Written by: Steve Stover
Date: February 5, 2016

Bucatini della nonna, heirloom tomato butter, and garlic at Trentina in Cleveland.

Bucatini della nonna, heirloom tomato butter, and garlic at Trentina in Cleveland. Photo: Steve Stover.

Cleveland has had some great restaurants over the years, from Chez Francois in Vermillion to Johnny’s Bar on Fulton, both are still going strong. More recently, Chef and reality TV star Michael Symon has built a small empire with Lola, Lolita, and other spots.

Cleveland star chef Jonathan Sawyer, winner of the prestigious James Beard Award as Best Chef Great Lakes, has received national attention for his flagship Greenhouse Tavern, Noodlecat, and now Trentina, a very popular new Northern Italian style restaurant in University Circle.

The interior at Trentina in Cleveland.

The interior at Trentina in Cleveland. Photo: Steve Stover.

Sawyer is planning a Columbus restaurant this year, according to published reports, although no location has been announced; this was verified by our Cleveland source, noted cookbook author Michael Ruhlman and Sawyer’s pal.

By the way, Trentina is just steps from the Cleveland Museum of Art and other museums on University Circle, and Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra.

Trentina is situated in a lovely gatehouse that formerly housed Sergio’s.

We visited with a group of six for lunch. We shared the house made pita bread presentation with house cultured butter, a kitchy beef suet candle that looked better than it tasted, and olive oil.

Shared starters included eight oysters on the half shell; winter greens and beans zuppe; an excellent wood-fired golden beet salad with red beet jerky, farmhouse cheeses, and almonds; and a wonderful carpaccio with olive oil preserved beans, parmesan, preserved citrus, evoo, and bagel chips.

The starters at Trentina include eight oysters on the half shell.

The starters at Trentina include eight oysters on the half shell. Photo: Steve Stover.

Our mains dishes included my house-made bucatini della nonna, heirloom tomato butter, and garlic; a delicious beef osso bucco with gnocchi sardi, olives, grilled herb salsa, and red wine; chicken liver and bacon bolognese rigatoni with brown butter, apples, sage, walnuts; and wonderful wood roasted squash ravioli, sage, amaretti cookie crumbs, brown butter.

Wood roasted squash ravioli, with sage, amaretti cookie crumbs and brown butter at Cleveland's Trentina.

Wood roasted squash ravioli, with sage, amaretti cookie crumbs and brown butter at Cleveland’s Trentina. Photo: Steve Stover.

Overall, the food was very sophisticated and well prepared.

The menu includes nine starters and salads ($8 to $10); five wood fired pizzas ($10 to $13); six pastas ($7 to $9 for half orders, $13 to $17 for full); andfive entrees ($!7 to $23).

Trentina
1903 Ford Drive
Cleveland, OH 44106
216-421-2900
restauranttrentina.com