We have noticed a proliferation of small plates places serving globally-inspired dishes with local ingredients – and we are excited to find a local exemplar of this trend in Spice Kitchen + Bar (5800 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, OH) in the emerging foodie neighborhood of Detroit-Shoreway/Gordon Square in Cleveland. Spice Kitchen is located in an old corner building with wooden floors, large windows, a vintage bar and several rooms (some with exposed brick) forming the dining space. We love the old-school atmosphere.
The menu at Spice is ever-changing with the seasons, so it is a pretty good bet that some of what we ordered will not be available in the next season – but we like that they are focused on fresh ingredients. Spice even sources some of the ingredients from their own farm, Spice Acres! The menu had a variety of small plates and shared mains, and we sampled a little of each. It is also worth noting that the homemade “bread-of-the-day” that started off the meal was delicious, as were the flavored butters that came with it.
- Polenta fries – These delicious salty snacks were tasty and extremely filling.
- Mushroom beignets – These surprisingly light beignets were full of mushroom flavor and paired perfectly with the honey and goat cheese and crème fraîche dipping sauce.
- Pork dumplings – These were standouts, with tender dough, and spicy pork belly filling – decadent and delicious.
- Kale salad with walnuts – So this may not have been the most innovative choice, but we definitely needed something lighter and the salad hit the spot.
- Pork chop with mac and cheese – this was a huge portion – and the pork chop was perfectly done. The mac and cheese came in a little skillet and was enough to share. this was really well-executed comfort food.
- Goat tart with figs – This was a savory tart with an interesting spicy/sweet Middle Eastern flavor that M gobbled up.
What we sampled was only a small selection of what was available, and other tempting choices included hanger steak, locally-produced goat cheese, a duck burger, and bacon flatbread. There is also a focus on innovative drinks with clever names (for example, Rosemary’s Zygote – gin, elderflower liquor, lime, lavender honey, smoked rosemary) and local beers. Spice Kitchen can also be found at pop-ups and special events around the city, like their Spice Box pop up at 78th Street Studios on Third Fridays (where we tasted some delicious brisket chili). We look forward to trying Spice again when the new season rolls around, especially with the benefits of Spring and Summer produce.