Taste: an inventive addition to Lee Road menu
Taste, Lee Road’s newest restaurant addition in Cleveland Heights, has masterfully revamped the former Wine Room space as a swanky bar and dining area that serves fresh French fusion dishes.
Helmed by French executive chef, Anthony Vicente, who brings extensive pastry training to the kitchen, Taste offers an inventive menu with locally sourced ingredients.
Our party was delighted with the prix fixe menu option, which includes choice of appetizer, entrée, dessert and two glasses of wine for $45…a good value. On the contrary, we thought the four pieces of bread ($1.50), was a bit much to ask.
The table’s ringing endorsement for an appetizer included the chilled, glazed chicken spring rolls ($9), which embodied a soft, crepe exterior and a crispy center. The red beet carpaccio salad with goat cheese crumbs, mini prosciutto crisps and curry dressing ($8) also was quite good.
The staff-recommended rack of lamb with cumin mashed carrots ($22) was a perfect pairing. The lamb was tender and succulent, and the carrots carried a hint of spice. However, of the two people in our party who ordered this entrée, one had a normal portion and the other longed for more than three forkfuls of meat from the bone.
The veggie chausson (French for “slipper”) with balsamic sauce ($15) provided a deliciously flaky crust. And, the scallops were beautifully presented over leeks and a creamy roasted red pepper coulis ($18).
Vicente’s pastry expertise shines through expressive desserts such as the surprising mildly spiced red bell pepper cheesecake ($9) and the pistachio ile flottante ($7), which featured delicious meringue fluffs in a soupy pistachio cream with a caramelized sugar drizzle.
Servings were more European portion-sized, than small plates. After sampling an appetizer and entree each, we still had room for dessert.
Taste offers a nice selection of wines by the glass and bottle. The restaurant utilizes a wine preservation system to serve wines by the glass, which eliminates spoiling.
Staff was very knowledgeable about the menu’s offerings, however, timing was very slow…more than 2.5 hours for the prix fixe option, which we’ll chalk up to opening week kinks. We did notice that other tables were turned far more quickly and made note of our table’s timing on the survey form provided with our check.
On a snowy Friday night, a mix of clientele filled the restaurant, and an interesting selection of music provided a nice backdrop, without overbearing our table’s conversation.
Per our server, Taste has no immediate plans for lunch. The menu is expected to rotate every one to two months to highlight seasonal dishes.Taste is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday, and the bar offers extended hours until 1 a.m. Parking is provided in the back of the restaurant. On chilly nights, the rear entrance is particularly convenient.
5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tuesday-Sunday (Kitchen open until 10 p.m.)
2317 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights
Per her grandmother, Christina Klenotic is a “good eater” who never met a carb she didn’t like. She enjoys sampling our area’s eclectic restaurants, galleries and neighborhoods.