Look for another huge name in Cleveland dining to crash the W. 25th Street party. Marlin Kaplan is teaming up with Garage Bar owners Jeff Allison and Adam Waldbaum to rebrand Dragonfly (1865 W. 25th St., 216-696-7774, www.dragonflycleveland.com) as a "nouvelle American/Asian-fusion restaurant." Following a brief closer this month, the dewy new Dragonfly will emerge the first week of April.
In addition to minor physical changes to the dining room, the team will be entirely revamping the menu. Diners can expect far fewer steaks and chops, replaced by Asian-tweaked seafood and modern American dishes. Though sushi (and Kimo) will remain on board, those selections too 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 with the restaurant side of things since Dragonfly began serving food this past fall.
"I'm a bar guy," Allison says. "I don’t think like a restaurant guy. There is 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. While Garage Bar guests can look forward to new food offerings by way of a bar menu down the road.
This arrangement in no way affects Kaplan's involvement with either Luxe or Roseangel, promises Orenstein.