When Matt Anderson left his post last year as executive chef of Umami
in Chagrin Falls, a position he held and excelled at for five years, to join ranks with Steve Schimoler over at Crop Kitchen, the obvious question was: how would this affect the restaurant.
Apparently, not negatively.
“Since Matt left for Crop we've been going strong, with chef Gregg Gale [Matt's sous chef] taking over the reins and our longtime managing partner Nikki Williams running the day to day,” says Mike Mendlovic, Umami’s managing partner. “We're a tiny operation, but have a real passion for what we're doing.”
That passion has been noticed. Umami was recently named by OpenTable as one of the 100 best restaurants in America, joining just two other Ohio restaurants: Orchids at Palm Court in Cincinnati and Chez Francois in Vermilion. The restaurants are selected from verified OpenTable reviews.
“These are the places that get it right every time — where everyone feels like a VIP and each meal is memorable,” states the OpenTable list feature. “Our list of honorees is based on an analysis of 5,000,000-plus reviews of more than 20,000 restaurants across the country — all submitted by verified diners.”
“We were extremely honored,” adds Mendlovic. “We have the best customers in the world, and they tell us all the time how much they love what we do, but it's very gratifying to hear it from a national perspective.
“Umami has maintained the same level of flavorful, inventive and beautiful dishes that we built our reputation on by sourcing from the same local farms and purveyors, as well as using their contacts in Hawaii and beyond to ensure the freshest seafood is served only a couple of days out of the water,” Mendlovic states.
If you haven’t yet, do give this “28 seat passion project in Chagrin Falls” a try.
Here's the Opentable link
of all restaurants.