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James Beard Nominated Chef Ignites Cleveland’s New Dining Scene

James Beard Nominated Chef Ignites Cleveland’s New Dining Scene

Pursuitist - 5-Star Luxury
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What’s hot in Cleveland? The Ohio fine dining scene, believe it or not. Opening its doors this summer is Trentina (, the passion project of James Beard Award-nominated Chef Jonathon Sawyer and his wife Amelia. The dynamic duo ushers in a new way of eating and drinking for Rust Belt, complete with multi-course tasting menus, dramatic tableside presentations, and creative beverage pairings. Local foodies have genuine cause to celebrate.

Located in the University Circle arts and culture district, Trentina is an intimate dining spot offering locally-sourced ingredients of Northeast Ohio. “Over the past eight years we’ve dedicated our lives to our restaurants, our family and our city,” says Amelia.

“With Trentina we want to simply things,” says Jonathan — voted Menu Master, Innovator of the Year and Best Chef Great Lakes — of his first wholly independent venture. “We’re just two people trying to build our dream again. And this time it truly is our dream. The food at Restaurant Trentina is inspired by Trentino Alto Adige. We’re so excited to introduce Americans to the products of Provincia. The famous pastas, olive oils, wines and cheeses that we’ve been able to appreciate on a regular basis, we’ll finally be able to cook for others.”

Helmed by Chef Sawyer and Executive Chef Matt Danko, the restaurant offers two distinct tasting menus: the $115 Menu Bianco, a 12-course menu that showcases the Midwest harvest while paying homage to its inspiration, the Trentino region in Northern Italy; and the $60 Pasta Degustazione, a seven-course menu featuring a number of pastas made in-house.

Highlights from Trentina’s carefully curated Menu Bianco include: Caviar + Ciccoli; Sumac, Latte, Cucumber & Puffed Pasta; Crustaceo Crudo; Vintage Ohio Apple & Citrus; Pasta alla Chitarra; and something to ignite dinner conversation: “Edible Candle” composed of “24k gold honey, aged beef suet, crunchy salt and fresh bread.”

In concert with local designers and artisans, Amelia designed the 35-seat restaurant which features metallic colors mixed with vibrant artwork and polished décor. The dramatic focal point is a community art piece co-designed by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Cleveland. Soon, an al fresco space will offer a more casual setting for lunches and summer dinners.