Friday, July 8, 2011

Thyme Restaurant Hits All the Marks

Thyme Restaurant in Medina, OH
      I continued my venture further north to visit Cindy in Medina, OH.  On the second day of my visit, we decided to treat ourselves to a fine dining experience.  We looked at several menus online and decided that Thyme Restaurant in town fit our tastes for that evening.  Cindy said it had morphed from a Red Barn fast food restaurant to Chinese and then to its present form.  There are still minor traces of its earlier history, but certainly nothing too distracting or jolting.  In fact, if I hadn't been given a cue I probably would have only thought it was a little quirky with the architecture.  We dined inside but the patio was filled and looked quite inviting.  The interior is pleasant and calming with a divided floor plan allowing for fairly private dining and conversation.

Thyme Interior

     We started with the House-Made Porcini Gnocchi with sautéed mushrooms, spinach, parmigiana cheese and a
House-Made Porcini Gnocchi
porcini cream sauce.  The gnocchi was tender and perfectly cooked (not an easy feat).  The sauce was packed with flavor and I wanted to sop up every bit of it with the home-made bread.  It's also available as an entrée.

Seared Sea Scallops
Grilled Pork Chop
For our second course, Cindy chose the Seared Sea Scallops with roasted tomatoes, celery root purée, tomato reduction, and herb oil.  A beautiful and colorful presentation!  The scallops were plump and tender with the flavors calmed by the acidic accompaniments.  I had the Grilled Pork Chop with asparagus, warm potato salad, and pork jus.  The pork is served medium, but I asked for a slightly warmer temperature which, for me,  was perfectly cooked and juicy.  The asparagus was firm and fresh.  The potato salad was done as a hash using fingerling potatoes, bacon, red peppers, and onions.  A great way to present a perennial favorite and a thoughtful pairing with the pork and jus.  We perused the desserts, which were slightly different from the online menu.  We chose the deconstructed Key Lime Cheesecake with the graham cracker crust drizzled with chocolate and presented in large chunks next to the cheesecake filling topped with toasted coconut.  I missed the overpowering tartness that Key limes usually provide.  It needed to be kicked up a notch or two for my taste.  

Key Lime Cheesecake
      Service was friendly, knowledgeable, and continued to be attentive throughout our dining.  The manager checked in with our service and Chef/Owner John Kolar paid a visit to our table as the night wound down.  He's a local guy (from Hinckley, OH of returning buzzard fame) and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.  His résumé is impressive and his talents are well displayed.  It's a restaurant and menu that would appeal to all ages, as was evident on the night we were there.  Medina is quite lucky to have such a creative and inspired urban venue. 

Thyme on Urbanspoon

Neil had a really good time visiting Cindy.  That gave me a chance to enjoy the nice weather all day long while Eric was at work. I love our garden!

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