Strongsville's own Shinto goes national

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The Food Network discovered Shinto’s Godzilla and now everyone in the country is talking about it.

By Patricia Nugent

From a 14-inch gravy-smothered biscuit in Columbia, SC, to a five-pound muffaletta in Atlanta and 17-pound chicken gyro in Nashville, host Josh Denny scours the country on a quest to find the biggest and tastiest food on Food Network’s new smash-hit show, “Ginormous Food.”

When searching restaurants throughout the Midwest, they came up with Shinto Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar and its infamous five-pound beast of a sushi roll, the aptly named Godzilla.

“Over a five-month period, dozens of phone calls, Skype interviews and coordinating with Food Network directors and producers, we found ourselves at the shoot date here last month,” says Shinto General Manager Kyle Peterson.

“It was so exciting. The restaurant was packed and everyone had a great time. We’re proud to represent Cleveland on a national level.”

What’s Your Pleasure?
Breezing through the slew of five-star ratings, many of them mention what an exceptional experience people shared taking loved ones to Shinto for a special event, birthdays, anniversaries, family parties and more.

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Jay Saleh, catering and event coordinator, reports that this summer they are busier than ever, with everything from showers to rehearsal dinners, weddings, corporate affairs and parties at the restaurant to epic events at businesses and homes.

“Sushi platters are the perfect dishes for parties, when people love to mingle and share,” he says.

“And people enjoy the festive vibe at our restaurant, whether it’s renting out part of the interior, or the whole outside patio, which seats up to 40. With black leather couches and dining tables, underneath a glowing canopy of Japanese paper lanterns, the patio is a party-perfect setting.”

“For off-premises catering, we have the resources to coordinate every last detail...doing the flowers, booking entertainment, down to the linens and the dance floor,” he adds.

“For instance, this month we are orchestrating a perfectly over-the-top Great Gatsby-themed birthday party at a lakeside home featuring an ice sculpture that also serves as the bar, complete with a shelf for bottles of Dom Perignon.”

He also says that this time of year parents are looking for “that something different” to make their graduation parties memorable, and that having a hibachi chef come to your home and set up his entertaining cooking table fits that bill to a tee.

New Summer Menu
Sushi Chef Stuart Waite has been experimenting with new dishes to roll out on the summer menu this month. One in particular has already created followers. The Chappa Rizo roll features shrimp tempura, tuna chorizo, roasted red pepper and green onion wrapped in soy paper and topped with ghost chili sauce and avocado sauce.

“It’s everything a sushi roll should be. Once people try our highly seasoned tuna chorizo, they can’t get enough of it,” says Chef Stuart.

“Another favorite dish is the Buckeye Roll, which includes salmon, crab salad and kampyo rolled in seaweed and tempura fried. It’s then wrapped in cucumber and set in a spicy miso glaze topped with a sweet, citrusy yu-zu cream, eel sauce, scallions and sesame seeds.”

Another standout dish is the Tower of Tartare, a delightfully Jenga-esque layering of tuna, salmon and yellowtail tartare with avocados and topped with yu-zu cream, masaggo and a delicate drizzle of eel sauce on a base of rice.

For an enticing yin-yang of heat and chill, try the Fire and Ice dish, which features half crab/green onion/cucumber and half spicy tuna and cucumber topped with fresh tuna and white tuna, sweet chili glaze and sesame seeds.

“I think there’s a misconception that we specialize solely in seafood, when we actually cater to steak lovers as well,” says Kyle. “For example, our center-cut Chateaubriand is a masterpiece, and so are the other steak dishes, such as the Fillet Roll.”

To cater to the growing number of gluten-free diners, Kyle reports they are also introducing a gluten-free menu and a vegetarian menu, both with an eclectic array of dishes.

Not to play favorites, but Shinto patrons have quite the love affair going on with mojitos, which Kyle reports outsold every other libation so far this year.

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“Attention to detail is what puts the mojo in our mojitos,” he explains.

“We build on the classic Cuban concoction of white rum, lime juice, soda water and hand-muddled mint by pairing it with bursting-with-freshness fruits such as cucumber, strawberry, blueberry, mango, pomegranate and, my personal favorite, champagne.”

Shinto Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar is at 17070 Pearl Road in Strongsville. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, noon-11 p.m.; and Sunday, 2-9 p.m. Call 440-878-3868, or visit ShintoExperience.com for more information.

Categories: Westside Food