The Short Course:
Kid friendly: Yes.
To avoid wait: Arrive early or make reservations.
Noise level: Moderate.
Bathroom amenities: No changing station.
High chairs? Yes.
Kids’ menu: Yes and only $1 on Mondays.
Allergies? Be sure to alert your servers to that precautions can be taken in the kitchen.
My “birthday week” was a great excuse to take it up a notch for dinner out on the town, while I wasn’t looking to break the bank with my crew. Those boys can eat these days and they don’t concern themselves with the fact that momma’s on a budget! With those goals, it seemed that Next Door 112, the newish restaurant in downtown Sylvania, might be just what I was looking for.
The casual sister of Element 112
Element 112 opened in downtown Sylvania in the fall of 2012. Described by owner and chef Chris Nixon, it is a place “for your big moments in life,” using chef-inspired food throughout the meal to enhance the experience. Though Chef Nixon was raised in Sylvania, he spent many years away, working in some of the top restaurants in New York City and Denmark. He knows a thing or two about creating a wonderful dining experience.
At the end of 2018, Nixon opened a second restaurant, Next Door 112, literally right next door to Element 112. They even share the same entrance and bar. Nixon describes Next Door as a “restaurant with a homey, relaxed atmosphere,” with a goal to create a place to take a break from the norm for an hour or so and enjoy a nice meal. It’s casual and you can come as you are, yet the minimalistic and slightly modern atmosphere takes it up a notch from ordinary dining establishments, and it comes with BIG flavors.
Small menu with a variety
According to Chef Nixon, his menus for both restaurants follow seasonality but, sometimes because he has the urge, he changes it up. The “Drop Your France” burger, a menu staple, is loaded with melted Swiss cheese, beurre blanc, which in French means “white butter,” and caramelized onions. My oldest son enjoyed it to the last bite.
Despite a small menu, the evening we visited, three salads and several types of soups were offered. They always offer cheese and sourdough toast, with the cheese selection rotating regularly. As for entrees, other than the burger, there were options for fish, pasta, flatbread, Brussels sprouts and another sandwich. Unless you’re very picky, you will find something on the menu to suit you, and that includes some wonderful desserts, including a vegan creme brulee.
I was supposed to be sharing my entrée with my friend, but somehow, I ate most of it and still devoured some of his. The roasted salmon with creamy polenta and roasted corn salsa was packed with amazing flavor. His Gemelli pasta was made with garlic cream, kale, and pecorino (a family of hard Italian sheep’s milk cheeses) and he garnished it with shrimp. My youngest ordered the flatbread, which included chimichurri (a condiment originating in Argentina), pickled onions and pecorino among other things. The presentation of everything was a treat in and of itself.
Bring the family!
Even with the wonderful atmosphere and delectable eats, this is also a place to stop in with your kids. Chef Nixon has two young children himself and he designed this restaurant to be a place where families can feel welcome.
Not only that, but little ones 10 and under eat for $1 on Mondays. Their kid menu is $4-$5 and includes linguini alfredo, lil’ burger, grilled cheese and baked chicken.
Whether it’s date night, dinner out with the family, or meeting up with friends, Next Door 112 is perfect for any occasion. They have recently opened for lunch, too. The atmosphere is welcoming and comfortable and the food is as delectable as you would expect from the sister restaurant Element 112. Not only are children welcome but they eat for a buck on Mondays.
Next Door 112
5735 Main St., Sylvania
419-517-1104 | www.nextdoor112.com
Mon-Sat: 11a.m.-10p.m. | Closed Sunday