I wasn’t thrilled to be away from home on my birthday, but a scheduled dinner with clients at Dante in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland made it one for the ages! Tucked into an old bank on a quiet street, this beautiful little spot is perfect for a special night, a business dinner or everyday night out. The warm atmosphere is cozy and comfortable with plenty of seating and a short bar for cocktails and starters.
Being with a group, we were luck to sample a few things to start our evening. The goat cheese tartlets with cranberry orange chutney were creamy and rich with the right balance of sweet. Crispy calamari and shrimp were given a little kick tossed with spicy mayo. It was a good take on traditional calamari you might find anywhere else. The highlight was absolutely the charcuterie plate. A huge portion of house-made salumi, terrine, mortadella, duck confit and chicken liver pate was accompanied by bacon onion jam and various chutneys and fruit. You can take a look at their curing room in the old vault and see Chef Dante’s passion in the variety and beauty of his charcuterie.
The well-curated menu has a lovely selection of vegetables, meats, pasta and seafood. Portion sizes are adjustable based on your preference, but we stuck to dinner portions for tonight. Both the beef cheek and ribeye were beautifully cooked and came dressed with vegetables. The salmon was a work of art worthy of praise for taste and presentation. The creamy broccoli risotto was also noted as delicious. My dinner was the venison osso bucco with celery root and an apple donut (apple ring battered and deep fried). It was rich, tender and a wonderful balance of flavor and texture. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone cook venison better.
Overall, it was a perfect dinner in every way. With an ample wine list, craft cocktails and great beer selection (try the Italian peppercorn IPA) there is plenty to keep your interest throughout the night. The friendly and knowledgeable staff also made it a great night out. Compliments to Chef Dante Boccuzzi for creating this gem in Tremont. And thank you for making my “birthday dinner” (that no one knew about) really special! You can find out more about the location and view their full menu at dantetremont.com.