Dining » Food Features

Bites: Blake's Finally Revamped

And Berea gets a taste of vino



It took more than a year, but the former Blake's Seafood Grill in Chagrin Falls has reopened with a new moniker and menu. A play on the Hyde Park Restaurant Group's name, Jekyll's Kitchen (17 River St., 440.893.0797, jekyllskitchen.com) is the latest eatery to retool in an attempt to attract a wider range of customers by offering lower price points. Gone are most of the pricey wood-grilled seafood items, replaced in large part by pizzas, pasta and ribs. Other popular trends that Jekyll's warmly embraced are bar snacks (sliders!), blue-plate specials and molecular gastronomy-inspired cocktails. Executive chef Kevin Foley has crafted a menu that likely will appeal to most family members. Though somebody forgot to truffle our truffle chips ($6.50), that didn't stop us from devouring a platter of fresh-fried potato chips topped with balsamic and blue cheese. We equally enjoyed Foley's take on calamari ($9.50) but wished it came with a more compelling sauce. Pizzas, priced from $10 to $17, are started on the wood grill, giving the sturdy crust an aromatic char and pleasant taste. Neither round nor square, the pies are satisfying and filling. The fresh-fish selections are whittled down to just three, Atlantic salmon, Chilean sea bass and a daily special. This being a Hyde Park restaurant, diners can count on solid steaks and chops, including three sizes of filet and two each of the rib-eye and strip. Inside and out, the space received a sharp renovation, giving it a more contemporary feel. One of the best features of the restaurant is the new patio, which practically abuts the town's namesake falls. When it's completed soon, the patio will boast a stacked-stone fireplace, alfresco bar and scaled-back menu. String lights will point the way to good times.

Cindy Good has long loved the small-town charm of Berea. "I always considered it the Chagrin Falls of the West Side," she explains. Doing her part to snazz it up, Good opened VinoMatique! (109 Front St., 440.826.9463, vinomatique.com), a combination wine bar and retail shop. The knowledgeable shopkeeper tracks down the best labels from small producers — wines you won't find at grocery stores. Most are priced between $10 and $30. Even better, two machines using the enomatic wine-serving system dispense tastes of 16 varieties, so customers can try before they buy. Wines are sold at state minimum prices. For those who wish to enjoy their booty on premises alongside, say, an artisan cheese board, a $7 cork fee is added.


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