Urban Farmer is committed to sustaining the region we live and work in while redefining the modern Cleveland steakhouse with local organic sourcing, a menu that emphasizes sustainable Midwest ingredients and simple, straightforward preparations. In the six months since it has opened, the unique restaurant that is attached to the downtown Cleveland Westin at 1325 East 6th Street, has fostered relationships with about 20 small local producers, including Chardon-based New Creation Farm, Ohio City Farm, Kent-based Lucky Penny, Killbuck Valley Mushrooms in Burbank, Miller Livestock in Kinsman, and Millgate Farm in Jefferson.
Urban Farmer chefs build personal relationships with local farms, ranches and fisheries. About half of Urban Farmer’s monthly food purchasing or about $100,000, has been allocated towards local producers who provide the restaurant with a steady supply of fresh ingredients: meat, cheeses, produce and dairy. Some of those operations have had to scale up production just to meet the steakhouse’s demand.
The Cleveland location opened in May with a Portland-esque menu (its namesake), then deviated from it after one month, crafting its own version around Ohio. “We’re trying to get as much local squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cabbage as we can,” Executive Chef Brad Cecchi said. And they were busy with pickling projects since May in order to preserve the local food.
The menu however isn’t the only locally made item you’ll find inside. The restaurant also used materials from old barn and other upcycled and repurposed objects to design the wooden floors, lighting fixtures creating a comfortably rustic and yet modern atmosphere.
Cecchi says. "People like things to be comfortable but with some special flair. Our goal is to make things exciting, yet approachable."
To complement the food selection, beverage offers also reflect the Midwest’s community of local artisans with beer selections from within Cleveland city limits, cocktails made with local craft spirits and an extensive wine program highlighting regional vineyards.
During December 2014, $1.00 of every lunch and dinner soup sold at Urban Farmer Cleveland will benefit Refugee Response of Ohio City Farm. The sweet potato and peanut soup features ingredients from this organization.