(l – r) Craig Bednarek and Lana Volk, owners of Warren’s Spirited Kitchen on the square in Burton, along with Chef Vince Thomascik.
By Susan Dacek
Are you a “foodie” living in the immediate area of Middlefield and surrounding communities? Do you enjoy the sophisticated atmosphere of a upscale restaurant? Would you like to experience an unique meal and not have to drive a distance for that experience? Well we now have just the place right here in the quaint village of Burton.
I’d like to welcome the latest restaurant on Burton Square, Warren’s Spirited Kitchen, owned and managed by Craig Bednarek and his wife Lana Volk. Along with chicken, beef and pork, Warren’s menu offers a diverse selection of gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian entrees, little bites and bigger bites. They also have a full bar offering unique cocktails and feature many Ohio made liquors, wine and beer.
Although the restaurant is new to Burton, Craig and Lana know their way around the area. Lana has owned and operated Durkee Hill Stables, on Route 608 since 2005. Craig has worked in several restaurants in the surrounding area, including Welshfield Inn of Troy, Bass Lake Tavern of Chardon, and Gamekeepers tavern, Chagrin Falls, to name a few. They are highly motivated and enthusiastic about bringing something special to Burton. When asked why Burton, Lana responded that she sees Burton as an untapped resource. They envision people touring out to Burton to explore everything this area has to offer, and a vision to offer the local community a dining experience that is new and exciting.
The food is magical, transporting the consumer to an uncharted dining experience. Intertwining the conventional with the unconventional, Craig is inspired by restaurants around the country but doesn’t want to do what someone else is doing. He states that he is looking for uniqueness and something modern. Chef Vince Thomascik is inspired to use what’s in front of him, or in this case the local food around the area, to come up with something exceptional. They have a commitment to offer locally sourced food, sowing back into the community. Taking things that most kitchens would discard; the tops of the fennel and the pods of the vanilla bean, chef Vince uses the intense flavor of herbs, vegetables and spices to infuse flavor back into the food. When I think of beets I would never think of adding vanilla to them, but when I tried the beets infused with vanilla I couldn’t identify the flavor, yet I wanted to eat every bit of that deliciousness set before me. The squash and pear salad with walnut and maple dressing had the same effect, with its wonderful, intriguing flavor. I ordered the roasted eggplant and usually when I think of roasted eggplant I think of Italian flavor, Basil, oregano, maybe garlic, olive oil. While eating this eggplant I really couldn’t identify any of those flavors. All I know is that it tasted superb. I later found out it was marinated in soy and ginger, simple, yet out of the box, and topped with peanuts, raisins, and toasted quinoa. I tried the walnut soup with hints of sage, the fried Brussels sprouts with local maple syrup whisked into a sauce, and even the humble salad with a real buttermilk dressing, and all exceed my expectations. Other entrées include Beef Tartar, Ribeye steak, wings comfit, chicken breast, pork and more.
They do what’s called “in house butchering” where they start with a whole fresh chicken instead a box of pre cut and frozen chicken breasts. They remove what they need for each dish and use the bones to boil for broth used in sauces and soups. You can be sure your food is fresh coming from their kitchen.
If the food alone doesn’t entice you, go to experience the ambience of an English pub, go to see the 70-seat restaurant that has been refurbished with stone-tiled walls and pub-style seating.
With Lana’s background with horses, the rooms are decorated with a horse and hound theme with farm and whimsical hunting pictures. The equestrian decor is tastefully executed and is both cozy and inviting to relax and enjoy. You might even hear some live music from a local guitarist.
Warren’s Spirited Kitchen, 14614 E. Park St. in Burton (44021) is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Breakfast items are available Sundays. Call 440-273-8100.
Visit www.warrensspiritedkitchen.com. Happy dining.