Cameron's in Linworth has Formidable Americana Menu

Cameron's American Bistro deftly sets the stage for an upscale comfort food experience.

Cameron Mitchell's flagship restaurant in Linworth offers a sweeping menu of Americana classics. One example is the excellent pork chop ($16.95). First brined and then grilled, it maintains its juiciness while succumbing to a pool of sweet Chinese mustard sauce. The homestyle quality continues with a roasted chicken ($15.95), which is heady with poultry aroma, its skin nicely crisp. The moist fowl is served with a lemony, natural gravy.

Often-drab pasta is hardly boring here. Fettucine noodles are tossed with shrimp, crab and crayfish and assorted vegetables in a chipotle cream sauce ($17.95) that has a spicy kick. Whole kernels of corn ignite a burst of sweetness in about every other bite. A smaller portion is available for $13.95.

Cameron's is a dinner-only operation. Its bar, which greets you when you first walk in, is a hub of activity. The dining room is matted with earth tones and the staff is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about the menu. A semi-open kitchen adds some liveliness to the space, which can fill up quickly -- and early -- so reservations are recommended.

Portobello "fries" ($6.95) aren't exactly fries; two thick caps are basically halved, lightly battered and fried, giving a nice balancing texture to the soft and meaty mushrooms. The starter is served with two sauces, a cream horseradish and a housemade ketchup, each having its own complementary quality. The house bread is an excellent wheat sourdough served with butter and roasted garlic. If you're looking for something with a little more dimension, try the flatbread ($7.95). Crispy potato chips give a nice offsetting crunch to many of the bread's softer elements -- prosciutto, caramelized onions, provolone and mascarpone.

A cup of the shrimp bisque ($3.95) is silky and savory, with a subtle seafood aroma. A crouton raft topped with plum tomato chutney is floated in the center of the stock. But if bisque with little bits of seafood is more to your liking, this isn't for you.

The menu takes more than a few upscale turns. The lightly fried Lake Erie walleye ($19.95) is given a twist: The breadcrumbs are pulverized Ritz crackers, which give a buttery edge to the golden-fried batter. Topped with chunks of crab, the moist filet picks up additional flavor from a shallot cream sauce. The pan-seared scallops ($20.95) are both plump and briny, matched with a buerre blanc. While the roasted duck ($18.95) has some fine earthy qualities, a cloyingly sweet sauce at the bottom of the plate does it no favors.

Entrees are usually furnished with some kind of vegetable and mashed potatoes, which invariably are well done and often seasoned with garlic, but the kitchen could stand to better round out the carbs with some additional choices.

For dessert, the Meyer lemon gratin ($5.25) is fluffy, predictably lemony (it gets an extra infusion from lemon zest), and has the thinnest layer of caramelized sugar on top. Surrounded by raspberries, it rests in a pool of creme Anglaise.

The wine list joins in the restaurant's all-American theme, though it's nothing out of the ordinary. If you're looking for something to go with heartier dishes, the 2002 Petite Sirah from Guenoc ($9.95) -- with its deep berry flavors and a little spice -- holds up well enough. The restaurant also recently rolled out a menu of specialty drinks using fresh-squeezed juices. Turn a a virgin lemon-limeade ($3.50) into an electric drink with a shot of Cuervo tequila (an extra $4.45).