Garrettsville – On October 19th, the Main Street Grille & Brewing Company had a soft opening to introduce  new Chef James St. Ours and launch his new menu and vision for the Garrettsville landmark restaurant.  A part of the Cleveland/Akron culinary scene for twenty years, St. Ours comes to Garrettsville after working with the likes of esteemed chef Dante Boccuzi at Bricco and serving as the original executive chef at Craft Beer Bar in Cuyahoga Falls.

Self taught, St. Ours believes a chef should fall in love with cooking every time they pick up a wooden spoon. That passion is evident by the beautifully crafted plates focusing on the ingredients he sources locally.  Still developing new relationships, St. Ours has already teamed up with a plethora of local artisans. these include  Mackenzie creamery, Ohio City Pasta, Ralpheal’s breads, Bent Tree coffee, Top Tier Pastry and Forest Fungi. Meat and eggs are supplied from additional local small farms, bringing a much-needed fresh, farm to table experience to Garrettsville.  When asked about his vision for the menu, St. Ours said  it was simple: “to give people the most honest product we can. A good honest well made product (and) establish a relationship with the(local) public and farmers”.

The Main Street Grille & Brewing Company stands as the only micro brewery in Portage County.  St. Ours takes advantage of brew master Mike Mallone’s hand crafted line-up of micro beers.  St. Ours feels incorporating their beers in his menu brings the brewery/ Grille  experience full circle.   Beer Mac and Cheese, beer braised beef shank, BBQ whole wings with beer infused bbq sauce, beer vinaigrette and his salted beer caramel are just a few ways he accomplishes this “spherical experience”.

Although the menu isn’t large,  it offers  a variety of options including seafood, steaks, chicken, ribs and fresh heirloom greens. St. Ours believes a focused menu  allows for better execution and attention to detail.

The Garrettsville Women in Business Holiday on the Green committee was in attendance to sample the menu Monday night. We sampled the Potato Leek Soup with roasted garlic bacon and leek hay. The soup was poured tableside as was the trotter gravy that accompanied the Poutine. The Poutine is a match made in heaven to be paired with any of the micro brews. Rosemary garlic frites, crisp bacon fat, cheese curds and an egg round out the dish. Our Dwarf Wedge was topped with gorgonzola, baby heirloom tomatoes, red onions and dressed with a bacon garlic herb vinaigrette. The Fall Salad was a spectacular display of color, including greens and a maple beer sweet potato compote. The Meat and Cheese Plate was hearty enough for four to share. The plate displayed a large piece of Ralphael’s bread, Mackenzie Creamery’s herbed goat cheese, housemade hummus, a variety of hard cheeses , wild boar salami and duck breast pastrami. The Mussel dish was cooked perfectly and served in a garlic charred serrano chili broth with bacon and also accompanied by a piece of Ralpheal’s handcrafted bread. Ohio City’s fresh pasta along with the brewery’s  Main Street Joe are  the star features in the Beer Mac N’ Cheese. St. Ours’s Risotto was creamy and rich, featured an Ohio free range chicken confit and is the  pinnacle of comfort food in a bowl. Our seafood samplers included the Ahi Tuna, crusted in Japanese spices and served with wakame salad and a sesame wasabi. Fresh caught scallops served on potato rosti along side a wilted watercress bacon salad and balsamic reduction. And Salmon served with crushed Peruvian potatoes with baby heirloom tomatoes. We finished off the night with St. Ours Popcorn custard with beer infused salted caramel and Top Tier Pastry’s red wine poached pear in chocolate frangipani tart.

Service started slowly, but once in the groove, the kitchen started to fill our table with beautifully presented, tantalizing dishes.  New flavor profiles popped on our pallets and left you wanting more. The menu features vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan choices and some dishes can be altered to accommodate special dietary needs.

Not only has the menu received an overhaul, but the Grille itself is slowly being brought back to life. The restrooms are in their final stages of remodel and sights are set on revitalizing the back dining room.