Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Timekeepers 

Thirty years in, Gamekeeper's keeps getting better.

Few restaurants improve over the course of three decades. Most don't last that long; when they do survive, they tend to become entrenched in a former era, never again to set foot in the present.

So kudos to Gamekeeper's Taverne (87 West Street, 440-247-7744), the Chagrin Falls stalwart that first introduced nascent foodies to ciabatta bread, sun-dried tomatoes, and Häagen-Dazs ice cream back in 1976. Together with longtime executive chef Chris "Dome" Johnson, owners Tom Lutz and Eric Heatwole have clearly kept up with the times: Today's menu features an enticing mix of elegant classics like Waldorf chicken salad and prime strip steaks, and contemporary crowd-pleasers, including lobster nachos, day-boat scallops, and venison-sausage quesadillas.

Also au courant: Many dishes are now available in "little plate" format, just right for grazing. And Johnson makes good use of locally grown produce, with seasonal specials like oven-roasted peaches, filled with goat cheese and served with fresh berries, candied macadamias, and a drizzle of pear syrup on a bed of field greens.

As for Gamekeeper's famed patio -- one of the first true outdoor dining rooms in the region -- it too seems entirely up to date, with this summer's addition of new tables, chairs, and market umbrellas, and the installation of a permanent roof over the outdoor bar. Together with mature nut trees, overflowing flower baskets, and romantic lighting, it remains one of Northeast Ohio's loveliest settings for alfresco feasting.

The duo's other projects include 87 West (their next-door wine and martini bar), the Inn of Chagrin Falls, Bass Lake Taverne (Chardon), and the Foxburg Inn, a recent Pennsylvania acquisition. In development, the Welshfield Inn (Burton) and 287 West (Crocker Park) look to open by early November, and Timberfire (Chagrin Falls), which burned down in 2005, is to be rebuilt in 2008.

More falafel: After more than two decades at the West Side Market, Maha and Sam Zayed decided to launch a second outpost of their popular Maha's Falafil in Strongsville (14769 Pearl Road, 440-238-3172) this past January, with a full menu of Middle Eastern faves, including kebabs, hummus, and their famous falafel. Mainly carryout, the store is open 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation