My friends used to work with Accent's Chef Michael Lyon back when he was a seemingly ordinary guy in their office. They had a glimpse of his culinary skills back in the day and couldn't wait to see his dream come to fruition. We all agreed, he was rocking the chef's coat and the kitchen!
He treated us to platters of mixed pickled vegetables that whet our appetites while we waited for our drinks.
The star of the plate was the yellow 1/2 circles that look like yellow squash. They tasted like butternut squash but were actually a type of daikon radish. They had a meatiness that was unexpected and addictive.
I also tried the Bourbon Stinger (bourbon, honey and cinnamon simple syrup) and it was a close second. There's a delightful lime cocktail (forgot to write down the name) on the menu that's really really good too.
We shared the famous Sasa fries to start off. Then we had to make the hard decision on what to order. Accent features two unique cooking methods not utilized in any other Cleveland kitchens. The Robata Grill reaches 1,000 degrees and this high heat ensures that the food's exterior is crispy and the interior isn't overcooked. The Josper Oven combines a traditional oven with the characteristics of charbroiling.
I had my heart set on trying the Robata grilled items but found that they are on the Tapas dinner menu which ended up being a bar only menu. They offered Robata whole snapper and scallops on the dinner menu but I was really in the mood for grilled meat. They were really nice and let me order them but make sure you sit in the bar if that's what you are looking for.
I ordered the mixed veggies and was swayed by the server's high praise of the turkey ribs and ordered those.
The veggies received ended up being yellow and green squash only and I would pass on those next time. They are good but nothing special. On the other hand, the turkey ribs were incredible! Besides being unique (who ever had a turkey rib before?!) they were meaty and delicious. Definitely order these - you won't believe how good turkey can taste.
|the secret? the "ribs" are actually the collarbone|
As an appetizer, you definitely want to share. Even though it was my entree, I still shared. I expected it to have more punch because of the kim chee but it was mild so don't be afraid to order it if you don't like too much spice. It was a huge hit at the table.
Thankfully my friends let me sample their selections too:
|shitake and tofu ravioli - gluten free and vegan!|
|Robata cold smoked pan seared scallops with yam puree and roasted veggies and katsu sauce|
In the center are mung bean pancakes with thinly sliced daikon in between each. You could make tiny little wraps or just eat each element separately. You might share this with a friend but you would both be fighting over the pork belly, shrimp and scallop because they were so good and the portions of these were small.
Our table also ordered the hanger steak with chimichurri sauce and roasted fingerling potatoes. While I may have forgotten to take a photo, I won't forget how good it was. It proved again that Accent really shines when it comes to meat.
We finished off the meal with an order of the S'mores.
This was a unique and fun preparation (less messy too!) of a traditional campfire favorite. Each marshmallow is skewered, rolled in chocolate ganache, rolled in graham cracker crumbs and then blasted in the Robata. They were gooey and a nice sweet bite to end the meal.
My heart was set on the pumpkin bread pudding but they were out. Much moaning and whining ensued but the S'mores helped ease the pain. The other choices were a creme brulee and a molten chocolate cake. I would really like to see some other choices that match the creativity of the rest of the menu.
Especially considering that we dined on day 2, most everything went smoothly. Besides being out of the bread pudding and the short ribs, and running out of some ingredient in the lime cocktail, the only misstep was the slowness of getting our drinks out to us. The lag was really long especially considering that they weren't busy. The waitress had a fairly good understanding of the menu and made two solid recommendations so I think that they are off to a great start!
We all loved Accent and will definitely be back. It's a perfect Happy Hour spot for sitting in the bar and trying all the Robata items. I can't wait to see what they do with the beef brisket and the egg and prosciutto. What a perfect stop after hitting the newly opened MOCA!
This new Uptown District is looking like quite the hip destination thanks to Accent, MOCA, a new Jonathan Sawyer restaurant in the works, the 2nd ABC the Tavern location and more.