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Special Request: Broccolini from Cleveland-Heath
Special Request

Special Request: Broccolini from Cleveland-Heath

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Q • I grew up in Edwardsville, so we chose Cleveland-Heath to celebrate my 75th birthday. I’d love to know how the broccolini is done. — Peg Roedel, University City


A • Back in 2011, Jenny Cleveland and Eric “Ed” Heath had culinary school and top-restaurant experience on their résumés. They yearned for a restaurant of their own, but everything in California, Cleveland says, was “expensive and cutthroat.” So the business- and life-partners considered moving to the Midwest, including near Bethalto, Cleveland’s hometown. “When the Edwardsville space opened up, we moved here in like two weeks. Cleveland-Heath opened six weeks later.”

Cleveland-Heath serves “upscale modern-American bar food,” part of a growing movement to make food more approachable, casual and comfortable.

Even with seasonal menu changes, Cleveland-Heath has become famous for its pork belly (fried crispy and served with a savory caramel sauce); a pork porterhouse (a chop with an egg on top aside cheddar-jalapeño bread pudding) and pulled-pork sandwiches. Cleveland laughs, “I promise, we do a lot more than pork.”

One example is the restaurant’s attention to vegetables, no mere afterthoughts. Heath calls broccolini “tall and elegant.” After a few seconds in a fryer, the stems turn creamy and the tips crispy. Still warm, the broccolini is tossed with fresh mint, cilantro and jalapeño in a Vietnamese dressing called nuoc cham (pronounced “nook chom”) and topped with bits of crispy farro.

Heath says customers wonder what makes the salad so good and credits the oil-free nuoc cham, a mix of fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic and ginger. “It’s become the house dressing; it goes on every plate.”

Find the recipe here. 


106 North Main Street, Edwardsville


Special Request is written by Kirkwood resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column and “veggie evangelist” at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.

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