James Beard Foundation Award-winning Chef Jonathon Sawyer opened Sawyer’s in partnership with Forward Hospitality Group, his new flagship restaurant anchoring the Van Aken District in Cleveland’s Shaker Heights. Featuring Sawyer’s distinctive modern American fare, the menu is centered around wood-fired cooking as well as the Chapa, a versatile live fire cooking tool most commonly known in Argentina’s Patagonia and Italy’s Abruzzo regions. A Cleveland native—who helms celebrated restaurant The Greenhouse Tavern—Chef Sawyer enters a new period of growth with the recent opening of SeeSaw in Columbus followed by Sawyer’s debut.

In addition to a wood-fired grill, Sawyer’s features a Josper, a combination grill and oven fueled by glowing coals; and a Chapa, an inch-thick slab of steel that is placed right on top of the fire; allowing a range of cooking styles by hanging ingredients at various heights, whether smoking meat, cooking vegetables directly over coals, or searing octopus on the grill-top. With chef de cuisines Adam Bauer and Logan Abbe by his side, chef Sawyer’s menu is divided by Raw Bar; Veg with Benefits; Apps; Wood Fired Pita; Entrees; and Sides; with highlights such as:

Raw Bar & Seafood

Wood Fired Octopus: brown butter vinaigrette, chicory, pomegranate seeds, burnt shallots

Veg with Benefits

Beet Salad: ash cooked beets, pistachio, chevre mouse, candy striped + jerkied beets

Spicy Sexy Spanish Snack Peppers: Padrón peppers, chili oil, pimenton, citrus


Duck Mortadella: eggplant, honey mustard, potato gaufrettes

Roasted Pork and Broccolini: provolone picante, Italian ‘cheese whiz’, raw and crispy garlic Homage to DiNic’s in Philly. A deconstructed ‘sandwich’ based on their traditional roast pork and broccoli rabe sandwich

Strangolapreti: stuffed bread gnocchi with robiola cheese and Ohio beef brisket

Crispy Confit of Chicken Wings: three ways; classic GHT style, not Nashville hot, lemon pepper citrus


Bistro Steak Frites: Picanha strip loin, chimichurri, french fries

Salt Baked Fish: hollandaise, hasselback potatoes, puffed mustard seeds

Wood Roasted Duck Breast: white chocolate, parsnips, pine nuts, red wine demi glacé

Burger Deluxe: wood fired Ohio beef, cheddar, secret sauce, grilled pickled onion, on brioche

Plus Desserts like Danko Dobosh, Sawyer’s take on the storied layer cake, and Wood Fired Apple Tarte Tatin.

Sawyer’s wine program focuses on natural, biodynamic and sustainable wines; food-friendly cocktails with house-made ingredients like the I Don’t Want No Shrub: raspberry vodka, Sawyer’s homemade vinegar, simple syrup; the Pet-Nat 75: Bombay Sapphire, lemon, simple syrup, orange pét-nat piquette; and a rotating seasonal Sangria. Beers on draft showcase local and regional breweries like Rhinegeist and Hoof Hearted, alongside bottled and canned favorites from Jackie O’s and Platform.

The airy interior features mid-century and contemporary design, an abundance of living greenery and plants, and sliding windows that open to the patio, allowing the space to convert into an al fresco dining experience. Guests can sidle up to the 10-seat bar, or settle into the elevated seating area in the center of the restaurant, which offers a great view into the open kitchen.

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