Experience the Many Flavors of Ohio

Experience the Many Flavors of Ohio

By Tamara Gorman Strasser
Photography by Lu Ann Henderson

Our current issue shines a spotlight on Ohio – its friendly and passionate people, and the unforgettable overall experience we had. Here’s a rundown of awesome places to check out if you ever find yourself in their neck of the woods.

The Culinary Vegetable Institute

12304 Mudbrook Rd (Ohio State Rte. 13), Milan, OH 44846



The institute hosts monthly Earth to Table dinners featuring top chefs from around the world and seasonal vegetables grown on the nearby Chef’s Garden.  They have an amazing state-of-the-art test kitchen, culinary library, and an impressive chef’s suite with hot tub. It is a beautiful venue for incredible culinary experiences. They also host team-building retreats, weddings, wine tastings, fundraising events, and luxury farm stays.

The Black Pig

1865 West 25th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113



A French inspired American restaurant located in the historic Ohio City Market District. They offer a seasonal menu using ingredients from small local farms.  Owner, Cleveland Top Chef Michael Nowak, has put together a unique menu with dishes for both meat lovers as well as vegetarians.  My favorites were the braised pork belly and the roasted duck breast, and of their incredible house cocktails I enjoyed the Sticky Pig (bourbon, peach, simple syrup, mint, peach bitters, ginger beer).

The Greenhouse Tavern

2038 East 4th Street, Cleveland, OH 44115



A nationally certified Green restaurant, owned by award-winning chef and James Beard nominee, Jonathon Sawyer, located near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and First Energy Stadium. Their eclectic menu features locally grown or sustainably produced food and cleverly crafted drinks. The Fifth Quarter (featuring the Best Of their recent James Beard House dinner), the cold smoked Ohio beef Tomahawk steak as well as the Gravy Frites (potato fries with mozzarella cheese curd and brown gravy) will blow you away, but so will the beautiful dessert Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh (Buddha hand granita, toasted rice and coconut milk).  A quirky, fun atmosphere with bicycles hanging everywhere and an extensive collection of old school movies on VHS tape for complimentary viewing.


234 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115



Owner, Chef Jonathon Sawyer’s version of a ramen noodle mashup located in the West Side Market in the heart of Cleveland.  They have a variety of appetizers, steam buns as well as a vegan and gluten free menu, but the ramen noodles are simply the best. They have done an awesome job of creating unique ramen mashups ranging from a buttermilk fried chicken ramen with maple and kale to a pork miso ramen with egg, crispy garlic and sesame.


Bar North Bistro

1316 Mudbrook Road, Huron, OH 44839



Overlooking the 18th hole at Thunderbird Hills North Golf Club, Bar North Bistro and creative Executive Chef, Michelle Doughty offer chef prepared dishes and a menu ranging from flatbreads and small plates such as blue cheese and sweet potato pierogies to delectable dishes like seared scallops with herb risotto.  A warm and inviting atmosphere with a great view.

Volstead Bar

316 East Water Street, Sandusky, OH 44870


The only sign you’ll see to mark this intriguing Prohibition Era style bar is a small neon “bar” sign in one of the windows.  Named after the Volstead Act, which allowed law enforcement to enforce the prohibition laws of the 1920’s, owner Ryan Whaley has recreated the days of the speakeasy at Volstead Bar. Located in the historic Green Door Building which was once a winery then a house of ill-repute, the atmosphere is filled with local lore. The menu is a wonderful trip through the archives of bartending and cocktail making, and it clearly states the “house rules” like “Be Patient-Our Drinks Take Time.”  All the classic cocktails are skillfully crafted ranging from a very fragrant Aviation (Plymouth gin, Luxardo, Lemon Juice, Crème de Violette) to a New Orleans Sazerac (Absinthe Rinse, Bulleit rye whiskey, Peychauds bitters, sugar cube).

Things to Do (What I did):

The Chef’s Garden

9009 Huron Avery Rd, Huron, OH 44839



A small family artisanal farm committed to sustainable practices. They provide specialty vegetables, micro greens, heirloom tomatoes, edible flowers and much more direct to top chefs and anyone throughout the U.S. and beyond.

West Side Market

1979 West 25th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113



Cleveland’s historic public market and home to more than 100 vendors offering meats, seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, dairy and cheese products, fresh flowers, ready-to-eat foods, herbs, candy and nuts. The West Side Market is one of Cleveland’s most treasured culinary traditions.

Wendy Kromer Confections

141 East Water Street, Sandusky, OH 44870



A wonderful custom bakery owned and operated by pastry chef and Martha Stewart Weddings Contributing Editor, Wendy Kromer-Schell.   After winning a cake decorating contest in NYC, Wendy was invited by the editors of Martha Stewart Living to design a cake for their magazine. Since 1995, she has produced many of the wedding cakes viewed in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, as well as many of the decorated cookies and cake related stories in Martha Stewart Living and the Martha Stewart TV program.  It is a unique bakery, and Wendy is committed to creating the most exquisite designer wedding cakes, decorated cookies, and edible wedding favors using only the highest quality ingredients.  Wendy travels worldwide to teach and to deliver her wedding cakes.

Lake Erie Shores & Islands

4424 Milan Rd. (US 250), Sandusky, OH 44870



For all the “must-do’s” around Ohio’s Lake Erie, contact the Lake Erie Shores & Islands’ Welcome Center.  The Executive Director, Joan Van Offeren, does a marvelous of welcoming others to the area and increasing awareness of Lake Erie Shores and Islands as a business and vacation destination.  Their travel guide features everything from island tours and the Lake Erie Wine Trail to Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world.  No matter the season, northern Ohio is fun and interesting place to visit.

Places to stay (Where I stayed):

Sawmill Creek Resort

400 Sawmill Creek Drive, Huron, OH 44839



A family-friendly place with a cozy mountain lodge feel to it.  The resort is on 235 acres along the shores of Lake Erie and adjacent to a nature preserve. President and CEO, Greg Hill, has created a self-contained wilderness resort features a 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed golf course, specialty shops, live music, and three restaurants including their award-winning waterside restaurant, Mariner’s.

Read More About Our Ohio Trip Here