Restaurant Dante, Cleveland, 9/5/18

building
building

Dante is a restaurant, club, sushi bar and much more in the Tremont area of Cleveland where much renovation is underway.  The main restaurant that started 8 years ago was in an old bank building, complete with in-vault dining table.  In fact tables are tucked into to many unique spaces, including one behind the bar.  It was fairly dark with a wall dividing the light wood dining tables from the bar area.  Lots of art lined the walls and interesting chandeliers hung from the ceiling, but add minimal light, made from what appeared to be dripping glass.  They offered an a la carte menu as well as a surprise 5 or 7 course tasting menus with optional wine pairings.  We opted for the 7 courses (most not on the menu) with wine pairings which were quite generous.  

entrance
entrance
Frankie posed on the sign
Frankie posed on the sign
table set up
table set up
chandelier
chandelier
dividing wall
dividing wall
menu cover
menu cover
menu
menu
cocktail list
cocktail list

 

We started with a couple of their specialty cocktails, a Barrel Aged negroni with Vim and Petal gin, campari and Dolin Blanc Vermouth.  It was good.  Also an “Excuse me Cuz” which was Floh pink grapefruit and dragonfruit vodka, Giffard Framboise, lychee and prosecco and really good.  Bread service included a sourdough, olive or multigrain varieties all served with a hummus.  All the breads were a soft interior with a crisp crust and tasty.  The hummus was very nice too.

Frankie posed with the cocktails
Frankie posed with the cocktails
bread
bread
hummus spread
hummus spread

 

Tuna Tartare was served with jalapeño purée, radish and pinenuts.  It was nicely spicy and all the parts blended well.  The tuna was soft and smooth and the jalapeño purée was a perfect accompaniment.

first course wine
first course (tuna) wine
tartar
tartar
closer
closer
Frankie warmed by the candle
Frankie warmed by the candle

 

Burrata came with a Green Vegetable Salad made with English peas, asparagus, arugula and spinach.  The burrata was mild and creamy and mixed well with the aioli on the greens.  It was topped with some crispy chips that added another textural component to the tasty dish.  It felt light with lots of great flavors.

wine with second course
wine with second course (burrata)
Burrata and green vegetable salad: English peas, asparagus, arugula, spinach
Burrata and green vegetable salad: English peas, asparagus, arugula, spinach
closer
closer
Frankie wanted burrata
Frankie wanted burrata

 

Polenta ravioli was served on creamed corn and filled with short rib meat.  It was topped with cilantro, basil, shallots and corn.  They were tender bits of flavor explosions.  It was terrific.

wine
wine with short rib ravioli
ravioli
ravioli
closer
closer
inside
inside
Frankie napped on a little stool
Frankie napped on a little stool
bar
bar

 

A Diver scallop on top of a Romesco sauce was served alongside pork belly and crisp roasted fennel.  The scallop was cooked perfectly and the sauce blended in well.  The pork belly was a particularly fatty piece but absolutely full of flavor.  This was a delicious plate.

wine
wine with scallop and pork belly
scalllop
scallop and port belly
inside
inside
Frankie rested on the bench
Frankie rested on the bench

 

A baby lamb chop was served on couscous with a stone fruit compote, poached onions, micro greens and mint.  The lamb was perfectly cooked and the various flavors combined well.  Everything really worked together to produce a really fun plate.

wine
wine with lamb
Baby lamb chop with stone fruit compote, couscous, mint
Baby lamb chop with stone fruit compote, couscous, mint
another view
another view
Frankie got stuck in the plant
Frankie got stuck in the plant

 

A New York Strip steak was served with basil spinach purée, chanterelles (from Ohio), potatoes, zucchini and a veal demi glace.  Apparently one of the chefs found the mushrooms and while cleaning them was bitten by a brown recluse spider.  He is now fine but it made them even more special to eat.  The chanterelles and potatoes were amazing, the meat tender enough with good beef flavor and the zucchini were okay.  Another fun plate.

wine
wine with beef
beef
New York Strip steak, basil spinach purée, chanterelles (from Ohio), potatoes, zucchini and a veal demi glace
closer
closer
Frankie gave it the sniff test
Frankie gave it the sniff test

 

For a transition course we had a watermelon and lime zest sorbet.  It was fresh, wonderful and very good.

transisitio
watermelon and lime zest sorbet
closer
closer
Waiter and Frankie
Fun server Joey and Frankie

 

We had two different desserts.  A vegan cheesecake was on a caramelized fig crust and topped with an orange sorbet.  It was different but would only rate an okay.

wine
wine with desserts
dessert
vegan cheesecake with a caramelized fig crust and an orange sorbet
clsoer
closer

 

A chocolate panna cotta was topped with strawberry sorbet.  The sorbet was better than the panna cotta which was a bit cloying.  Not great either but we were pretty full at this point, so that was just fine.

dessert
chocolate panna cotta with strawberry sorbet
another angle
another angle

 

After the meal the General Manager, Phil Hockey, was kind enough to show us through the other parts of the restaurant – the sushi bar (Ginko), party room (Next Door), rock and roll room (Coda) – and the kitchen.  Noise from one part didn’t bleed into the others and there were tables everywhere, from the bank vault of the dining room to a table stuck behind one of the bars.  Fun place!

manager and Frankie
Phil Hockey, General Manager and Frankie
vault seating
vault seating
vault dining
vault dining
another dining room
another dining room
another room
another room
another room
another room
kitchen
kitchen
Frankie climbed the wall
Frankie climbed the wall
sushi bar
sushi bar
sushi bar
sushi bar
wall in sushi room
wall in Ginko (sushi room)
exterior
exterior of adjacent places
rock and roll room
rock and roll room
rock and roll room
rock and roll room
another room
Next Door, party room
Frankie posed with tthe big cat
Frankie posed with the big cat
wood fired oven
wood fired oven
light fixtrure and neon guitar pic
light fixture with neon guitar pick
bar table
bar table
Chefs and Frankie
Chefs (L to R) Jamie, Sous Chef Janie and Andres with Frankie

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