

As the flight and presentation concept were crafted by General Manager, Andy Hata, we asked him to share a bit more about the new whiskey flight and what makes it unique.

 

Which distilleries did you partner with and why?

 

Manager Andy: We partnered with Cleveland Whiskey because they are local, but also because they have a unique process that accelerates the maturation of the whiskey. In this process they are able to use unique woods that would otherwise not be used to age spirits. In our case, we decided to incorporate Honey Locust, a tree that is indigenous to Ohio. The Kentucky Bourbons were all single barrel selections. Meaning we, as an Urban Farmer team,  selected a specific barrel from the distillery because we liked the notes of that particular barrel. It was a great educational experience for members of our team to taste the different nuisances from barrel to barrel, as well as seeing the bourbon making process first-hand in Kentucky.

 

What can guests expect when they order and taste the flight?

 

Manager Andy: The flight covers quite a broad range of styles. The Cleveland Whiskey blend, because of the unique woods, offers a very delicate and different profile than traditional bourbons. Then you have single barrel expressions from your major brands such as Eagle Rare, Knob Creek, and Maker’s Mark. I think the highlight piece, however, is the 1792. It is the only selection in the flight that’s bottled at barrel strength. This means you get to taste all of the bold and amazing flavors of the whiskey we selected, without it being diluted to the standard 40% ABV.

 

What makes a good whiskey?

 

Manager Andy: I think this is personal to each person. Just like any food or beverage, “good” is defined by the person enjoying it and the situation. “Good whiskey” is the one that YOU enjoy.  In general though, good whiskey starts with good ingredients (water, grain, and great wood for aging). The distiller then has to find a balance of bold malty, spicy, smoky flavors and subtle smoothness and roundness on the palate.

 

Tell us more about the reclaimed wood flight boards and how you found the maker.

 

Manager Andy:  Sean Kubovcik from 2 Sails Woodworks is someone we’ve been working with for a couple of years now. He’s worked with us on numerous projects and always does an amazing job. We like working with Sean because he’s local, but also shares the same philosophies that we do. He makes sure that his work isn’t negatively impacting the environment and makes sure that everything that he works with is naturally fallen or reclaimed. We just gave him the idea and he just went with it. The design and everything came from him.

 

To learn more about our cocktail and beverage program please visit our drink menu. Better yet, we suggest you pull up a seat, enjoy a flight or signature cocktail and chat with our bartender! We’ve got lots of interesting cocktails and insight to share.

 

Cheers!

 

“Bee-Cause” They Are Important To Our Ecosystem



“Bee-Cause” They Are Important To Our Ecosystem

Understanding the Role of Bees through Indoor Gardening at Urban Farmer

Did you know that”you have a bee to thank for every one in three bites of food you eat”? (Save the Bees, Greenpeace.org). Many of us did not know this or understand the role of bees in agriculture or our ecosystem.

Much of that has changed, at Urban Farmer Cleveland, with the start of an indoor garden and education from General Manager, Andy Hata. As mentioned in our last post, Andy has been leading the team to grow chili peppers within a custom grow tent on premise. This week, we took the project to the next level by moving grown plants from the tent to a garden everyone can enjoy, within Urban Farmer’s lounge.

 

It was exciting to see the plants flourishing; now feature worthy, and being moved to the front of the restaurant.  How the chili peppers grew, from seed – to flowering plant – to vegetable we could eat, is where the learning comes in.

Most of us understand the concept of planting a seed and something growing. But what about when the environment is changed and you are trying to grow something indoors, where there’s lack of sun or bees?

Many of us hadn’t really thought about it. That is until we saw Andy “painting” the chili pepper flowers one day.  After laughs are often exchanged, over the unexpected “gardening” scene, Andy will explain his critical role in the growth of the chili peppers to staff admiring them.

 

In order to transform these flowering plants, into the vegetable producing kind, pollination is required. But without the help of bees, the help of Andy is required for in this environment. Each day, Andy must use a paint brush to transfer pollen from the male to female flowers; to pollinate, and essentially act as the bee in our indoor garden. In addition to our “Andy bee”, we also rely on our iGrowlights to act at the “sun” within our garden.

While both are working rather well, as you can see, the project now has many of us wondering what our lives would be like without bees. Could you imagine growing vegetables on a large scale with these methods? It’s a scary thought and possible reality for our near future. After all, hand pollination (aka painting flowers) sadly is required in many other parts of the world.

Maybe our next project should be bee keeping! You’ll have to wait and see.

In the interim, stop by and check out our new indoor garden, currently featuring chili peppers, oregano and sage. And please wish us luck as we hope to incorporate the fruits of labor into a few areas of the menu, pending growth.

Our Very Own Signature Bourbon

 

Our General Manager Andy and our Executive Chef Vishu, took a road trip to Kentucky this week to find our very own signature bourbon. They spent time at Barton Distillery, located in; Bardstown, KY, receiving a tour of how bourbon is made in their facility. Based on our pictures below, we can tell they really enjoyed themselves! But what does that mean for Urban Farmer’s beverage program? While Andy and Vishu were down there, they hand selected bourbons that will be featured at our bar, or table side. Although we do enjoy finding places as close to home as possible, we think it will be fun for our guests to enjoy some Kentucky Bourbon too!

Curious how Bourbon came to be in Kentucky? It began in the 1700s with the first settlers of Kentucky. Like most farmers and frontiersmen, they found that getting crops to market over narrow trails and steep mountains was a daunting task. They soon learned that converting corn and other grains to whiskey made them easily transportable, prevented the excess grain from simply rotting, and gave them some welcome diversion from the rough life of the frontier. Since then, generations of Kentuckians have continued the heritage and time-honored tradition of making fine Bourbon, unchanged from the process used by their ancestor’s centuries before. So how did it get the name Bourbon? Well, one of Kentucky’s original counties was Bourbon County, established in 1785 when Kentucky was still part of Virginia. Farmers shipped their whiskey in oak barrels — stamped from Bourbon County — down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans. The long trip aged the whiskey, with the oak wood giving it the distinct mellow flavor and amber color. Pretty soon, whiskey from Bourbon County grew in popularity and became known as Bourbon whiskey. In 1964, Congress officially recognized Bourbon’s place in our history — and our future — by declaring it a distinctive product of the United States. (kybourbontrail.com)

You can check out the distillery Andy and Vishu visited here: http://www.1792bourbon.com/distillery. We’re very excited to be offering a hand selected bourbon exlcusivley for Urban Farmer in our restaurant and please feel free to share your experiences on our social media accounts.

 

Our Butcher Cuts

 

Urban Farmer takes pride in having our very own butcher shop within our restaurant; did you ever wonder what butchers do to ensure the best products in the restaurant? Join us for one of our butcher shop classes and learn the art to what our head butcher does every day. Here is an explanation of some of our butcher cuts:

UFCL Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder

The shoulder of a pig gets split into two pieces: the butt and the picnic ham.  The butt doesn’t actually come from the rear of the animal but refers to the vessel it was stored in back in colonial times.  With a natural fat to lean ratio of about 80/20 the shoulder is great for sausage making.  We also smoke the shoulders to make our bbq pork.
UF CL Pork Belly

Pork belly

Cut from just under the pork loin the belly is fatty and tender.  Most commonly used to produce bacon but the belly can make a wonderful pork rillettes or is a nice addition to a sausage if you desire a higher fat to lean ratio
UFCL RIB

Rib

One of the most popular primal cuts, the rib spans ribs 6 through 12.  A nice mixture of lean muscle and marbleized fat makes the rib one of the most sought after steaks.  The Ohio Proud rib steak is on the menu daily
UFCL Sirloin

Sirloin

The second half of the loin primal, the sirloin offers a fairly tender steak with minimal fat.  Steaks can be cut from the large muscle of the sirloin and sold as “top sirloin” or from the sirloin cap, also known as the “Coulotte”

Steak Tasting

 

We’ve all heard of wine tastings, beer tastings and even whiskey tastings, but what about Steak Tastings? Naturally, being Cleveland’s Steakhouse, we like to think outside of the box when it comes to our meats. If you haven’t seen our menu before, we have a steak tasting with 3 6oz steaks; Bartles Farms Grass-fed, Creekstone Farms prime corn-fed and Ohio proud twenty-one day dry aged.

Cleveland now has a place where you can see the difference between dry-aged, corn-fed and grass-fed all on one plate!

Let’s dig deeper into what these three steaks are all about:

The Bartels Farm located in Oregon; “embraces a mission of grazing cattle in their natural habitat.” (bartlesnw.com)They select their cattle for the grass fed natural program based on size, conformation and quality. They never feed them with grain or treat them with antibiotics, hormones or GMO’s.  They stated that feeding their cattle grass pellets allows for more energy from their feed, which gives results of healthy and flavorful meat cuts.

The Creekstone Farms located in Kansas embraces corn-fed Black Angus beef, “with high quality corn-based feed.” (creekstonefarms.com) They explain that prior to processing, each animal is fed a high quality corn based feed ration. This has proven to enhance meat tenderness and flavor. Creekstone Farms also focuses on humane animal treatment, which additionally produces superior tasting and more tender beef.

New Creation Farms located in Ohio, is where we order in our whole cow for the twenty-one day dry aged steak. New Creation Farms believes in raising animals “in a healthy, sustainable and humane way.” (newcreationfarm.com  ) They allow their animals to roam in their natural habitat and all of their animals are hormone and antibiotic free.

You might be wondering though, what dry aged is all about?  Lucky for you, I interviewed our Butcher Vinny at Urban Farmer to find out! Once Urban Farmer orders in the whole cow from New Creations Farm, our Butcher Vinny cut’s them and places them on a shelf in the butcher shop for 21 days…….. Thought there was more to it? I know I did! I even snickered at his explanation finishing at “we put them on a shelf for 21 days”.  Luckily he pardoned my ignorance and explained it also has to have the right atmosphere of high air flow and high humidity, to get the perfect 21 day dry aged flavor.

After lots of begging and then offering to wash the dishes, I was able to try the steak tasting! The flavor is unbelievable and the education your taste buds receive is undeniable. No sauce or extra rub needed these steaks are delicious all on their own!

Daily Menu Additions & Butcher’s Cuts

Daily Menu Additions & Butcher’s Cuts

Guests of Urban Farmer can never complain about a boring menu! Not only does our menu change seasonally to feature fresh, local products but we also feature daily menu additions and butcher’s cuts. The menu additions and butcher’s cuts allow the kitchen to utilize the whole animal to result in less waste. It also allows for our chefs to showcase their creativity on a daily basis! If you stopped in over during the Christmas week, you may have seen a PB&J Duck on the menu additions card; which was inspired by the classic childhood peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! This seared duck features fermented chestnut pesto (the “peanut butter”), drunken cherry gastrique (the “jelly”), finished with a sage crumble (the “bread”), and garnished with micro greens. Be sure to check the daily card each time you stop in for lunch or dinner to see what creative dishes our chefs have developed!

An Urban Farmer

An Urban Farmer

Spring is coming and we’re getting ready for it here at Urban Farmer Cleveland. You can feel the energy in the air as the earth comes out of hibernation. As all farmers do, the farmers that we work with are starting their spring seedlings and plowing the land. We actually have one of our farmers working in-house! Clinton Bates, our lead morning cook, is one of our suppliers of local tomatoes. He knows more about tomatoes than most and is willing to help educate anyone who asks. At his two-acre farm he grew 40 different varieties last year and has 70 different varieties started for this year. That’s over 4,000 plants! All of his tomatoes are non GMO, heirloom tomatoes and he uses a homemade fertilizer of the fruit and vegetable compost from the restaurant.  When asked, he said his favorite varieties are the Hillbilly Potato Leaf and Berkeley Tie Die tomatoes. What’s his secret to growing the best tomatoes around? Clinton’s mother actually plays the radio for the plants, to help them grow! As a farm to table restaurant, we have a great deal of respect for the food grown locally and those who grow it. This is what makes us unique in the urban Cleveland setting, where we are trying to leave behind a positive footprint.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays

It’s been an amazing year here at Urban Farmer! With our new location in Cleveland we’ve seen a lot of our staff grow their careers and not just take on new roles but excel at them. We couldn’t be prouder of the team we’ve built! Next year looks to be just as exciting, not that we’re quite ready to share any of that news yet… But 2014 isn’t quite over and we’ve still got a wonderful Christmas feast to share with you and your loved ones. Chef Matt has prepared a menu of classics and new favorites. We hope to see you before the New Year!

The Butcher Shop

 

The Butcher Shop

Aside from the standard dinner menu, Urban Farmer also offers a menu addition card that features daily butcher cuts from our in-house butcher shop. Urban Farmer receives about four pigs and one cow per month. The breakdown of these animals is an all-day process. To ensure less waste, every part of the animal is used – from tail to snout! Since one animal produces a limited number of meat cuts, these items will appear on our daily butcher cuts menu card and is offered based on availability. These animals also contribute to our in-house charcuterie program. While some meats take just over a month to age properly, some meats take six months to a year. The process is very dependent on the size and water content of the meat. Join us for dinner to see the end products for yourself!

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