At Revolver expect to find an exciting, ever-revolving (pun intended) menu and a featured musician each week of the year. This fine dining restaurant’s name is derived from the record player, and the music played over the stereo throughout dinner service has more than likely inspired the dishes coming out of the kitchen. For example, Miles Davis’ On the Corner no doubt led to the creation of a daring dessert: grapefruit crème brulee with fennel biscotti ($6).
Since 2006, guests have been appreciating Revolver’s casually modern dining room that seats about 40 guests as well as other welcoming aspects. Framed pictures of friends decorate one of the exposed brick walls, and votive candles flicker delicately on the tables. The gorgeous and gracious co-owner Debi Bulkowski conscientiously tends to the front of the house and, like a ghost, folds guests’ napkins the millisecond they leave the table. All of the staff are attentive and knowledgeable, especially regarding the extensive wine and beer list that is hand selected by the chef himself.
While the fresh décor and the unobtrusive staff are draws to this independently owned and operated culinary oasis in Findlay, Ohio (95 miles from Detroit, 150 miles from Cleveland, 90 miles from Columbus), the main attraction is the simplistic-yet-complex food. Co-owner and Chef Michael Bulkowski resourcefully features seasonal local fruits (think pawpaw crème brulee, $6), vegetables (imagine organic greens with local pears, maytag blue cheese, hazelnuts, and pear dressing, $5), and proteins (picture local pork loin with savory bread pudding and chorizo broth, $19) —all grown and raised in the surrounding farmland counties. Chef Bulkowski’s vision stems from his experience working so intricately on the launch of the contemporary vegetarian fine dining restaurant Green Zebra, in Chicago’s West Town. He began working his way up from line cook in Woflgang Puck’s Spago. Then he moved to Chicago where he gained an acclaimed experience as Sous Chef to Chef Shawn McClain at Spring. Motivated to open his own restaurant, Bulkowski returned to his hometown, where he lives with his wife Debi, daughter Willough and son Erro.
A complimentary amuse-bouche kicks off every meal at Revolver, and ours was no different. The apple cider faux caviar with crème fraiche and a petal of arugula awoke and cleansed our palates with its sweetness and freshness. While it was tempting to make a meal of the starter courses (all priced at $5), I ordered the tart and perfectly smooth sweet potato and gala apple soup with arugula pistou, and, honestly, I considered ordering a bowl to-go for lunch the next day. My husband’s bowl of potato gnocchi with serrano ham broth and root vegetables didn’t disappoint; the gnocchi was boiled and seared, which translated into delicate crunch. (And I must admit during a previous visit I ordered the southern-inspired buttermilk fried chicken thigh served over a bed of braised dinosaur kale; this hearty appetizer was crispy, sweet, tangy, and succulent all in one bite.)
The main courses only exceeded the expectations set by the first courses. The roasted half chicken (pictured) was perfectly juicy in its truffle jous, and the earthiness of the accompanying brussels sprouts was absolutely joyful ($24). The grilled local hanger steak felt like home on the tongue, and the heat of the horseradish only accentuated the beets and fingerling potatoes ($18).
My husband and I figured why stop there. For dessert, warm angel food cake bread pudding with Clementine ice cream and a mug warm, perfectly spiced eggnog—a heavenly endnote for a brisk, snowy Ohio evening. If you’re looking for something a little lighter to end the meal, the Dragon-Snap hot tea with raw sugar cubes is fragrant and delectable.
Unintimidating, fun, and thoughtful, Revolver is the perfect, unrushed gourmet dinner for anyone seeking to a break from the countless chain restaurants in the Mid-West and wanting to taste high-quality culinary food at a decent price. If you’re already a fan of Revolver, declare it on their Facebook page. If your wallet is tight, consider a meal of starters. And if you’re from out-of-town, seek this out-of-the-way gem.
110 East Sandusky Street
Findlay, Ohio 45840
Modern Mid-western Cuisine
Accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express
Dinner Check: $$$
Monday – Saturday from 5:30pm-10:00 p.m.