This week, I travel to Cleveland-Heath (106 North Main Street, Edwardsville, Illinois; 618-307-4830), a new restaurant that boasts quite the pedigree:
Cleveland-Heath takes its name from partners (in life as well as in business) Jennifer Cleveland and Eric Heath. The name is a rather audacious move on their part. Even diners who consider themselves informed on the local restaurant scene might ask, "Who?"
The answer should only raise your expectations regarding this outstanding three-month-old restaurant in downtown Edwardsville, Illinois.
Cleveland and Heath met while working at a Salt Lake City restaurant. The two then moved to California to attend the Culinary Institute of America's Napa Valley campus. While in school, each of them built an impressive résumé. Heath worked at Farmstead, a farm-to-table establishment. (The phrase "farm-to-table" has become trendy to the point of being meaningless, but Farmstead is the real deal: It keeps its own herd of grass-fed cattle.)
Cleveland, meanwhile, learned from highly acclaimed chef Thomas Keller, spending a year and a half in the kitchen of his casual, family-style restaurant, ad hoc, and a year and a half in the front of the house at his renowned flagship, the French Laundry.
Check back here tomorrow morning to see what I think.
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