by Steven Doyle
Once every so often, the stars align and the food gods shine upon us and we discover a beautiful little restaurant in an oasis all to its own where the wine pours magnificently, the cocktails are superb and the food will make your heart skip a bit with passion. Orno on Cedar Springs seems to be one of these restaurants.
Located in the Gayborhood which is oddly filled with burger options, sans the marvelous Peasant Pizzeria which just opened months ago. The finer dining options seem to have crept away from an area which should be an obvious choice for those with discriminating tastes. Orno does fit this bill. It is not a place to shoot bad whiskey, but instead a slice of another place in another land.
The food is generous even though broken down into small plates, madium plates and full on food rage sized plates. We experimented with each.
Lunches are filled with kicked up sandwiches, salads, a crazy good chicken salad sandwich, and a good example of their flatbreads. The flatbreads are these wispy this, crackery crusted examples doused with amazingly fresh ingredients. It is obvious why it is their largest seller.
Smaller sharable portions for dinner can be a fun exploration into the owners background which was tapas. Nael Rodriguez enjoys his days at the restaurant and keeps a careful guard on the important things, such as your fill of wine. Nale’s attention to detail is nothing short of amazing. He also takes great pride in his mixology abilities.
Look for delicious dishes such as the finest example of mac and cheese, made with roasted poblanos, and a crazy good bowl of Brussel sprouts which are made with a good amount of house-made bacon. They seriously take time each week to make their own bacon.
Big plates can be found as well, and look no further than a massive haunch of ribeye which some tableside presliced to continue the sharing concept.
Wine is never an after thought at Orno with many selections from small makers, all carefully curated. A guest need do nothing more than describe what wine adventure they are up for and soon a taste is presented with a great description of the grape.
Brunch also brings special surprises, especially their biscuits and gravy which we lapped up tout suite. House made everything becomes ever so obvious. And more bacon.
Look for handmade food at fair prices with amazing libations at this little space on Cedar Springs. You will be greeted by a pair of Weimaraners, Bacco and Lola. This is where the adventure begins.