If you visited Gulu-Gulu, you'll immediately be taken aback by two things about Turbine:
- The obvious familiarity of the space.
- The incredible transformation of the space!
Steve has managed to redesign the space into a dark but inviting industrial space. It's stark yet warm with the color choices and the openness of the space setting the foundation of its vibe. It will feel empty and open to some, chic and cool to others. Probably something in between to most. In my humble opinion it could use some more warm texture up in the front section. I imagine a velvet banquet lining most of the length along the brick front wall. It would use up some of the space and amp up the warmth factor. I'm sure some will disagree and that's good since my tastes tend to run a little odd anyway.
The food is prepared by chef Dorothy Kaiser. She studied under David Fitzgerald, chef of OSG and Dowtown Bistro and finished her education at Le Cordon Bleu. The food is superb. Turbine serves small plates, which I think is a wonderful idea since I'm trying to stay within my existing pant size. We're in a recession you know, can't afford to change my entire wardrobe. The quality is excellent and there is something for everybody. I'm quite fond of the tuna miso trumpets. I avoid reviewing specific dishes. Just go and try it. You will have little difficulty finding something you like.
I really like the open feel of the back space. It promotes group conversations. Plenty of space to stand, drink, and share gossip... which is what we tend to do most of the time in Turbine. Considering the excellent wine and beer selection, it's easy for everyone to find an adult beverage to their liking. If you're looking for the straight-poop of the happenings of downtown, go to Turbine on Tuesday or Friday night, liquor up some locals, and chat them up. Guaranteed juicy info.
The thing that distinguishes Turbine the most is the exceptionally personable and attentive level of service. The staff makes sure you are well cared for. Everyone from the bartender, floor staff, and owner ensure you leave happy and satisfied. Unfamiliar with a menu item, ask. Unfamiliar with a wine, ask. Don't know what you want, ask. Can't get a date... that's your problem. You will be educated, served, and invited to try new things. It's a great way to increase your exposure to good and new food.
There is this guy, Guido. He's Italian, I mean like straight off the boat. He's also like 100 years old!! Well, not that old, but close. In other words, he's seen some really serious shit in his long life. And, being Italian, Guido understands good food. Guido is a regular at Turbine. Maybe you're thinking "so what." Maybe you're thinking "so, his taste-buds might be dull at that age." Me, I think you should go there to find out if he knows something you don't. Especially since he's seen stuff you will probably never see or experience in your entire dull miserable life... in caparison to his, that is.
So, go to Turbine. Pay honmage to Joanna the goddess bartender. If Guido should be there, be sure to pay your respects. If you're lucky, he may deem you worthy to school you in what's truly important in life... brush up on your Italian.