Legacy Restaurant has a fresh new look and a new menu

By Cynthia Schuster-Eakin

There is a new place to see and be seen in Avon Lake, and it has been there for almost 15 years.

Legacy Restaurant at Sweetbriar Golf Course has a whole new look and a brand-new menu for the new year.

The centerpiece of the main dining room is now a circular bar with a stunning chandelier suspended over it. The large banquettes have been moved to the adjacent Grille. There are new tile floors and carpeting, and all of the interior walls have been freshly painted. Restaurant Manager Joe Glazer said the remodeling process began in September when they started conferring with designers. The actual construction closed the restaurant for two weeks and three days, he added.

Only a few customer favorites remain from the previous menu, according to chef Paul Marhefka. Patrons can still enjoy slow-roasted prime rib, shrimp scampi over angel hair pasta and lightly breaded Lake Erie yellow perch. The chef has added a variety of appetizers, flatbreads, sandwiches and entrees, as well as small plates and daily specials.

Marhefka is a veteran of hotel and restaurant kitchens, having worked at Bond Court Hotel in downtown Cleveland, and at Pier W and the James Tavern for Stouffer Restaurants. He worked for eight years with executive chef Claude Rodier at Sans Souci at the Renaissance Hotel, where he embraced the Provence style of French country cooking. He moved to Avon Lake in 2000 and was introduced to Bucky and Joanne Kopf. They hired him as chef for their newly constructed Legacy Restaurant.

Appetizer selections now include calamari strips with bell peppers and onions served with garlic remoulade sauce ($10), steamed mussels in tomato and herb broth ($10) and thinly sliced beef tenderloin carpaccio with capers and mesclun greens ($9). Fresh roasted beets are served with panko-crusted goat cheese and balsamic reduction ($10). Yellow fin Ahi tuna is paired with pickled beets, truffle oil and capers in the tuna tartare Napoleon ($11). Whole-grain Caprese flatbread is topped with roasted grape tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil ($8).

Burgers are made with a half-pound of Black Angus beef. The chorizo burger is garnished with grilled chorizo sausage, roasted red peppers, onions and smoked Gouda cheese on a pretzel roll ($15). The turkey pretzel is shaved turkey with bacon, Monterey Jack cheese and honey mustard on a pretzel bun ($11). The Legacy prime dip is prime rib, onions and Swiss cheese on an Italian roll with au jus for dipping ($13).

Entrees include a variety of hand-trimmed and aged steaks. Beef tenderloin Napoleon is seared filet medallions layered with spinach, tomato and portobello mushroom ($25). Seared scallops are served over braised fennel, pancetta and apple, with white cheddar mashed potatoes ($28). The grilled pork rib-eye steak is topped with cranberry port pomegranate sauce ($24) and Atlantic salmon is served with a sauce of maple syrup, miso and a hint of stone ground mustard ($26). Nightly menu specials include items like beef tenderloin stuffed with lobster ($36), chicken Marsala ($18), veal ragout over linguini ($18) and pan-fried, cracker-crusted walleye ($26). The perch fish fry is very popular during the Lenten season, Marhefka noted.

Small plate features have been added for diners who want to sample a light dish while enjoying a cocktail. Maryland crabcakes are served with chipotle ranch dressing ($11) and blackened sea scallops are accompanied by a jicama and bell pepper slaw ($13). Seared sea bass is served over fried potato cakes with wasabi aioli ($12). Penne pasta is topped with roasted beet sauce, goat cheese and smoked kielbasa ($10). The small plate selection changes weekly.

Happy hour, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, features $5 specialty cocktails and wine by the glass and $4 draft craft beers. There are a dozen craft and domestic beers on tap.

Legacy Restaurant at Sweetbriar, 750 Jaycox Road, is open for lunch and dinner. There is a separate party room, and catering is available. There is also outdoor casual dining on the veranda and deck in season. Phone 440-930-5570 for reservations.

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