Cleveland-Heath chef Ed Heath is fresh off his very first James Beard Foundation award nomination, but that doesn’t mean he’s slowing things down at his landmark Edwardsville eatery. Heath and his team, including his wife Jenny Cleveland, try to change up the menu every six weeks as different ingredients become available locally. This week, that means ditching dishes before they’ve “overstayed their welcome,” according to Heath, in favor of lamb, plus in-season asparagus and strawberries.
The new lamb dish will be shawarma with Indian pickles, tahini and hummus, sourced from Midwest Lamb’s Jenna Pohl. The lamb is pasture-raised and grass-fed in Charleston, Illinois. Heath says Pohl’s supply is just now getting into full swing, so he didn’t want to completely nix a favorite.
“I didn’t want to take it off the menu. We’ve done two different lamb dishes already [this year], Cubana and Moroccan,” he says. “So we’re going to switch over and do something Lebanese now – I really love Lebanese food.”
Other early summer dishes debuting this week include burrata cheese with local asparagus, black pepper and char roe, a soft shell crab boil and a rotating ceviche tostada with ingredients like rock shrimp, bay scallops and possibly poached oysters. “I’m really excited about that one,” Heath admits. He’s also adding more salads and some corn here and there to “pray for a really good corn season this year.”
Unfortunately, diners will have to say goodbye to the Swedish meatballs with egg noodles, yogurt, jam and parsley, and the boquerones with sauce gribiche, paprika and herbs on pillow loaf toast. Another casualty is the shaved raw beef and celery kung pao – Heath’s favorite dish on the menu – which he says is just too hot for the next few weeks.
“I want to do a veggie-heavy menu, and I keep trying, but since there’s not a ton of local stuff available right now, I get pushed into doing stuff that’s not really veggie-heavy,” Heath says. “We’ve been getting some awesome local asparagus lately – there are a couple teeny tiny farms [nearby]. I’m hoping to get some eggplant popping up, too.”
Cleveland-Heath is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm, Friday from 11am to 11pm and Saturday from 10am to 11pm.
Cleveland-Heath, 106 N. Main St., Edwardsville, Illinois, 618.307.4830, clevelandheath.com
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