In 2007, Zack Bruell opened Table 45 at the InterContinental Hotel. What he created was, in my opinion, one of the most interesting and dynamic dining experience in this region.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I was invited as a guest to a lunch meeting at the hotel. Alas, no food photos, friends. Additionally, based on my fellow diners (think Ladies Who Lunch business meeting), I held back and didn’t order what I was craving. In normal circumstances, I would have rocked an entrée (I was looking at the sea scallops or salmon), but I played the “light lunch” card instead. Foolish me.
Our host ordered an order of the Homemade Tandoori Naan with Dipping Sauces for the table. The dipping sauces included “kalamata olive & sun dried tomato tapenade, lebanese goat cheese hummus and Indian pickled lime aioli”. I was SO incredibly happy that she decided to read my mind when I was saying to myself, “what will I have to order to get some of that tasty looking naan?”
Can I just say that tapenade has to be one of the best things on earth? At least this one was. The goat cheese hummus was a surprise in my mouth, as I have been eating my ol’ standby hummus that I pick up at Marc’s for what feels like MONTHS. (Sidenote: my dad got me two hummus containers for my Christmas stocking gift. And yes, my stocking gifts were being kept in the fridge.) As for the naan itself, it was the perfect baked example of a naan – soft, thick and just the perfect amount of golden brown on its crust. And quite tasty. I really didn’t want to share with the table, but I did, and held myself back to just a few pieces!
For my starter, I ordered the soup of the day: Tomato Parmesan, topped with parmesan cheese and scallions. Hearty in texture, the soup had a nice spice to it. Probably just the perfect amount of pepper was added to give it extra warmth. I had to stop myself from licking the cup clean.
For my main I ordered the Roasted Portobello Mushroom from the appetizer menu. Described as “wrapped in shredded phyllo with lemon grass-black pepper gastrique”, I was tremendously impressed with the presentation of this dish. Carefully placed at an angle in front of me, the Portobello was loving prepared in a bird’s nest of phyllo. Topped with some lovely seasoned tomatoes, the gastrique played well with the hearty mushroom. Definitely was an appetizer sided portion, which was perfect based on my previous bread and soup consumption.
I highly enjoyed my time at Table 45. A kudos to the wait staff, as they provided first class service the entire meal. I felt like I was taken away from my hometown and placed in one of the top restaurants in New York or London. Who knew such a sophisticated yet hip dining experience existed here in Cleveland?!
This lunch was quite the tease. Now I have only the furthered my urge to go to dinner at this fine establishment. It’s at the top of my list for our next special night out. Clevelanders: save up and treat yourself well for a special occasion at this culinary gem for either lunch or dinner. You won’t regret it.