Veteran chef-restauratuer Marlin Kaplan is teaming up with Garage Bar owners Jeff Allison and Adam Waldbaum to rebrand Ohio City's Dragonfly as a "nouvelle American/Asian-fusion restaurant." Following a brief closure at the end of the month, the dewy new Dragonfly will emerge the first week of April.
The team will be revamping the entire menu. Diners can expect fewer steaks and chops, replaced by Asian-tweaked seafood and modern American dishes. Though sushi (and sushi master Kimo Javier) will remain onboard, those selections will be reworked into small plates, Bento boxes, and entrée-sized features.
Some likely items include black bass carpaccio, soft-shell crab tempura, scallops and bacon sushi, roasted chicken with Asian succotash, and spicy chicken and prawns with rice noodles and curry.
"In a way, this goes back to Marlin's roots," explains Myra Orenstein, his representative. "He'll be offering the kind of really creative foods that will make people sit up and say 'Wow.' He's very excited about it."
Nobody is more excited about the arrangement than Allison, who admits he has struggled since Dragonfly began serving food in the fall.
"I'm a bar guy," Allison says. "I don't think like a restaurant guy. There is a serious learning curve to running a kitchen. Now I can focus on what I'm good at while Marlin focuses on what he's good at. And this immediately doubles the reach of our audience."
Cocktail fans can still look forward to the same level of craftsmanship as they have since the lounge opened. Guests at Garage Bar, meanwhile, can look forward to new food offerings by way of a bar menu down the road.
This arrangement doesn't affect Kaplan's involvement with either of his other restaurants, Luxe or Roseangel, promises Orenstein.
Dragonfly is at 1865 West 25th St.; call 216-696-7774 or see dragonflycleveland.com. — Trattner