Cliff Bell's is an extraordinary supper club located in the heart of downtown Detroit. Its atmosphere rivals historic spaces in New York and Chicago, and its menu provides an equal mix of precision and creative improvisation. In 2008, Executive Chef Matt Baldridge respectfully accepted the opportunity to restore the former 1930s speakeasy's kitchen into a culinary gem.
Initially, he looked to the past for inspiration, featuring dishes from the original Cliff Bell's menu discovered in the basement during restoration of this Art Deco masterpiece. But just as a jazz saxophonist's solo may never be the same twice, Baldridge has expanded his menu to appeal to those who embrace a broader interpretation.
Combining French cuisine, soulful flavors, and seasonally fresh and local products, Baldridge works with local growers and urban farms to develop rotating seasonal menus featuring dishes that appeal to a variety of palates. He says the menu reflects what he would like to serve when sitting down with friends and family.
On Sunday afternoon, Cliff Bell's hosts an amazing brunch featuring dishes such as homemade biscuits topped with Dearborn smoked ham, poached eggs and red eye gravy; fried chicken breast with Belgian waffles topped with chive butter and jalapeno maple syrup; and a smoked salmon omelet with capers, red onions, and creme fraiche.
Unexpected pairings in syncopation are the hallmark of what Baldridge brings to the table. And when the music heats up at night, the kitchen maintains a steady beat with selections such as a dark spice-rubbed filet with pommes puree, maple-cured duck breast, and bacon-wrapped scallops with onion marmalade — or perhaps a light fare of Champagne cream-poached oysters, or red wine and maple glazed lamb ribs are the evening's temptation.
Whether you're there to enjoy Sunday brunch, happy hour, an elegant wine dinner, or a hot night of jazz, Cliff Bell's serves music to feed the soul and offers a menu that's guaranteed to captivate you at first bite.
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