One may think that in small towns there are only limited dining options, or even worse, nothing but the uninspiring generic joint that makes everything fried. Not so in charming Chagrin Falls. We only spent the night and didn’t have time to try out as many places as I would have liked, but for the two restaurants we did dine at, I was extremely impressed.
The West End Bistro, as its website notes, prepares its dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients from local and regional markets in an American bistro setting. It’s exactly the type of place I love. While nothing is better than ethnic cuisine in my opinion, sometimes you just want your comfort food and when it’s comfort food with a more elegant touch, it’s sublime.
The restaurant was literally a stone’s throw away from our hotel, the Inn of Chagrin Falls. The space didn’t appear to be overly big-it seemed that the kitchen and bar were located on the first floor while the dining area was on the second. While I had no problems making a reservation less than a week before we went, with it being a Friday night, the place quickly filled up as the evening went on.
To start, I ordered a cup of the soup of the day which was Minestrone. While I would have loved to have tried its Butternut Squash soup, that can be overly rich and I wanted to make sure the rest of my meal would not be marred. The Minestrone was a worthy substitute. D went with a classic favorite of his, French Onion. I didn’t try any but the melted, gooey cheese looked particularly delicious.
For my entree, I selected the Braised Short Ribs which came with yukon mashed potatoes, parsnips, and fried leeks. What I really liked about the West End Bistro is that for some of its entrees it offered full and half sizes. Since our room didn’t have a refrigerator I was loath to order anything I wouldn’t be able to finish so getting the half size ($18) turned out to be perfect. For reference, the full size cost of my entree was $26. I’ve only seen a smattering of restaurants offer this and wish more would follow suit!
D ordered the Seared Scallops for his entree, one of his new beloved dishes. He did go for the full size portion which resulted in getting enormous scallops ($22/$28). His entree came with a sweet corn succotash, fried spinach, and a malted vin reduction.
The other entree I somewhat regret not ordering since it’s a rarely seen menu item was the Beef Wellington. Beef + puff pastry, enough said.
We didn’t stay for dessert since there was a bakery I wanted to try but I’ve no doubt the selections would have been just as fabulous as everything else.
Everything was fantastic-the service, food, ambience-so the next time you think small town must mean uninspiring cuisine, think again.
Note: As I mentioned in my hotel review of the Inn of Chagrin Falls, we received a 10% off coupon for the West End Bistro.