Cleveland, Ohio

Jonathon Sawyer plates a course.

Cleveland is a rust belt city on the rebound, and the restaurant scene is leading the renaissance.

Jonathon Sawyer worked for years at high end eateries in New York City. Since moving back to his native Cleveland seven years ago, he and his wife have started eight food establishments, including the sustainably-focused Greenhouse Tavern and the fancier Trentina.

"We really wanted to be part of the new Cleveland, and it's encouraging to see how far the local food scene has come," said Sawyer.

Other restaurants specializing in local food include the Mediterranean themed Lolita and the Indian influenced Fire, Food and Drink.

Local beef is big in the region, said Sawyer, as well as sustainable lake fish like perch and bass.

Though putting local, free-range meats on the menu costs more, chefs like Sawyer are taking a stand.

"We're in a place where we can push this in the right direction."

First published January 20, 2016: 4:21 PM ET

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