Josh Gouveia, chef and owner of Cobblestone Grille, has brought quality, affordable dining options to downtown Cleveland since 2012, and uses his culinary background to not only deliver tantalizing …
Josh Gouveia, chef and owner of Cobblestone Grille, has brought quality, affordable dining options to downtown Cleveland since 2012, and uses his culinary background to not only deliver tantalizing dishes to his customers, but also exceptional service.
Originally from Newport, Rhode Island, Gouveia has always had a love for cooking. With his thick, New England accent, he’s often asked where he hails from; so often, in fact, that he now jokingly tells people he’s from Boston.
Opened on Aug. 15, 2012, Cobblestone Grille has a loyal fan base, according to the staff. There are 12 employees, including chef Josh Hartness, who worked for Gouveia since day one. Gouveia's wife, Amanda, serves as owner and marketing director.
Gouveia describes Cobblestone Grille as “comfortably casual,” complete with a relaxed atmosphere, soft lighting and low music.
“We believe in freshness here. When I go out to eat, I expect to be served fresh food, not frozen garbage,” he said.
Before moving to Cleveland, Gouveia ran his own restaurant, Classicos Italian, in West Palm Beach, Florida, for 18 years. His family then moved to Cleveland for retirement.
Upon first moving to Cleveland, he said he noticed a distinct lack of fresh eatery options in town, with the majority of restaurants being fast food.
Cobblestone offers a variety of sandwiches, burgers and its very popular Meat and Three combos, which allow Gouveia the chance to showcase his establishment’s fresh turkey, meatloaf, roast beef and various other dishes.
In addition to lunch, Cobblestone offers a breakfast that attracts a significantly sized crowd as well.
“I found my niche in Cleveland. This is what I saw was needed in downtown,” he added.
Gouveia started his culinary career as a dishwasher. He then moved to prep cook, sous chef and all the way up the ladder. After learning the trade, he eventually opened Classicos at age 19. He also ran another restaurant, Surfside Grill, along with J.G. Scoops, which made homemade ice cream in-house.
“My dad was big into cooking. We had a restaurant kitchen in our house with the stainless steel hood because we used to have big parties there with a lot of guests,” he said.
For six years, Cobblestone has been open for breakfast and lunch. Gouveia said he’s always been incredibly proud of the compliments he gets from his regulars; however, the only request he received continuously was for the restaurant to remain open for dinner.
He said his loyal customers built him up, and it was through their requests that Cobblestone is now open for dinner, from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. He reports dinner has become very popular, but he is still focused on increasing awareness of their dinner option.
Since opening for dinner, Cobblestone received its beer license, and is currently in the process of acquiring its wine license as well.
The lunch menu remains the same for dinner, and breakfast can be ordered all day on the weekends. Being affordable was one of Gouveia’s main goals when founding Cobblestone, and he said he’s proud to still be the affordable, yet fresh, option for downtown Cleveland six years after opening.
“We have a big following with Lee University students, as well as their professors,” he added. “We’ve listened to our customers, and we offer our weekly specials every week; so, if you find something you like on a Tuesday, it’ll be there the following Tuesday and so on.”
Specials include everything from turkey frittata to ultimate meatloaf and even the Cobblestone-exclusive friscuit, which is a buttermilk biscuit dipped in French toast batter then grilled with different flavors like strawberry shortcake or cinnamon swirl.
For those who have never been to Cobblestone, Gouveia encourages everyone to give them a try and experience the fresh difference his cooking brings to the table.
“Quality is never sacrificed, and you can count on a consistently great experience each time you visit us,” he said.
For aspiring chefs, Gouveia suggests doing your homework and being creative, as having a flair for creating dishes and the palette to go along with them will take you far.
Cobblestone Grille has a Facebook page and is online at www.cobblestonegrillecleveland.com. It can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 423-790-7006.
Cobblestone Grill is open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Even if you’re in a hurry, Cobblestone offers takeout and delivery through Dinner Delivered and My Town 2 Go. I
3 lb. ground pork/beef blend (or ground chuck)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup oats
1 packet onion soup mix
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup ranch dressing
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute pepper and onion. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Form meatloaf in loaf pan and top with ketchup. Bake at 400 degree for 45-60 minutes or until center reaches at least 165 degrees.
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