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Hot In Cleveland: The Greenhouse Tavern.

 The Greenhouse Tavern is an exceptional restaurant located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Chef Jonathan Sawyer creates delicious eats with a green twist. The Greenhouse Tavern was the first certified green restaurant in Ohio and follows a “farm to plate”  mentality. Chef Sawyer, a 2012 James Beard award nominee, was awarded Bon Apetit’s Best New Restaurants in 2009 and Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in 2010. We were lucky enough to eat at the Chef’s table in the basement of the restaurant with close access to the kitchen. One perk to eating in this area are the surprise plates that you get throughout your meal. We were given several dishes to taste throughout our dinner in addition to what we ordered. The menu changes often with the season and has a variety of options including some vegan and vegetarian dishes. The dishes are original, creative and flavored to perfection. The service is beyond excellent and the atmosphere is fun and lively. You can really taste the love and effort put into each dish. Simply put, The Greenhouse Tavern is a phenomenal dining experience. I highly recommend every dish we had, shown below.

Shout out to Jamie and Karen Morse – Greenhouse Tavern’s two best customers! Thanks for taking us for a lovely dinner.

Crispy Chicken Wings Confit with roasted jalapeño, lemon juice, scallion & garlic.

Spicy Raw Fermented Ratatouille with eggplant, zucchini, onion & tomato.

Jean Louis Chave & Mushroom Risotto with porcini & wood ear mushrooms.

Properly Cooked Heirloom Ohio Bean Salad with extra virgin olive oil, pinto, turkey caw & calypso.

Pan Fried Pork Chop Saltimbocca with sage, country ham, pomme purée, scrapple & red eye gravy.

Strongolopretti Pasta with red beets, pecorino, day old bread, parsley, blue poppy seeds & brown butter.

Strip Steak Frites with Ohio only certified Angus beef ®, pommes frites, parsley, shallot mignonette & buerre rouge.

Raw Apple and Celery Leaf Salad with Rittman orchards apple, walnut tahini, radish, Mackenzie’s goat cheese, cracked fennel & almond.


Roasted Squash Double with amoretti bread crumbs, sage & love.

A Very Merry Un-Birthday Cake with aerated sponge cake, cake batter ice cream, vanilla frosting & sprinkles.

Smoked Malt Walnut Financier with chocolate cremeux, toasted oat, lemon & parsnip puree, almond crunch & candied walnut.

Vegan Huckleberry Sorbet with huckleberry and juniper sorbet, toasted almond cake, coconut whip, chia seed & house made muesli.


Rachel Zoe’s Crack Salami.

Baked Salami With Spicy Honey Mustard & Apricot Preserves.

I am obsessed with reality TV, especially reality TV on Bravo. If you are too, you probably watch The Rachel Zoe Project. On last season’s finale episode, Rachel hosted a dinner party at her house and made her famous baked salami which she said was “kinda the most delicious thing ever” and referred to as the “crack” of salamis. Well, she was right… it is ba-na-nas. I found similar recipes online on a fellow RZ lover’s blog as well as one on Epicurious, so I used those recipes and adapted them slightly for this baked salami. You must try this salami. It’s so good. I die.

You can see a video clip from the Rachel Zoe Project where she makes her famous salami here.

1 salami serves ~4 people.


  • 1 soft 6 inch salami log (Hebrew National is a good brand)
  • 1/4  cup spicy honey mustard
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves

Mix the apricot preserves and honey mustard together in a bowl. Cut slices into the salami but don’t cut all the way through, leave them attached at the bottom. Put the salami on a baking dish and use your hands (it gets messy) to rub the mustard/preserve mixture into the meat and in between all the slices. Bake in a 375 degree oven for ~1 hour, taking the salami out every 20 minutes or so to rub more of the mustard/preserve mixture as well as the drippings in the baking dish onto the salami. Once the outer skin of the salami is slightly browned or blackened, allow the salami to cool down for about 5 minutes and then cut the slices off and serve with a side of the remaining spicy honey mustard.

Bangin’ Balsamic Sausage.

Roasted Balsamic Chicken Sausage With Onions, Peppers, Carrots & Basil.

I recently hosted a dinner party with some friends and I wanted to make something easy – something that I could just pop in the oven and forget about so I could chitchat with my guests. I had seen a roasted sausage and potato recipe here, so I made a version of it and adapted the recipe to make this low-fat, low-carb, tangy sausage and vegetable dish. I used chicken sausage to cut down on the fat and increased the veggies instead of using potatoes. Marinating the vegetables really helps to enhance all of the flavors in this recipe. This dish is warm, hearty and filling. With the Italian theme of the dinner party, this dish was absolutely perfect!

Serves ~8-10.


  • 8 Italian chicken sausages, cut in half (I did 4 sweet/4 spicy for variety)
  • 2 large onions, cut into eights
  • 3 large bell peppers, sliced (any colors)
  • 8 whole carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper

In a large mixing bowl, add the onions, peppers, carrots and chopped basil. Toss the veggies with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil. Add in the juice from one lemon and a generous dash of garlic salt and black pepper. Put all of the veggies into a large freezer bag along with any liquid in the bowl and marinate them in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.

After marinated, put the vegetables into a large roasting pan and arrange the sausages on top.  Pour 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar over the sausage and vegetables and season again with a dash of garlic salt and black pepper. Cook in the oven on 400 degree for 45 minutes. Halfway through cooking, take out the roasting pan to stir the vegetables and flip the sausages so the other side can brown.

Tremendous Truffle-Mozzarella Potatoes.

White Truffle & Mozzarella Potato Casserole

With the holiday tomorrow, this white truffle & mozzarella potato casserole could be a great alternative (or addition) to regular mashed potatoes in your Thanksgiving spread! I made these potatoes for a dinner party recently and they are decadent and delicious. The white truffle oil adds a burst of intense flavor that goes perfectly with the subtle creaminess of the buffalo mozzarella.

Serves ~8-10.


  • 12 small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup fresh buffalo mozzarella, diced
  • 3 tbsp white truffle oil (I found at Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (& 3 tbsp for topping the casserole)
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper

Begin by boiling the potatoes for about 20-30 minutes. Once the potatoes are soft and break apart easily with a knife, drain the excess water and return them to the pot. Use a knife to do a rough chop of the potatoes (as shown below) and use the back of a spoon to mash the pieces up a bit. Add in the sour cream, mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and white truffle oil. Season with a generous dash of garlic salt and black pepper and mix well. Put the mixture into a baking dish and top ~3 tbsp of Parmesan cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes until browned and bubbly.

Crunchy Corn & Asparagus Salad.

Sweet Corn, Asparagus & Cannellini Bean Salad With Lemon & Basil Vinaigrette & Shaved Parmesan

The sweet corn, crunchy asparagus and creamy cannellini beans in this salad are a great mixture of flavors and textures. The lemon and basil help to brighten up the dish and bring it all together. This salad is really versatile and is hearty enough to eat on its own as a meal but it also makes great side dish with chicken, fish or beef. Yum!

Serves 5-7.


  • 1 large bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 6 ears of sweet yellow corn, cut off the cob
  • 1 can cannellini beans (white beans), drained
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper

In the food processor, add the basil, lemon juice and olive oil and blend until the basil is finely chopped. Put the dressing aside in a small bowl while you prepare the veggies.

Boil ~4 cups of water on the stove and add in the diced asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the excess water and rinse the asparagus with cold water and put it into the fridge to stop the cooking (keep in the fridge for about 10 minutes.) While the asparagus is cooling to room temperature, cut the corn off of the cob (raw) and add it into a large mixing bowl. In the mixing bowl with the corn, add in the cannellini beans, asparagus and shaved Parmesan. Pour in the dressing along with a generous dash of garlic salt and black pepper, and toss to combine.

The Birthday Boy’s Dinner.

Nigella Lawson’s One-Pan Sage-and-Onion Chicken and Sausage

Gareth’s birthday is always an excuse for me to cook an oversized, fancy meal for us. This year I made this recipe by Nigella Lawson. I wanted to share it on FBB because it was super delicious and it couldn’t have been easier to make. Since it was a special occasion, I didn’t alter the recipe at all to make it leaner, but if you wanted, you could make this recipe more of an everyday, healthy dish by using skinless chicken breasts and/or chicken sausage. Either way you make it, the overall flavors and spices of this dish are outstanding! Gareth was definitely a happy (and full) birthday boy.

Note: Colman’s Mustard is a brand of English mustard that is pretty easy to find, most grocery stores will have it. I did not use 12 sausages as the recipe calls for, I used 6 and cut them in half.