Michelson and Morley is one of Case Western Reserve University’s newest gourmet dining options: an American-style Bistro run by Bon Appétit chef Tony Smoody. Don’t make the mistake of confusing this with other Bon Appétit-run dining options, like the Leutner or Fribley dining halls; this elegant restaurant has a variety of choices to offer all members of the campus and University Circle community.
Inside the the window-filled space on the Euclid side of the new Tinkham Veale University Center, the neat décor of the restaurant is immediately impressive and comfortable. Playful beakers filled with freshly cut herbs and flowers adorn each table, tying Michelson and Morley back to the nerd-chic dynamic that describes so much of CWRU’s campus.
To start each meal, Michelson and Morley offers of a variety of “snack” appetizers. The braised beef tacos feature corn salsa, smoked poblano chili pepper and a lime crema, elements that all work to accent the otherwise dull character of this appetizer. The chicken fritters are much more inspired, with a satisfyingly crisp shell that plays nicely off of the light cilantro taste of the accompanying salsa-like sambal matah. Last, and certainly not least on the appetizer portion of the menu is the house-smoked trout cake, which incorporates a mix of vegetables and refreshing lemon caper sauce into a wholly gratifying and lively patty.
For dinner, the sea scallops are highly recommended. Cooked to perfection atop a savory medley of bacon, cheese, corn and potato, the scallops are delicious, buttery and soft. Despite the fact that you’ll want more than just three scallops, the portion size for this dish is spot on. Also not to be missed are the marinated grape tomatoes, which successfully work to balance the other intensely flavorful components of this dish.
Dessert beckons in the form of a passion fruit charlotte: light and fluffy angel food cake on the outside, with a creamy custard filling on the inside. Garnished with a sweet fruit salad made of fresh blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, you simply can do no wrong splitting this dish at the end of a meal.
With Michelson and Morley, Bon Apétit have created a dining experience that rivals University Circle’s other established culinary institutions. Think about stopping there the next time you’re heading to the orchestra or Cleveland Museum of Art for a first class lunch or dinner. And for CWRU students, they even take Case Cash.