The Reserve, Formerly Umami, Opens in Chagrin Falls on Tuesday, August 23rd

The renovated bistro now features a bar and small-plates menu

click to enlarge The Reserve in Chagrin Falls opens on Tuesday, August 23rd - Mike Mendlovic
Mike Mendlovic
The Reserve in Chagrin Falls opens on Tuesday, August 23rd

At long last, The Reserve (42 N. Main St., 440-318-1492) in Chagrin Falls will open its doors on Tuesday, August 23rd. The restaurant replaces Umami, which closed this past winter after 14 years.

Back in May, owners Mike Mendlovic and Nikki Williams revealed their plans for this small but mighty bistro. In addition to the name change, the restaurant underwent significant interior changes that included the addition of a bar.

“The number one complaint we’ve always heard is that you really had to plan to be here,” explains Mendlovic. “You had to call a couple days in advance to get a table. You could never just stop in for a quick bite and a drink.”

When guests return after the months-long hiatus they will find a handsome bar constructed of black walnut that spans the length of the left side of the room. There is seating for about 10 to 12 guests at the bar, which requires no reservations to sit there.

The booths on the opposite side of the room have been rebuilt to be more spacious and comfortable. No seats were lost in the arrangement, with a total occupancy still hovering around 28 to 30.

The biggest changes were "reserved" for the menu, which is under the control of chef Gregg Gale. This time around, the chef focuses almost entirely on small plates, many of which will be familiar to regular diners. Most of the large plates and entrees have been jettisoned or converted to small-plate form. Seafood still plays a starring role on the menu.

Mendlovic says that the switch to a bar and small-plates format made perfect sense given the dramatic changes in the local dining scene.

“With so many great restaurants opening up in Chagrin, we thought it would be really nice to have a place where people could grab a drink or two before dinner or after dinner – or grab dessert after dinner – but also to have dinner if they want.”

click to enlarge The Reserve in Chagrin Falls opens on Tuesday, August 23rd - Mike Mendlovic
Mike Mendlovic
The Reserve in Chagrin Falls opens on Tuesday, August 23rd

About The Author

Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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