Review: Distill Table-Lunch

Review of Distill Table

Friday September 7, 2018

Lunch

Finding lunch options that offer a wide selection of proteins and grains can be tricky on the west side, especially in finding those who prioritize sourcing those items locally. And even though the Madison Avenue corridor in Lakewood has added some wonderful dining choices, many still do not offer lunch. For those reasons, the addition of the brand-new Distill Table at the Western Reserve Distillers at 14221 Madison Ave at the reworked Fridrich Moving Company building, which offers both, is very welcome for any daytime diner.

The interior has the currently chic industrial vibe with wooden tables, a lovely bar (with shaped wooden yet backless seats that looked comfy) both inside and outside, incorporating upcycled tableware and corrugated metal touches everywhere and surprisingly, a few crushed velvet bench seats near to the door that faces the available parking reached via Ferndale Avenue. The window trim and wall covering looks like recycled barn wood which bounces the light around nicely. One could see how the layout is designed to allow everyone inside to see the open kitchen (and vice versa) and to feel the bustle, but also could make some of the seating a little tight and noise an issue. (Maybe some sound-proofing up in the exposed ceiling?) It is obvious they expect groups of happy diners and drinkers as their mainstay and will likely get them in droves, although the indoor/outdoor bar seating is also perfect for single diners too and the outdoor tables are well-suited for couples.

The lunch menu was one page, with the other side offering a wide selection of cocktails, wine and beer, and of course, the Distillery’s own liquors. Carefully  crafted and plentifully offered in a mason jar, the white wine sangria was delightful with a pop of heat from the added jalapeno garnish. The American Splendor was ideal with its slightly sour finish and came with a delightful maraschino garnish possibly made in house. The long list of cocktails looks quite right for the upcoming autumnal and wintry evenings ahead as befitting a distiller.

Salads, sandwiches, a few entrees and fired pizzas are offered, with a lunch combination offering sandwiches and salads for a dollar or two off the main menu prices. The turkey burger was perfectly prepared, sizzling hot as it arrived at the table on a warmed brioche bun, paired with cinnamon-encrusted sweet potato fries which were a great addition. The curried chicken salad was well spiced with some celery and almond crunch, also presented on the toasted brioche bun. The quinoa salad with the lunch combo was excellent, although with more arugula than expected. Still, the dressing flavor was light and the delicate mozzarella, a wonderful complement.

One odd note was the addition of long curly fries to the lunch combo plate, which was not expected as a salad and sandwich were expressly offered. Sadly, the fries were barely room temp and should have been taken away when left untouched and when mentioned to the solicitous chef/host who checked in mid meal but their (continued) presence was not a deal breaker by any means.

The dessert list was appealing, including affogato, fritters (and s’mores!) but left for another time. Prices were reasonable with a satisfying amount on the plate.

The attention to detail from server Emily (pointing out selections, checking back regularly with a smile,  speedy bill arrival) was appreciated and the layout should ensure that servers are always within eyesight.

This is going to be a serious destination for cocktail lovers, for those searching for clean and local ingredients well-presented, and for anyone in search of casual, fun dining on the west side. See you there.

Darlene Wolnik was born and raised in Lakewood, lives in New Orleans LA. Since then, she is back often, staying with her sister who has remained faithful to Lakewood. 

Dar Wolnik

Darlene Wolnik was born and raised in Lakewood, lives in New Orleans LA. Since then, she is back often, staying with her sister who has remained faithful to Lakewood. 

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