Anxious for a patio seat on a beautiful Summer’s evening, we arrived to find the patio area was ‘Under Construction’ (by the time you read this, we were assured, it will be open again). Although not our plan, we sat inside, a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, with contemporary artwork surrounding a stunning fresh flower arrangement atop the central service station. The modern look of black lacquer tables with gray walls and patterned flooring culminates in hushed tones, which blended with lively conversation from other diners for a cool vibe.
The wine list, while not extensive is more than adequate, with a unique element of one of a kind, or limited production, vintages, a great way to clear the cellar while allowing guests one last taste of offerings from lists gone by. The bar, encased within an inviting seating area and open to the patio fronting Main St., has a comprehensive list of classic cocktails and adventurous beers, served by an attentive, and knowledgeable, staff.
Food, glorious food
After we ordered, an amuse-bouches (a complimentary bite-sized portion of food served before the meal) was brought to each member of our dining party. Transported in an individual treasure box which, when opened, allowed a wisp of hickory smoke, flavoring the contents, to escape. Revealing what was described as a chickpea rapini, a seared cube of ground chickpeas seasoned by the vegetable and the accompanying smoke, enhanced anticipation for the meal.
The whole wheat sourdough bread brought to our table, paired with soft, sweet butter. While relatively simple, deserves mention as it is house made with a rustic crust, but a refined taste.
We embraced their oyster special (on Thursdays, raw oysters are $1 apiece while the baked bivalves, normally $4 each are ½ price) with a dozen raw oysters which were served on the half shell, clean and nicely shucked, with the meat separated from the shell. The baked version, another dozen, with gruyere cheese, Panko crumbs and a dash of tomato whimsy, arrived in a hot pan, nestled on a bed of black stones, were a nice change from the more-often-served Rockefeller variety.
The Snap Pea Salad had a distinct taste of smoke, as the fresh, crisp peas were bathed in a light smoked vinaigrette dressing. Served with a poached egg and sourdough croutons, the salad dish was simple and unique. The Drop Your “France” Burger came perched on a gorgeous brioche bun. Created from finer cuts of beef, the patty tends to almost fall apart, likely due to a low fat content and the absence of filler. Topped with a delectable Raclette buerre blanc sauce and caramelized onions, the burger was best eaten with a knife and fork, which provided a benefit as it forced savoring of each bite.
The Seared Scallops entree had three meaty scallops, cooked perfectly, tender and sweet, sprinkled with sea salt nestled in a pureed polenta. Flower petals, with a distinct yet mildly sour flavor, adorned the dish along with several spears of sauteed bok choy, both of which provided great color accents.
Details make the meal
Each detail, from the atmosphere to the service to the food, throughout our visit was well executed and carefully rehearsed. Element 112 is a rare gem in the area culinary scene. Chef Chris Nixon set a high standard when he opened his restaurant several years ago, and he has continued, and exceeded, that standard in a welcoming way, causing us to marvel at the attention paid to each detail.
Element 112, 5735 N. Main St., Sylvania.
419-517-1104 | element112restaurant.com
Monday: 7 course chef’s tasting menu at $55 (regularly $75).
Tuesday: Burger and Brew, $10 for a burger with a beer from their list.
Wednesdays: Wine and Dine, ½ off bottles on their list.
Thursdays: Oysters, $1 in the bar, dining room or patio.