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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Restaurant of the Weekend: Touch Supper Club

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 8:19 AM

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The braised short ribs pair well with a good Lambic brew.
We’re still moping about last Tuesday’s tax filings, and not yet in the mood to drop big bucks on a fancy meal. If you’re of the same mind, this weekend could be prime time to visit Touch Supper Club (2710 Lorain Ave.), Robert Ivanov’s enviably hip yet well-priced bistro in Ohio City. ... Set inside a former bank -- check out the old vault across from the bar -- Touch’s vibe strikes mostly the right balance between youthful frisson and grown-up sophistication, with amenities that range from fresh flowers and cloth napkins to colorful local artwork and a soundtrack of dance music. (The weak link in the décor is the unisex restrooms, which Ivanov swears will be spruced up by summer.) Executive chef Jeff Fisher’s seasonal menu is both concise and fetching, with contemporary-American options that range from the meaty (brined pork loin, grilled hangar steak, and gnocchi with braised rabbit, say) to the vegan-friendly (including a root veggie platter with fried tofu and Asian seasonings). Flavors pop, portions are ample, and prices are very reasonable, with most entrees set at no more than $16. Then there’s the fabulous Touch burger, a plump, grilled-to-order beauty, topped with crispy coppa, a fried egg, and Fisher’s flavorful “secret sauce;” along with a side of first-rate frites, this tasty temptress will set you back a mere $7 – leaving all the more reason to explore the lengthy beer list. Sunday brunch is an option, too, with selections that include Eggs Benedict ($8), stuffed French toast ($6), and a “prettified” version of chicken & waffles ($7), with a big, boneless, tempura-battered breast standing in for the more traditional fried chicken. Assuming the brunch budget allows, don’t miss the Bloody Mary bar, one of the best seven-buck booze buys in town. Start with a generous pour of icy, house-infused, mango-horseradish vodka, then go crazy with additions like Clamato, tomato, and V-8 juices; capers, celery, and stuffed olives; and at least 20 different types of hot sauces. Talk about an eye-opener. Just one caveat: Servers are friendly and attentive, but pacing remains surprisingly leisurely. Bring crayons for the kiddies, and surround yourself with interesting companions. Dinner hours are 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Brunch runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Make reservations on the website, or by calling 216-631-5200. Read our full review of Touch Supper Club here. -- Elaine T. Cicora Read Elaine Cicora's restaurant reviews, food news, and comprehensive dining guide on the restaurant page at clevescene.com.

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