saturday night my friends, muffin, court, the klutz, lindsay and babs headed to one of cleveland's newest restaurants, DANTE, in tremont.
originally i wrote about how i enjoyed DANTE back in january 2008 when the restaurant was located in valley view. but i must admit the renovated third federal bank building in the trendier tremont neighborhood fits DANTE much better than valley view ever did.
the restaurant itself is beautifully decorated, with the most amazing crown molding, old bank vault that you can actually eat in, and dale chihuly style glass chandelier.
my only decor complaint would be how tight the seating is, the main dining area can literally only allow one person to pass through the aisle at a time, which became quite tricky while trying to use the restroom while the busy dinner service was underway.
my table was actually situated away from the main dining area next to the door, which isn't my favorite but in looking at the other guests i'm glad the girls and i were seated where we were.
DANTE was definitely packed, every table full, but it's who the tables were filled with was what surprised me. as the klutz said, "i feel like we are in chagrin falls".
we were the youngest people (28 to 31), by at least 15 years. it was all old white rich people, women wearing furs, cougars looking for dates, and men wearing gold jewelery.
it just wasn't the normal crowd that i'm used to seeing in tremont which caught me off guard, specifically because the prices are so reasonable i thought the younger sect would be represented more. i'm going to chalk up the crowd to being how it was because DANTE is still so new.
but enough about the ambiance, let's talk about the food.
while there was some timing issues, the service was very good as were our meals.
when i looked at the dinner menu prior to saturday night there were a few things that grabbed my attention, specifically the braised fennel gratin with arugula, hazelnuts and oranges. i could eat this starter as an entree, seriously delicious - the arugula made it in my opinion.
as for my dinner i went with the pancetta wrapped duck breast with foie gras toasted gnocchi and apple variations. when i ordered this i was worried that the pancetta was going to overpower the duck but it was such a thin slice that it was the perfect compliment to the duck. and apples? who knew they would be so awesome with the dish. my only complaint is that i only got four gnocchi (i counted), and while i didn't expect a massive portion of them more than four shouldn't have been too much to ask.
muffin ordered the braised beef short rib which when i tried it deemed it the best short rib i've ever had, lindsay's arborio risotto was very rich, but delicious. babs, the klutz and court all ordered pasta dishes which were all tasty. court and lindsay also ordered the banana and butternut squash with cinnamon foam soup as a starter which they did nothing but rave about.
while we all loved the fact that DANTE offers three sizes for all their pastas we were disappointed that there wasn't a simple salad of any kind on the menu. the appetizer portion of a pasta with a salad was exactly what the ladies were looking for but no salad was to be found.
the pomegranate cocktail that i had three of was delicious as was the off menu sangria that my friends downed about 12 of.
all in all it was a great dinner and i will definitely go back.
after DANTE we headed to treehouse, abc tavern and bier markt/bar cento.
nice little saturday night if i do say so myself.
hope you all had a great weekend, and an even better upcoming week.