Great food flows through menu at Cedar Creek Grille in Beachwood

Great food flows through menu at Cedar Creek Grille in Beachwood

News of new restaurants travels like wildfire, and friends were quick to tell me about the opening of Cedar Creek Grille in Beachwood. They had their own take on the place, but they were all overjoyed with both the food and atmosphere.

Cedar Creek opened in early November after months of reconstruction from ceiling to floor. The former home of Melange looks entirely different, with panel cherry wood ceilings using recycled wood, some of which came from the old Cleveland Chrysler plant. Of particular interest are the awesome butcher block tables in the Terrace room and the bar counters, all made from recycled wood.

That handsome, three-season Terrace room is covered and has a double-faced fireplace. Weather permitting, the outer glass windows open, allowing fresh air for diners and those sitting in the Terrace bar.

The main dining room is casual, yet elegant, with white butcher paper table tops, leather booths and a chef’s table. Well-trained servers are personable and professional.

Cedar Creek is the latest venture for Rick Doody, founder and chairman of Bravo Brio Restaurant Group. The Doody family also operates Lindey’s Restaurant and Bar in Columbus. Devin Rench is an attentive managing partner and has an extensive restaurant management background.

Executive chef Robert Records was the executive chef at Johnny’s Downtown for 15 years before coming to Cedar Creek. His focus is on simple, high-quality dishes using fresh, local and organic ingredients.

Many of the lunch selections are also offered at dinner, but an even broader menu is offered in the evening, with larger servings and higher prices.

Although we wanted to try Charlotte’s deviled eggs ($6) as an appetizer, for health reasons we had to pass. Friends next to our table enjoyed them, though. Three egg halves were filled with traditional fillings and topped with smoked salmon and a sprinkling of fresh dill. Those deviled eggs are the brainchild of Doody’s 14-year-old daughter, Charlotte.

The wood-fired artichokes ($9) sounded interesting. A large artichoke is cut in thirds, drizzled with drawn butter then grilled and adorned with only salt and pepper. It was enjoyable, but problematic to eat.

The chicken paillard ($11, lunch) is a pounded chicken breast lightly breaded with panko crumbs and sauteed until golden brown. A side of arugula is topped with reggiano-parmesan shavings and a simple lemon vinaigrette. Halved roasted plum tomatoes were the perfect accompaniment.

The Grille Prime classic 9-ounce burger ($12) is topped with Tillamook cheddar and chive mayo and served on a toasted challah bun with house-made pickles and house-cut fries. The burger is huge, juicy and great-tasting. The terrific fries are cooked in high quality vegetable oil and served in a metal bucket.

But, the favorite was the salmon burger ($11) with lettuce, tomato and a great lemon-pepper mayo. The fresh salmon burger was soft, moist and chunky, crispy on the outside with a gentle, mild flavor. It’s served on toasted challah and served with finely shredded coleslaw with a light, tasty dressing.

Steaks are Prime Grade A. The wood-grilled, 8-ounce center cut filet ($28) is served with Worcestershire butter and mashed Yukon potatoes.

Cedar Creek Grille is at 2101 Richmond Road, Beachwood, at LaPlace. Call 216-342-5177 or log onto Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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