The Grovewood Tavern in the Collinwood neighborhood is a place that my co-workers and I frequent for happy hour. It is tucked away in a residential neighborhood off of East 152nd Street. As you drive down Grovewood Avenue on your first visit to this establishment, you start to wonder if you are lost. "Am I going the right way?" "Is there really a restaurant around here? One worth going to?" All of these thoughts certainly crossed my mind the first time I followed someone over there after work. The answer to all of these questions is...Yes.
With drink specials and $5 superb bar menu items, it is one of our favorite destinations from 5-6:30PM on weeknights. (I have several suggestions for dishes on their bar menu if you ever want them!)
After two years of sporadic happy hours spent at this restaurant, I finally had dinner there for the first time last weekend. Two of my close friends from college are from Cleveland, and we gathered with our significant others at Grovewood Tavern on Saturday night. I had called ahead for reservations, and they generously offered to save us seating on the patio as well as the dining room so that we could have our choice based on the unpredictable Cleveland weather lately. I thought this was a wonderful gesture. We were in luck! The weather was great and we all settled into patio seating and ordered a glass of wine to sip on as we searched the menu.
"R" and I had a card from the Cleveland Independents' deck for a free appetizer or dessert. We decided on sharing the Potstickers ($10)- shrimp and pork-filled dumplings with Thai chili butter sauce and seaweed salad. The potstickers themselves were good, but nothing special. However the sweet, but yet slightly spicy, sauce they came in was flavorful and well-balanced. I found myself dipping my bread in the leftover sauce. Two of us at the table, including myself, ordered the Blackened Diver Scallops ($28)- poached in ancho-honey cream with chorizo-cheddar-scallion-mashed potatoes and sautéed seasonal vegetables. There were several ingredients in this dish that peaked my interest. The large diver scallops were cooked perfectly, and I was really happy with the overall flavor and heat of the sauce. This isn't a dish for the faint-hearted! The potatoes were a unique twist on traditional mashed. The small, ground chorizo bits and melted cheddar cheese created a high-end version of one of my favorite comfort foods. The side of seasonal vegetables was good, but forgettable. My only complaint about the dish is that it was swimming in the sauce (see above). Since it had some heat to it (and I love heat), I craved bites in between to cleanse my palate. There were only so many bites of the mashed potatoes that I could skim off the top that hadn't been taken over by the pool of sauce. It is really only a minor complaint, since I did love the flavor of the dish, but the chef could stand to go a little lighter next time when plating.
As usual, the wine selections were top notch. We had a great night sitting on the patio, enjoying the food, and catching up. There was some interesting people-watching taking place as well! While I'll stick to their $5 bar menu items for now (I though the bill was a little high for the two of us), I could see us dining there again. Maybe to try their signature lamb dish with a spicy plum glaze!
17105 Grovewood Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44110-1574