Sawyer’s

4.3
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124 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Coming soon to the Van Aken District in Shaker Height from James Beard Award Winning Chef Jonathon Sawyer.
What 124 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MM
Cleveland
50 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience3

We were apprehensive as we had heard such mixed reviews about the food and the service. Our server, Brittany, was wonderful, and the runners were on top of their game. The noise level was high, but we expected that so it was no surprise. The food was good and reasonably priced. We’ll be back.

OT
Cleveland
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience3

The food was really good but the noise level was so high that it was hard to hear the person next to me much less the one across from me. We couldn’t believe how loud it was. It definitely made the evening less enjoyable which was a shame because the food really was quite good. The service was ok, not spectacular but nothing really to complain about. The atmosphere is rather diner-like. Loud, formica/plastic feel to the place. If you’re looking for cozy and intimate this is not your place. If you want lively and energetic with a party-like atmosphere (loud and a bit chaotic) this might be your place.

GT
Cleveland
9 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food4service2ambience1

I liked Sawyer's. The food I got was good, but the menu is very limited. It was NOISY!!! And it is cramped. The layout makes it difficult for the servers to pass by and for guests to navigate. I want this place to succeed as I live in Shaker and am a fan of the Van Aken District. Therefore, I offer this suggestion... work with your waitstaff and bus people. Our waiter seemed annoyed every time we asked a question, when he brought our food and he never once smiled!

a
Cleveland
35 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our food was great and our server, Rachel was outstanding. I would highly recommend this restaurant--just so you know, the portions are not big and the restaurant is quite loud!

j
Cleveland
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very unusual items on the menu. You can feast on small plates that are all delicious.

CM
Cleveland
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food2service2ambience4

Our group thought it was just OK. The restaurant itself is nice :)

K
Cleveland
8 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fabulous service!! Sat in a corner that wasn’t great! Food was Great! Brussell sprouts were the Bomb!!!

JM
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food was very good. Liquor prices are way to high for the amount served.

N
Cleveland
15 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

My girlfriend and I tried Sawyer’s for my second time, this was her first. It was a Tuesday and we weren’t sure the were open- phone says one thing, Opentable says another.

It was open and we were able to eat. Wonderful service- the waiter spent so much time explaining the tea to my friend. I learned so much!

Also, we ordered a few things off the menu I had not tried and they were great!

The amazing chef I mentioned in my last review remembered me and stopped to say hi! He is great!

Travis, I’m sorry you weren’t there. Maybe next time.

SD
Cleveland
38 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall1food1service3ambience3

The short answer is don't bother. The longer answer is sadly, we were very disappointed with Sawyer's. The dishes are very simplistic in structure, and rather boring. There's no flavor complexity, so everything comes across as rather bland. Entrees aren't composed, so you have to add sides to get that complexity, but the whole doesn't exceed the sum of the parts because the parts weren't necessarily designed to go together. Those are all fundemantal design problems with the restaurant. They also have execusion problems, or at least did on our visit. The pitas were terrible, and when the server inquired about satisfaction and was made aware of things, the replacement came better prepared but he also acknowledged that the oven wasn't at the right temperature for the first batch. The fact that they knowling served under cooked meals is a big problem. The whole experience was that of a restaurant that doesn't really have a clue about what it should be doing.

CL
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Any restaurant that greets me with a glass of wine is instantly winning the game. Awesome wine list, decor, and the brussel sprouts were INSANE!!!

A
Cleveland
31 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Excellent food, lots of interesting small plates with quite a few vegetarian or plant-centric options. The sweet Thai chili Brussel sprouts were fantastic. Interior design is modern. Only real drawback is the noise level. It was quite loud on Saturday night. Definitely would recommend. So, far this is our favorite of Sawyer's restaurants we have tried.

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall2food2service4ambience2

Service was extremely slow. Food was average. I ordered a hamburger being the waiter said it is a good choice, the hamburger was paper thin and nothing exceptional. Manager never came over to ask how everything was. Not in a hurry to go back.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Fun & convivial - but extremely loud - could hardly hear the server.

Server seemed very inexperienced & not very engaged, and his server’s jacket was a mess.

Had “candle” - not quite as cool or interesting as it was at Trentina. I really enjoyed the duck - but the two of us that had it agreed that it was a bit salty. My wife’s fish special ( Bronzini) was so salty that she couldn’t eat it.

Desserts were both very good ( creme brûlée & banana bread pudding).

The highlight of the meal was actually the Raen 2017 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir - delicious!

I am not sure I’d make a special trip to the east side again just to dine there.

GY
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

First time visit for my wife and I. We both thought the food was excellent. Our table was on the platform in the center of the restaurant and the tables are extremely close together. This makes for an uncomfortable dining experience in this part of the restaurant. Other parts of the restaurant are arranged differently. It was very loud making conversation a challenge at times. Our waiter was pleasant, but also seemed overwhelmed. Drinks were slow to arrive and so fell out of sync with the rest of the meal.

Because the food was excellent and we saw several dishes on the menu we want to try we will return to give it another try, hopefully from a different section of the restaurant.

W
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Very nice and welcoming service. Our waiter and every staff member was making us feel comfortable and help create a friendly atmosphere.
We ordered a variety of appetizers, tempura mushrooms, Octopus, hummus and pita, Brussels and French onion soup. The soup and mushrooms were my favorite, I had better Brussels elsewhere. I prefer them more crispy. Our main courses were all excellent, I especially enjoyed the duck Brest. My only concern with sawyers is the noises level. The open space and hard surfaces create such noise level the conversation is difficult. I enjoy dinner conversation and the setting did not allow me to have a normal conversation. For that reason we will most likely not return.

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Good food. Just ok service. Unique atmosphere, a bit too stark for my tastes.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Waaauyy too noisy. Pork chop tasted like poor quality pork.

s
Cleveland
10 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our experience at Sawyer's was amazing. The food was beyond excellent. My husband had the strip steak and frites. It was amazing. I ordered the duck pumpkin gnocchi. I normally do not like duck, but the duck meat was shredded and mixed with the gnocchi and pumpkin. It was so delicious. I have been thinking of this meal since we went last Friday. We will definitely be back.

MG
Cleveland
3 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful restaurant!!

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s
Philadelphia
46 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

In spite of the hype., this was a huge disappointment. My bucatini was chewy and the minimal amount of sauce was bland. The butter salad was watery and lacked many of the components that were listed on the menu.
They were out of my wife’s dinner choice (1 1/2 hours after opening) and the substitute was underwhelming. Our appetizers came at the same time as the main course and one even was served after the aim course. No apology given.
Our server was cordial but kept hurrying us repeatedly.
Not what you’d expect from a JB award winner. We won’t be back.

OT
Cleveland
9 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Excellent food as you would expect from Jonathan Sawyer. Unpretentious decor. Very comfortable. Service was very good. Wait staff know the food well. Very reasonably priced. I appreciate the portion size. Not huge, but just right to appreciate the food.

KM
Cleveland
15 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Food was delicious but service was very slow. We didn’t know that there were specials until after we had ordered and overheard our server telling the next table over about them.

OT
Cleveland
3 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I am a huge fan of greenhouse tavern and pretty much everything Jonathan sawyer does. Sawyer’s did not disappoint. I was meeting a friend who has dietary restrictions and they accommodated her perfectly.
I went for something quick and easy. I have the burger and fries. The burger was cooked to perfection and juicy. The rosemary fries as always, were delicious! Our server suggested the high society as her favorite drink. Although, the combination sounded a bit weird to me, it was very light and refreshing.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food , my new favorite restaurant!!

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Food was great but it was extremely loud. It was hard to have a conversation.

PL
Cleveland
5 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exceeded our high expectations.

k
Cleveland
3 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall2food4service2ambience3

The food selection was fair , at best, for a vegetarian and someone who is gluten free. Our server was not friendly and he appeared to not want to be there doing his job. I would not go back

D
Cleveland
40 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We had a wonderful dinner celebrating a birthday!!
Sarah our waitress was excellent! Food was delicious!!
Great atmosphere!!!

OT
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food was amazing! The wings were probably the best i have had as the meat fell off the bone and sooo flavorful. My husband andnI shared the fried chicken and steak both were so tasteyThe apple tart dessert was a bit disappointing . Not what I expected. I would definitely return! Only a fee minutes from home which is a bonus!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Portions were skimpy, noise level was awful. Couldn’t hear. Waitress seemed overwhelmed. Other staff was fine. Brussels sprouts were very salty

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it! Will be back again soon!

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We were greeted at the door and escorted to our table. One side of the table was along a banquette. We asked to have a table with four chairs and our escort immediately assigned us to a nearby table with all chairs. Our server arrived quickly, asked if we would like to order beverages as we waited for the other two members of our party to arrive, took our orders and promptly returned.

Our server returned soon after our friends arrived. He answered questions about items on the menu, told us about special dishes and, to the disappointment of some in our party, told us that although it was not yet seven o’clock the forty-eight ounce porterhouse steak had sold out.

Two of our party ordered Fork + Knife Fried Chicken. Another ordered Bistro Steak Frites and the last ordered Brick Chicken. We also ordered salads, Trentina and a Beet Salad. We also ordered Crispy Fried Thai Brussels Sprouts. The salads were fresh, attractive and tasty; they were lightly covered with a tasty dressing. The beet salad was excellent. The beets were well prepared and presented in a the shape of a circle crowned with goat cheese and nuts surrounded by arugula.

The Bistro Steak was well prepared and presented. It was evenly cooked, browned around and rare in the center. The fries were tasty and served in a separate basket. The Fork + Knife Chicken and the Brick Chicken were very attractively presented. The potatoes were fine. The chicken in all three dinners was dry. The asparagus that was served with Brick Chicken was over-cooked and limp. The Thai Brussels were spicy and wonderfully prepared.

The waitstaff struck the proper balance being attentive and available without being intrusive.

Sawyer’s was crowded the evening we visited with nearly every table occupied. As is true with many restaurants with only hard surfaces the noise level was high and at times made conversation difficult.

Overall we enjoyed our dinners and our evening.

L
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall2food2service5ambience3

I think Sawyer's needed more time to get the kitchen up to snuff, and I will give them another chance, but my first meal there was very disappointing. I went with two friends. The two veggie appetizers we ordered were delicious, but our main entrees were simply not very good. The waiter went out of his way to make things right for us, and two out of our three meals were comped. Plus, we were given complimentary desserts--which were very good. I'm fairly certain that my review will be much more positive on future visits.

f
Cleveland
46 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Very lively, a little hard to hear conversation at your own table. Ordered the bucatini ala nonna. Fairly bland, not a lot of flavor; definitely needed salt, at the very least. Portion was pretty small.

b
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

The side were to small for the price point The expediter was too\ loud

OT
Cleveland
3 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We’ve been there three times and Mike has been our server each time. Just the right amount of attention, very friendly, he has added to our lovely experience each time.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food was excellent! We will be back!

CY
Cleveland
5 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Drinks were excellent! Appetizers were delicious, especially citrus chicken wings and crispy Brussels sprouts. Our waiter didn’t really seem to know the menu that well, and a salad ordered specifically without chèvre, of course arrived with chèvre and had to be sent back due to dietary restrictions. The salmon entree was fishy, not the best salmon I have had. The service was quick and responsive, overall rating 7/10.

JH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We found the menu very intriguing, and all the dishes that we tried lived up to our expectations. The service was excellent, especially for a newish restaurant. We have already made reservations to return. Only issue, with a remedy, is the noise level. We are older and appreciate opportunities for quiet conversation. So we made our next reservation for 5 PM, and we know everything will be great.