Dining » Dining Lead

High Marks

Classics' new menu is AAA.

by

comment
Classics, Ohio's only restaurant to earn a Five-Diamond rating from AAA, recently launched its first new menu since chef de cuisine Guillaume Brard departed last winter. As soon as I could track down a man with an appetite and a decent suit, I was on the phone making reservations.

I couldn't wait to see what modifications Brard's former sous chefs, Ky-Wai Wong and Randy Reed, might have made to his refined, contemporary-Continental menu. There have been several. Ingredients are still impeccable and the preparations still elegant, but there has been a clear shift toward appealing to midwestern sensibilities. Gone are starters like caviar tastings and rabbit in aspic; in their place are more familiar-sounding dishes like shrimp cocktail, fried zucchini blossoms in a batter of Great Lakes' Dortmunder Gold, and a fabulously fresh "duet" of Alaskan king crab and avocado.

Along with the less exotic dishes have come some slightly lower prices. But Classics still isn't a cheap date. For instance, a stellar warm spinach salad, prepared tableside for two, checked in at $14 per person. And an unbelievably succulent portion of pan-roasted Mediterranean sea bass, in a savory green-olive crust, with haricots verts and tomato beurre blanc, set us back $32.

Still, in light of the expert preparations, the near-flawless service, and complimentary touches like canapés, amuse-bouches, mignardises, sparkling water, and valet parking, the prices represent a fair value. Don't wait for someone to give you a diamond. Just grab a presentable partner and go. (Classics is inside the InterContinental Hotel, 9801 Carnegie Avenue; 216-707-4157.)

Tremont Trek . . . Eat, drink, and snoop around other people's houses this Saturday, June 24, during the fifth annual Tremont Home Tour. The six scheduled dwellings are sure to be lovely, but the food -- prepared by some of Tremont's top restaurants -- sounds downright irresistible. Among the attractions: artichoke bottoms stuffed with goat cheese and bacon, with truffle hollandaise (Fahrenheit); seared scallops with Thai curry sauce (Parallax); scallop ceviche with pepper cress salad (Sage); and spiced ribs with roasted tomatillo sauce (Fat Cats and Lava Lounge). The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with pizza from Edison's Next Door Deli and ends around 10:30 p.m. with ice cream from Tremont Scoops and pastries from bakers Heather Haviland and Ron Saballos. Tickets are $95 per person and can be purchased by calling 216-575-0920 or 216-621-1125. -- Cicora

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.