35 Brix Review: Made from scratch

Alison Matas taste-tests poutine, the seafood slider sampler, the ricotta and goat cheese ravioli and the salmon at 35 Brix.

Alison Matas taste-tests poutine, the seafood slider sampler, the ricotta and goat cheese ravioli and the salmon at 35 Brix.

review_6Green has a fancy new restaurant that’s serving yummy made-from-scratch dishes at mostly reasonable prices.
35 Brix is in the Heritage Crossings plaza, located next to a baby boutique and Tom + Chee. It opened this spring and is the only non-chain restaurant I’ve seen on that stretch of Massillon Road, which automatically earns it brownie points.

First, the name. Brix is the measurement of the sugar concentration of liquids, and 35 degree brix is the amount of natural grape sugars found in ice wines that are popular in a certain part of Canada and served at the restaurant.

review_7Inside, 35 Brix is sleek and modern, decorated mostly in blue and gray with statement art on the walls. There’s also a patio with umbrella tables, if you’re feeling more casual.

We went on a Monday during happy hour for an early dinner. There were several groups of people my parents’ age (in the 50s range) there, too, some of whom were celebrating a birthday.

The first dish we tried was poutine ($8), which is a Canadian staple and basically their country’s version of loaded fries. It’s fresh-cut fries topped with beef gravy and balls of cheese. 35 Brix also serves a Texas version with chili and cheddar cheese, but our waitress advised us to stick with the traditional poutine. We attacked it with forks and devoured it all. Something about it reminded me of a hearty breakfast—in a good way.

review_1Our other appetizer was maple-crusted pecan bacon topped with blue cheese crumbles ($9). Andrew seemed skeptical about whether I’d actually eat this, since I don’t love bacon, but we learned that I like it glazed in maple balsamic syrup. It was chewy and sweet and salty and basically the dessert version of bacon.

Dinner entrees are served with salads with homemade dressings. Our waitress was sweet and brought us three dressings to try when we couldn’t decide on two. The white balsamic, the white french and the peppercorn ranch each were delicious. And the salads were the healthy kind, made with dark leafy greens and real veggies.

review_3For dinner, your choices are steaks with “frites,” house specialties and seafood, largely priced in the $18 to $30 range. I picked the ricotta and goat cheese ravioli with peas and lemon thyme sauce ($19.50). My dish came with five raviolis, and it was so rich that I was filled up after two. I had been so excited when I saw this on the menu ahead of time, and it lived up to all my expectations.

review_4Andrew got the basin street shrimp and large scallops on top of red pepper pappardelle (a wide, flat noodle pasta) ($28). The menu warned us the dinner was spicy, and it was for me, but I liked the flavor so much I still ate several bites.

Even though the dinner dishes were kind of pricey, I would eat at 35 Brix again for a special occasion.

review_5A disclaimer: This review won’t help you much if you plan to go at lunch time because the menu is pretty different. It sounds delicious, though, with soups and salads and “handhelds,” which come with fresh-cut fries. They include a salmon BLT ($11.75), mahi mahi tacos ($13) and a barbecue bacon burger ($12.75). The house specialties caught my eye—lobster macaroni and cheese topped with truffled breadcrumbs ($13) and Brix meatloaf wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cheese ($9.99).

The food also is different for brunch. That menu is smaller and features salads, egg dishes and some sweeter treats—think red velvet waffles ($9) and apple cinnamon pancakes ($7.75).