Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Prog [gress] on Detroit

True to the spirit behind its name, Prog (as in the post psychedelic British music sub genre) Gastro Lounge is all about pushing boundaries and staking out new ground. In this case it’s food- bar food to be precise- rather than rock-n-roll that’s being elevated and expanded beyond the standards. Instead of choosing to be either a restaurant or a watering hole, owners Steven and Amy Bodek, who opened the place in May, decided to be both.

First impression walking into the dark space is that this is a drinking establishment, a place where locals and regulars come to toss back some cold ones with friends. There’s a long bar, some hi-top tables, and a chalkboard list of specialty beers.
But settle down in a booth on the opposite side of the room and read over the menu and it becomes clear that there’s more going on here. The selection features small and sharing sized plates of creative, eclectic globally inspired fare that just might get foodies punching the address into their GPS. There are meat-on-a stick satays, kebabs, and tacos with unconventional fillings. For those who like burning bites, the grilled jalapeno poppers are off the charts hot. Shrimp bon bons were my favorite- think deep fried macaroon- especially nice with a pour of the house made pineapple mango infused vodka. I also became an instant fan of the corn fritters with a sweet/spicy sauce.

The d├ęcor is as fun and funky as the eats, a sort vintage elegance meets tree lawn treasures. The couple applied a lot of elbow grease and vision to restore and remodel the former grill and concert club. Just bringing back the beautiful old tile floor required Herculean effort and much scrubbing. And the work is not done yet- there’s actually a second room with a stage in back that they hope to refurbish soon.

Amy grew up in Parma but left town after high school and only recently returned here, by way of New York and Mexico, with her husband. In addition to their two kids, they brought an entrepreneurial spirit and their own kind of cosmopolitan coolness. Let’s give them a real Cleveland welcome and show support for their venture. All you have to do is pick a night, head on over to Detroit Avenue on the Lakewood side of the border, and enjoy yourself .

1 comment:

Bite Buff said...

Looking forward to checking it out!