Why? Turn Bar & Kitchen!

Have we dispensed with the notion that hotel restaurants can’t be epically amazing places to dine? If so, let’s toss that out on the curb with the rest of things we need to leave behind in 2018.

Last night, Matthew and I thoroughly enjoyed a fabulous meal at Turn Bar & Kitchen at the Ritz Carlton Cleveland. Our server, Mary, and the hotel’s general manager, Yael, explained that the restaurant’s name has a dual meaning. One is that wherever you turn in Cleveland, there is something new to discover, especially in terms of cultures and ethnicities.

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The other is that the restaurant turns as the day does, from a breakfast stop after a guest works out to a happy hour destination to an elevated dining experience to live music on the weekends.

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While Turn is located in the lobby of the hotel, you’d never know it. It is set apart and quiet, with an insulated, comfortable vibe.

Matthew and I started with a couple smoked cocktails, which were worth ordering on presentation alone. Served in a stopped bottle with the smoke inside, they were expertly handcrafted and delicious.

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Also, mine incorporated some of our friend Clark Pope‘s spicy orange habanero syrup…local craft cocktails FTW!

Also, at happy hour each day, the bartender does a demonstration of a smoked cocktail and serves samples, so that is not to be missed!

The food menu at Turn incorporates many different ethnicities represented in Cleveland, with food that is both elevated and accessible. You can order everything from matzo ball soup to a Polish boy to a falafel.

We started our dinner with The West Side Olive Bowl, featuring a selection of olives from the West Side Market, and the Polish Meatballs, which had the richest mushroom gravy I’ve ever tasted.

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We also tried the soups: Matzo Ball for me and the Asia Town Tom Yum Goong for Matthew. Both were perfect to warm you up on a blustery winter evening!

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For our entrees, Mary and Yael conspired to absolutely stuff us full of delicious food. We shared the Braised Short Ribs with red wine and charred Brussel sprouts, the Faroe Island Salmon with asparagus and lemon, and the Day Boat Scallops, with Ohio City Pasta and tomato broth.

The red wine demi glace on the short ribs was so concentrated and delicious and the meat just melted in your mouth.

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While I like salmon, it’s not usually a first choice for me on a menu, but I would order this salmon again and again. The lemon sauce was just enough to make it stand out without overpowering the salmon.

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The scallops were massive, perfectly prepared, and paired nicely with the asparagus and marscapone ravioli.

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For dessert, we got a sample of three of Turn’s sweet treats: the Slavic Village Mini Paczki, the Northeast Ohio Cassata Cake, and The Cake.

The paczki were light, crisp, sugar-coated and filled with jam. The cassata cake was a delicious berry treat. And The Cake was a decadent blend of chocolate and orange flavors that paired perfectly with a side of Mitchell’s vanilla bean ice cream.

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From higher-end entrees to sandwiches to salads and wraps, Turn’s menu offers a bit of everything and wonderful conglomeration of Cleveland’s ethnic pockets.

Turn is the perfect stop for drinks and dinner before an event at the Q, in between movies at the Cleveland International Film Festival, when you’re looking for a restaurant that shows off so much of what Cleveland has to offer, or for a post-holiday date night.

The biggest takeaway for me is that Turn has not only nailed in selection and execution what Cleveland is all about, they’ve also nailed it in terms of hospitality. Cleveland, much like Turn, is warm and welcoming, haute and accessible all at once. Turn understands that and executes it flawlessly.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary dinner at Turn Bar & Kitchen. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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