By Published On: 7 April 20141072 words5.6 min read

Do you live in or around Cleveland?  Get yourself to TownHall Ohio City immediately, you can thank me later.  The TownHall is a restaurant/cafe/bar/juice bar/patio in the heart of Ohio City and it’ll rock your world.

I arrived at the TownHall one frigid Monday night in Cleveland and was grateful for the free valet service.  Once inside you’ll be faced with two distinct and separate spaces: a casual cafe side filled with board games and device charging stations, the other a swanky dining room and bar, rich with earthy accents.

I settled in on the restaurant side and was greeted with a menu chock full of vegan options.  Although TownHall is not a vegan only restaurant, they do carry a large vegan selection on their daily menu.  In addition, Monday nights are “Vegan Night” which features a special menu designed around organically driven, sustainable, seasonal and fresh local ingredients.

Menu

I mean, look at that menu!  So many choices!  I don’t live close to Townhall, I drove 45 minutes to get there.  There are very few restaurants in my area that have vegan options so this was a delightful treat to be somewhere with a variety of dishes that I could choose from.  Luckily, I didn’t have to choose at all- I was there on invitation to experience a chef’s tasting of the entire Monday Night Special menu.  Swoon!

My first tasting was of the Butternut Squash Bisque with toasted pumpkin seeds and agave which was easily my favorite item of the night.  It was delicious- thick and luscious, perfectly smooth and creamy.  I loved it (and wanted to take a vat of it home with me to eat for days on end).  My only regret is that I didn’t get a decent photo.

Next up were the Banana Peppers stuffed with seitan, toasted fennel, risotto, arugula, and topped with a roasted tomato couli.  I liked these as well.  The seitan had a good texture and it had a good amount of heat from the banana pepper.  I’m not a fan of melted vegan cheese on things and if I ordered this again, I’d ask them to leave that part off.

Ah, then came the Crispy Tofu Wings.  Look at those, aren’t they pretty?

Tofu Wings

Crispy Tofu Wings (Glazed with a soy chili glaze and served with matchstick celery and carrots)

Everybody likes fried sweet things, so it was not a surprise to hear that these are wildly popular.  What was a nice surprise, was the texture of the tofu- it was chewy and tasted as if it had been frozen (which makes the texture of tofu more “meaty”) prior to being breaded, fried, and coated in that delightfully sweet glaze.  These are definitely something I’d eat again (and again).

Next, a shot of locally sourced and freshly pressed wheatgrass juice arrived at the table.  It was sweet and grassy and lovely.

RELATED READING
50 Reasons to Drink Wheatgrass Everyday

The Winter Veggie Curry and the Orecchiette Pasta Fagoli were next to arrive at the tale.  The Winter Veggie Curry featured parsnip, onion, pea, bell pepper, cauliflower, and noodles drenched in a coconut milk curry.  Truth be told, this was my least favorite dish of the night.  Even though I enjoyed the combination of the vegetables and noodles, the dish lacked the bold seasoning that was highlighted in each of the other dishes and that I almost expect with any curry dish.

The Orecchiette Pasta Fagoli was stellar.  Every bite packed a delicious flavor punch that I plan to try to replicate sometime in the future.  I love adding beans to pasta and appreciated the kidney beans mixed in with the garbanzos.  Pure perfection.

Pasta Fagoli

Orecchiette Pasta Fagoli (Escarole, Sundried Tomato, Garbanzo Beans, Kalmata Olive, Garlic, and Sweet Basil)

The TownHall also has an impressive drink menu: fresh squeezed juices, specialty crafted emulsive cocktails made fresh to order, a whiskey menu, and 30 rotating local/regional American craft beers on tap.  Personally, I appreciate an establishment that puts thought and effort into sourcing local beer and liquor- especially since Cleveland is rich with local breweries and distilleries.  (weird, but true)  Plus, I pretty much love any menu that has “Vegan Swill” on it.

I had checked out the online drink menu prior to my visit, so I was aware that the TownHall uses honey in their premium emuslive cocktails, making them not suitable for vegan consumption.  So I packaged a bottle of organic agave and took it with me as a gift for the staff to experiment with as a honey replacement.  As I learned later, the fruit for the emulsive cocktails is pre-muddled with honey making it impossible to order it (vegan) without the honey.  Perhaps an agave emulsive cocktail will be coming soon?  Maybe.  Fingers crossed.

Agave

There are vegan wines and cocktails on the menu suitable for vegans, I ordered a drink made with tequila and apple cider.  I don’t remember it’s name, which is a shame because it was pretty damn tasty.

The grand finale of my experience at TownHall was dessert.

Vegan Chocolate Cake from Vegan Sweet Tooth

Vegan Chocolate Raspberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The rotating vegan dessert selection (available every! single! day!) is provided by Vegan Sweet Tooth, a delicious local vegan bakery.  I mean, the picture pretty much speaks for itself, right?  Right.  It was the perfect way to end the meal. 

Overall, there’s a lot to like about the TownHall.  Sure, the food and drinks are delightful- and that’s important, but it’s how TownHall runs it’s business that I’m most impressed with.  I love that they take great care to source their ingredients locally, and I’m super impressed to hear that they have a goal of having a 100% GMO free menu.  They even created The TownHall Foundation as a way to give back to the community where their employees and customers live and work.  All of that and they have tasty food.  I like it, I like it a lot.

So go visit the TownHall, I am confident that you’ll like it too.

Gratitude and thanks to Kayla Barnes and TownHall (and the staff) for their gracious invitation to experience vegan night.

Disclaimer:  Views and opinions expressed here are those of YDV and derived from personal experience.  These opinions are not influenced in any way by the receipt of goods or services.  We will always notify you when a product has been given to us to review, test, use, or talk about.

By Published On: 7 April 20141072 words5.6 min read

Do you live in or around Cleveland?  Get yourself to TownHall Ohio City immediately, you can thank me later.  The TownHall is a restaurant/cafe/bar/juice bar/patio in the heart of Ohio City and it’ll rock your world.

I arrived at the TownHall one frigid Monday night in Cleveland and was grateful for the free valet service.  Once inside you’ll be faced with two distinct and separate spaces: a casual cafe side filled with board games and device charging stations, the other a swanky dining room and bar, rich with earthy accents.

I settled in on the restaurant side and was greeted with a menu chock full of vegan options.  Although TownHall is not a vegan only restaurant, they do carry a large vegan selection on their daily menu.  In addition, Monday nights are “Vegan Night” which features a special menu designed around organically driven, sustainable, seasonal and fresh local ingredients.

Menu

I mean, look at that menu!  So many choices!  I don’t live close to Townhall, I drove 45 minutes to get there.  There are very few restaurants in my area that have vegan options so this was a delightful treat to be somewhere with a variety of dishes that I could choose from.  Luckily, I didn’t have to choose at all- I was there on invitation to experience a chef’s tasting of the entire Monday Night Special menu.  Swoon!

My first tasting was of the Butternut Squash Bisque with toasted pumpkin seeds and agave which was easily my favorite item of the night.  It was delicious- thick and luscious, perfectly smooth and creamy.  I loved it (and wanted to take a vat of it home with me to eat for days on end).  My only regret is that I didn’t get a decent photo.

Next up were the Banana Peppers stuffed with seitan, toasted fennel, risotto, arugula, and topped with a roasted tomato couli.  I liked these as well.  The seitan had a good texture and it had a good amount of heat from the banana pepper.  I’m not a fan of melted vegan cheese on things and if I ordered this again, I’d ask them to leave that part off.

Ah, then came the Crispy Tofu Wings.  Look at those, aren’t they pretty?

Tofu Wings

Crispy Tofu Wings (Glazed with a soy chili glaze and served with matchstick celery and carrots)

Everybody likes fried sweet things, so it was not a surprise to hear that these are wildly popular.  What was a nice surprise, was the texture of the tofu- it was chewy and tasted as if it had been frozen (which makes the texture of tofu more “meaty”) prior to being breaded, fried, and coated in that delightfully sweet glaze.  These are definitely something I’d eat again (and again).

Next, a shot of locally sourced and freshly pressed wheatgrass juice arrived at the table.  It was sweet and grassy and lovely.

RELATED READING
50 Reasons to Drink Wheatgrass Everyday

The Winter Veggie Curry and the Orecchiette Pasta Fagoli were next to arrive at the tale.  The Winter Veggie Curry featured parsnip, onion, pea, bell pepper, cauliflower, and noodles drenched in a coconut milk curry.  Truth be told, this was my least favorite dish of the night.  Even though I enjoyed the combination of the vegetables and noodles, the dish lacked the bold seasoning that was highlighted in each of the other dishes and that I almost expect with any curry dish.

The Orecchiette Pasta Fagoli was stellar.  Every bite packed a delicious flavor punch that I plan to try to replicate sometime in the future.  I love adding beans to pasta and appreciated the kidney beans mixed in with the garbanzos.  Pure perfection.

Pasta Fagoli

Orecchiette Pasta Fagoli (Escarole, Sundried Tomato, Garbanzo Beans, Kalmata Olive, Garlic, and Sweet Basil)

The TownHall also has an impressive drink menu: fresh squeezed juices, specialty crafted emulsive cocktails made fresh to order, a whiskey menu, and 30 rotating local/regional American craft beers on tap.  Personally, I appreciate an establishment that puts thought and effort into sourcing local beer and liquor- especially since Cleveland is rich with local breweries and distilleries.  (weird, but true)  Plus, I pretty much love any menu that has “Vegan Swill” on it.

I had checked out the online drink menu prior to my visit, so I was aware that the TownHall uses honey in their premium emuslive cocktails, making them not suitable for vegan consumption.  So I packaged a bottle of organic agave and took it with me as a gift for the staff to experiment with as a honey replacement.  As I learned later, the fruit for the emulsive cocktails is pre-muddled with honey making it impossible to order it (vegan) without the honey.  Perhaps an agave emulsive cocktail will be coming soon?  Maybe.  Fingers crossed.

Agave

There are vegan wines and cocktails on the menu suitable for vegans, I ordered a drink made with tequila and apple cider.  I don’t remember it’s name, which is a shame because it was pretty damn tasty.

The grand finale of my experience at TownHall was dessert.

Vegan Chocolate Cake from Vegan Sweet Tooth

Vegan Chocolate Raspberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The rotating vegan dessert selection (available every! single! day!) is provided by Vegan Sweet Tooth, a delicious local vegan bakery.  I mean, the picture pretty much speaks for itself, right?  Right.  It was the perfect way to end the meal. 

Overall, there’s a lot to like about the TownHall.  Sure, the food and drinks are delightful- and that’s important, but it’s how TownHall runs it’s business that I’m most impressed with.  I love that they take great care to source their ingredients locally, and I’m super impressed to hear that they have a goal of having a 100% GMO free menu.  They even created The TownHall Foundation as a way to give back to the community where their employees and customers live and work.  All of that and they have tasty food.  I like it, I like it a lot.

So go visit the TownHall, I am confident that you’ll like it too.

Gratitude and thanks to Kayla Barnes and TownHall (and the staff) for their gracious invitation to experience vegan night.

Disclaimer:  Views and opinions expressed here are those of YDV and derived from personal experience.  These opinions are not influenced in any way by the receipt of goods or services.  We will always notify you when a product has been given to us to review, test, use, or talk about.

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  1. Allyson Dwyer April 9, 2014 at 8:24 am - Reply

    I want those tacos…and that cake… :o

  2. Amy April 7, 2014 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    It looks like I need to get back to the Cleve!