Table 45 Blog 45

Friday, August 17, 2007

Plain dealer checks out Table 45 published on 08/17/07

Table 45's blend of global styles is just what the doctors ordered
By Debbi Snook
Plain Dealer Reporter

Let's not be foolish enough to think the medical staff at the Cleveland Clinic had anything to do with the recent transformation of its closest and fanciest restaurant, Table 45.

No, we won't suggest that a team of anesthesiologists were consulted on how certain forms of minimalist backlighting, platinum-blond wood floors and frosted glass panels could put customers in a sudden, ethereal state.

Or that a steady neurosurgeon might have artfully angled dishware, precision-cut spring rolls and created ornate, multi-faceted desserts.

Or that a medical ethics crew mentored the serving staff on the effectiveness of quiet, joyful tableside manners. Yet the most recent transformation of the fine dining space at the Intercontinental Hotel on the Clinic campus is showing highly polished skills with a casual manner.

It's a true pleasure.

Anybody still hoping for the formal old Classics restaurant at the Clinic better let down their blue hair and loosen their Brooks Brothers belt. This incarnation is stepping - shall we say sashaying? - onto a new global dance floor.

I can't help but think that chef Zack Bruell considered the Clinic's international customer reach when he confidently set out a menu that touched on flavors from Vietnam, India, the Middle East and many other points. None are imported as clunky copies of tradition, but as smart meals that speak more than one language fluently.

My tandoori chicken ($22) was hardly spiced like the one from India, but there were whispers of the cuisine's aroma, a crispy skin and silky meat inside. It was a dish of gentle flavors and fabulous textures.

It was that way across the menu. Every fish and meat we had offered consistent tenderness and succulence, from the Alaskan cod ($25) on a tagine of slow-cooked vegetables to the seared duck breast ($22) with a warmly spice-infused sable-brown Vadouvan sauce.

The only exception to great textures was a kobe beef special ($42) which wasn't as creamy-grained as I had hoped. Still, the flavors of the meat were well-pronounced. Another fish, a halibut with smoked paprika oil ($25), was a slightly overcooked but the seasonings still hypnotized.

Our meals started with artfulness, too. The Saigon crab and avocado wrap ($10) came with pastel seasonings but a small bounty of crab chunks slipped out if you didn't hold it right. Not complaining.

Zack's warm mushroom salad ($10) is a showstopper, a dish that can only work with divinely fresh ingredients. They're all there. The selection of tandoori-baked naan wedges ($6.50) with sauces offered well-balanced dips in fresh combinations. And while the Bangkok style Caesar salad ($7) was hardly Caesarish, it had a dainty herbiness and whisper of fermented fish sauce that made it mouth-watering. At lunch it comes with meat and fish add-ons.

Lunch also comes with a great burger ($12) accompanied by Bruell's signature, not-to-be-missed haystack fries. Much of the dinner menu is also here, at lower prices.

Dessert is never one thing at Table 45. Chef Eugenia Jimenez Constantin[boc: cq: ] has come into her own with this collection. These are not single items, but themed galleries of flavor and texture. Instead of just accessorizing single items, she dresses her sweets in ensembles. Take the Amaretto cheesecake ($9), a creamy bonbon paired with an Amaretto cookie crust, caramel tuille with orange sauce, diced mangoes and Amaretto ice cream. All are distinctly, knowingly flavored and harmonious.

Portions are not large on this menu, but they are sensible. A Clinic nutritionist might even approve. In the one occasion we took a bit home, our server handed us what she called "a tasty morsel for another day.'' We'll be back for more of that.


Table 45
Where: 9801 Carnegie Ave. InterContinental Hotel & Conference Center Cleveland, Cleveland, OH 44106 (Map)
Contact: 216-707-4045,
Hours: 11a.m. to 11p.m. daily.
Prices: Lunches, $12-$18; Dinner, $16-$28; brunch $29.
Reservations: By phone or Internet.
Credit cards: American Express,Discover,MasterCard,Visa.
Cleanliness: Spiffy.
Kid-friendliness: They’ll accommodate.
Quality of service: Delightful.
Noise level: Unobtrusive.
Valet Parking: Complimentary.
Bar service: Full.
Accessibility: Full.

Rating: * * * *
Ratings are based on a scale of zero to four stars (one star means fair; 2 stars, good; 3 stars, very good; 4 stars, exceptional. Zero stars, not recommended.)

What do the customers think?
Zack mingles with Guests

Comment Posted by jcp820 on 08/11/07 at 2:18PM
I recently ate at Table 45 and I must say that the service and food were outstanding! My friends and I were greeted by our friendly server named Jeannette who took very good care of us the entire evening. The food was presented in a timely manner and our service was wonderful. After our entrees were cleared, I was presented a specialized plate with happy birthday written across the top in delicious chocolate and fresh berries and homemade sorbet. Although parking was $6.00 my experience at the restaurant was very much worth it.

Comment Posted by sherry624 on 08/11/07 at 3:05PM
My friends and I enjoy experencing new things as well as places. Considering we are all from different countries, In early July we decided to see for ourselves "What all the buzz" was about at the new Intercontinental Hotal Table 45.We found, to our delight, that Table 45 is everything Mrs.Snook reported. And more. I say "and more" from a consumer stand point. We have dined in some of Clevelands most talked about restaurants and have come away from the experience Lets just say "less than satisfied" and with a lighter pooketbook. Table 45 is a innovative, stylish dinning atmosphere that was designed to appeal to a group of comsumers.

Comment Posted by tusky45 on 08/11/07 at 3:59PM
Two weeks ago my brother wanted to impress his date on the night out. I heard about Table 45 recently finishing its renovation from classics and I wanted to try it out. I'm glad we did, we had a marvelous time. We started with cocktails in the lounge. They had a room off to the side of the lounge that was completely wrapped with glass walls (very sleek). It added privacy to our conversations but yet we could still see through into the restaurant which was good because I'm a people watcher. The bar was packed with guest giving the room a great vibe. We ate at the action station in the front of the room. The pastry chef took care of us making a fresh order of naan in the tandori clay oven. The naan bread was incredible. My brother had a hard time impressing his date do to him inhaling the bread down. Dinner was good. The food had simple infusions of flavor that magnified the quality of the product. Overall I would give the restaurant two thumbs up.

Comment Posted by didgibob on 08/12/07 at 12:59AM
I recently dined at Table 45 and had a wonderful time. My server was attentive yet unobtrusive. The room is unique to this area, with very a minimalist designed. It reminded me of The Modern in NYC. The food was very good, simple yet refined. I had the brozini special that was absolutely fabulous. The menu has a global feel that is unique yet not to unfamiliar. I would love to try the tasting menu at the chef's table. A friend recently dined in the chef's table and said it was second to none.

Comment Posted by ginger45 on 08/12/07 at 4:43PM
We were visiting Cleveland last April, and were invited to dine at Table 45.Considering this was not long after the renovation and the restaurant had only been open a few weeks, our experience was a very positive one. The decor is fantastic, love the modern design and colors. It certainly is a different atmosphere from the old Classics. Our waitress, Ann was very knowledgeable about the menu, friendly and a true professional. The food was excellent and reasonably priced. Loved the menu, something for everyone and to suit all tastes. The desserts, well, out of this world. We have never had such interesting choices, Trip to Mexico and Going Bananas!! Congratulations to Chef Zack, Chef Eugenia and all the staff.

Comment Posted by nathane on 08/12/07 at 6:41PM
I work near the Clinic so I was interested to see what the changes to Classics would be like. I must say I like the change. Table 45 is modern, sophisticated, yet relaxed and inviting. The ambiance feels very "New York" to me, something I like. Eating lunch, I had the pho which was very tasty and then, even though I consider myself a foodie, I went for the burger. Wow, I think they have the best burger in Cleveland! It's all ready to eat, with sauteed onions, tomato jam and some type of spicy mayo.
I took my parents for dinner and we all had a good time. The place was busy, but everything was moving smoothly. The waiter seemed very friendly and proud to describe the menu to us. We loved the naan with the dipping sauces as a starter; my favorite sauce is the Indian one, but they give you all three. We enjoyed the tandoori chicken. It was so tender and juicy, but has a nice charred flavor on the outside. We also liked the pasta with scallops; had a nice lemon essence but not too strong.

All in all, a nice new dining experience in Cleveland. I will be back.

Comment Posted by marybeth64 on 08/13/07 at 10:08AM
We've visited Table 45 a few times since it opened earlier this year, and with each order was surprised at the variation of what I expected. Each dish cleverly highlighted the flavor of the food - not some chef's interpretation of how the ingredients should taste or feel.
Chef Bruell has taken culinary techniques and flavors from around the world that best enhance the true flavors of each dish. He's done this in the classic California fusion tradition with standard French style. But the results are unlike other upscale bistros in Cleveland, and I doubt you'll find a match anywhere outside of New York City or the West Coast.
In the restaurant's initial opening weeks the service suffered some, but those kinks, I think, have been worked out. The architecture, music and details all add to the total experience of dinning as art.
We plan to visit Table 45's exclusive Chef's Table, which I understand is a completely different culinary experience.

Comment Posted by FSU1time on 08/14/07 at 8:17AM
My wife and I had brunch at Table 45 this past Sunday and it was awesome! Table 45 is located in the InterContinental Hotel Cleveland and is a collaboration of efforts with renowned Cleveland Chef Zach Bruell. From the cordial, friendly greeting at the hostess stand all the way through to the check presenation, the service could not have been better.

And the food.....incredidle! The buffet starts out in a somewhat traditional fashion, with stations of fresh breads, muffins, and cerial. But that is where the "traditional" part stops! From there you move over to the very fresh fruit and cheese display. Great selections here to make your mouth water. Next comes the salads....5 in all to choose from...Zach's favorite, the Warm Mushroom salad, mediterranian salad, and the marvelous Caesar salad. And no Sunday brunch would be complete without a display of fresh seafood. We had huge shrimp, fresh oysters, and a sushi cocktail....ALL were outstanding!

And now the very unique part of Sunday Brunch at Table now get to select an entre from a list of 9 exquisite offerings. I chose the Lobster omelette with Fontina cheese and my wife chose the Belgian waffle with soft butter and fresh Rasberries as a topping.

And just when you think you've had enough....WAIT! There's should NEVER leave this brunch without trying Pastry Chef Eugenia's AWESOME desserts! I had the creme broule and my wife had a selection of finger pastries as to get a tasting of all that is offered.

Would I go there can count on it.

Comment Posted by Robbie1721 on 08/14/07 at 11:57AM
I work close to the Cleveland Clinic and heard all of the hype about Table 45 so I decided to give it a try. My co-workers and I now frequent the restaurant. I even have my 'favorites.' I can highly recommend the Chicken Salad, Scallops and Risotto and the entire dessert menu! Not only our food, but the service and atmosphere is wonderful as well. It's so nice to walk into a restaurant and feel so welcome and comfortable.


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