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Cleveland culinary entrepreneurs book a stay in the hotel world
Scott Kuhn and Chris Hodgson have opened Sanctuary: the Restaurant and Wine Bar in Beachwood's Double Tree Hotel
This story is part of a special series.

Vivian Goodman
Chef Chris Hodgson and his business partner Scott Kuhn have opened Sanctuary: The Restaurant and Wine Bar in the Double Tree Hotel in Beachwood. It's their ninth restaurant in the Cleveland area.
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Two Clevelanders who own a smorgasbord of eateries have opened yet another.

In today’s Quick Bite WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports this restaurant is a unique challenge for the partners because of its location.

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Over the last three years, the culinary empire of Chef Chris Hodgson and entrepreneur Scott Kuhn has greatly expanded.

Sanctuary: The Restaurant and Wine Bar is joint venture No. 9.

Unique challenges of a hotel restaurant
This isn’t the first time Kuhn and Hodgson have catered to hotel guests. Their Washington Place Bistro in Cleveland’s Little Italy made the Cooking Channel’s list of top places to stay and dine a couple years back.

But it’s a boutique hotel with only seven rooms. There are more than 400 in the Double Tree Hotel in Beachwood where Sanctuary opened in October. 

Kuhn says naming it wasn’t hard. 

“We thought about a hotel and comfort, warmth, and we just kept going back to Sanctuary.” 

Drawing from the locale
He hopes it draws as many local restaurant-goers as travelers. 

“There’s some great competition here in Beachwood, like Red, like Moxie. You can’t only think of the hotel guest because we need the local business from the community.”

Since they opened Chef Hodgson’s been learning the ropes of a big hotel kitchen.  

“The ins and outs of room service and things that people find comfortable or quick on the go, or what businessmen like. You kind of have a much broader spectrum of people that you’re trying to target with the food from 5-year-olds to 75-year-olds coming into town to visit their grandkids.”  

Family matters
Meanwhile, he’s catering to a new, very special customer. “Eliana, 3 months old.”   

Kuhn’s wife is expecting their first child, too.

Hodgson says he’s used to balancing work and family, never easy for a full-time chef and restaurateur.

“But there’s something just different about coming home to the little munchkin, and you look forward to it. And it forced me to slow down and really take a little bit of time for me and the family.”

Flexible staffing
It helps, he says, to have a staff that can cook in any of his kitchens.

“No matter which restaurant you go to during the course of the year, you’ll see them plopping from one spot to the next. And it’s really fun because it creates a great atmosphere, great culture, almost a family feeling.” 

Your server and even some menu items at Sanctuary may look familiar, like hangar steak with frites or blue crab hushpuppies.

“They’re one of our signature items down at Hodges. Got to do them on the Today Show. But it’s just blue crab. It’s very light, little bit of cornmeal, some sugar, light and fluffy, little bit of old bayonaisse which is Old Bay, a little honey and some mayonnaise and fresh cucumber.” 

Pierogi kicked up a notch
Another appetizer as hearty as an entrée is braised beef & wild mushroom ragu pierogis. 

“That’s one of the signature things Scott opened Washington Place with. And it’s just a really rich and comfortable dish.” 

He sources the key ingredient from The Pierogi Lady of Hartville.

“What’s inside that pierogi? Just a little bit of parmesan, potato, little truffle, salt and pepper. So very simple because we’re going to add so many other flavors to it, with the beef, with the caramelized onions.” 

Hodgson sautés the plump little dumplings in a blend of olive and canola oil.

“Nice and low, nice and slow, we want to get a nice brown color to them. So it will take just a little bit of time. 

“Adding just a little bit of garlic to the pan, our caramelized onions.

“We just put in braised beef, so it’s shredded up into bigger chunks. So we’re adding that to the pan. There’s some wild mushrooms in the pan. And we’re about to hit it up with a little demi.” 

That’s demiglace, a rich brown sauce.

“Mushrooms right on top, then we’re going to garnish this guy. We put a horseradish crème fraiche and some micro greens. Adds a little creaminess to it.”

Television can wait
Hodgson finished second in The Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race a couple years back with Dim and Den Sum, which he believes was the first food truck to hit the streets of Cleveland. His second truck, Hodge Podge, still rolls.

But he’s not on television as much these days.

“I’ve been asked to do more shows. It’s just not in the cards right now. We have a growing business. We have a growing catering company. I have a growing family.” 

He’s still getting to know little Eliana but one thing’s already clear. “She is going to eat very well.” 

(Click image for larger view.)

Seared U-10 Sea Scallops are served on a bed of risotto, with golden beets, caramelized apples, butternut squash, fried sage and apple gastrique.
At a preview in early fall, friends and family got a taste of what's to come.
Like most restaurants, Sanctuary had a soft opening before opening to the general public in October.
Chris Hodgson says the kitchen at Sanctuary in Beachwood is almost as big as the one at Cibraeo in Playhouse Square.
The pierogis come from The Pierogi Lady of Hartville, who met Chris Hodgson at an event, asked for an autograph and presented him a plate of her specialties.
Chef Hodgson sports a perpetual smile, especially since the birth of his baby daughter.
It takes time to brown the pierogis in a blend of olive and canola oil. They're plump and packed tightly.
A touch of demiglace, a thick brown sauce, gives pierogis a delicious bath.
Braised beef and wild mushroom ragu pierogi
The wine bar has its own lighter menu.
There's ample seating but everything on the menu is also available with room service.
Scott Kuhn is a highly trained chef just like his partner Chris Hodgson, but Kuhn focuses on the business end of things for the Driftwood Restaurant Group.
Certified Angus beef hanger steak comes with shoestring frites, malt vinegar aioli, asparagus and salsa verde
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