Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Flour Puts Its Mark On Cleveland

  We arrived back in Cleveland in the late afternoon, after a busy past few days of travel.  We were starving.  I usually have no idea where to get a quick and delicious meal when I step off the plane knowing that my refrigerator is empty.  However, I had been wanting to try the new Flour restaurant that just opened, not far from Chagrin Falls.  Flour offers rustic Italian food, creating their own house-cured meats, and wood fired pizzas.  They source seasonally and locally.   While Flour is not anywhere near the airport, and nowhere near my home, the enticement of great food, far outweighed the few more minutes of travel that I had to endure.  
Truthfully, I am really quite picky when it comes to restaurants, as I feel that it is fairly easy to make good food at home.  That said, Flour was fantastic.  The service was quick and knowledgeable.  The atmosphere was modern and relaxed, and most importantly, the food was top notch.  Growing up Italian, in San Francisco, this is exactly the food that makes me feel at home.  
We started with the calamari   They were light, crispy and not oily or overly salted.  They were garnished with a fried basil leaf and a few tiny slices of fried lemon.


Then we had the panzanella, which was grilled bread with black olives, roasted red peppers, garlic, olive oil, white balsamic and a bit of fresh basil. Fresh, light and not the least bit soggy or heavy. 


For the main course I ordered the fungi pizza with Taleggio cheese and truffle oil.  The crust, the most difficult part of making pizza, was perfect.  It is actually the best I have tried in Cleveland so far. 
  


Brian had the Lamb Conserva, a perfect nugget of moist tender lamb with a few added vegetable for garnish.


Brian finished that one off pretty easily.


If you haven't made the trek yet, (or maybe you are lucky enough to live close by) Flour is becoming a favorite for me, and is definitely worth a trip.  With a full bar and a full menu of interesting, local, rustic Italian specialties, I will be back very soon.  Maybe they could think about moving downtown- closer to me?   

5 comments:

  1. Obviously, you are a relative or friend or even the owner who posted this. The portions are so small, the pizza had ZERO flavor, the crust was raw, I am very Italian, and there is NOTHING Italian about this place. All of us at our table were mortified at how awful the food was. We left STARVING! We went to Red to have a drink and ordered appetizers there, that were larger than the full portions at Flour, and to die for delicious! I want the place to make it, I do. It is great looking,but with this menu and the portion size, they will NEVER make it.I do not believe for a minute you would travel even 10 minutes to go back to this restaurant.

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  2. Disagree with the negative comments. I think they are still experimenting with exactly what to do while trying to be different. That's a good thing really.

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  3. I disagree as well, if your italian and you want an unhealthy portion of your mom's flavored pasta then eat at home. This place has so many different ingredients that you will not get anywhere else. If you really appreciate a great culinary experience this place is great to try and the atmosphere is very cool too. Awesome wine list, reasonably priced..

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  4. Flour is not trying to be a traditional Italian restaurant like in Little Italy. It is trying to be a modern Italian restaurant with a sort of trendy New York feel. If you have ever dined in New York, first anonymous, you would maybe understand what they are going for. Maybe you were disappointed but were you really MORTIFIED? The desserts are fantastic, if you bothered to try them. And Red really isn't that unbelievably fabulous. It has just had time to establish itself. But I must say their calamari is amazing :)

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  5. Agree 100% with first comment. The great food and unique wine list cannot make up for the over-priced and teeny portions (both small and large plates). Cleveland has many, many good Italian restaurants that offer great food, great wine, and great service that do not leave you still wanting more when the bill arrives. Have been to NYC and Moreland Hills is NOT NYC!

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