CLEVELAND — Chef Karen Small, the chef of former Flying Fig, has opened her new concept, Juneberry Table, in Ohio City.
Named after a North American indigenous berry that can be found in the Ohio River Valley, the restaurant’s menu reflects regional influences rooted in Small’s experience in Southern Ohio.
The Appalachian-inspired cuisine is "rooted in simplicity and resourcefulness and contains a melting pot of European and African influences,” according to Small.
The techniques inside the kitchen rely on the techniques of foraging, preserving and fermenting—all styles that have seen a resurgence in the culinary scene in recent years.
Juneberry Table will serve breakfast during all open hours. Diners can enjoy buckwheat flapjacks with fresh fruit and maple sorghum butter, fried ham biscuits and cornmeal waffles.
As a self-proclaimed morning person, Small said the idea of a simple, comfortable gathering just made sense.
“We wanted to create a place that has a cheerful, happy vibe, which is what we all want in the morning, right?”
If breakfast isn’t your thing, lunch begins at 11 a.m. and includes pork and pinto bean chili, rice and salad bowls and a stacked turkey sandwich on sourdough. A curated selection of cocktails and wines is available.
“We’re using native fruits and vegetables, smoked fish, beans and grains, corn, benne seed, foraged berries and mushrooms," Small said. "Our approach is really the whole food, unprocessed way of eating that people want now.”
Juneberry Table seats 35, including 10 stools along an L-shaped counter and a bank of window seats overlooking Lorain Avenue. The space has a lot of natural light coming from the windows and the hung mirrors harness additional incoming light into the space.
“I’m a morning person. This space energizes me. That’s what I want it to do for other people too,” Small said.
Small said she will eventually add periodic “chef’s whim” suppers to take advantage of the seasons or themes that spark her culinary interest. Menu offerings can be ordered and packed to go.
Since recently closing Flying Fig, her flagship restaurant on Market Avenue, Small is in the process of transforming it into a new concept with partner Jill Davis. That concept will be announced in May.
Patrons of Flying Fig will see familiar faces at Juneberry, including manager Julia LiCastro and Pat Johnson, who will run the kitchen.
Juneberry is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It’s located at 3900 Lorain Avenue.
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