The newest player in the bakery boom is Courtney Bonning, who is in the process of opening Bonbon Bake Shop (6421 Detroit Ave., 216.375.8437, thebonbonbakeshop.com). Located behind Gypsy Beans, in the buzz-y Gordon Square Arts District, the small retail bakery will service both walk-in customers and special-order clients. Bonning attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, the Napa Valley campus of the famed New York academy. She presently serves as the pastry supervisor at the Ritz-Carlton, a position she intends to keep. Bonning anticipates that much of her business will come from wholesale customers like restaurants, bed and breakfasts, and private clubs. Though Bonbon will maintain no regular business hours, Bonning promises that her door will always be open. "I will always have cookies and pastries available," she says. "I want people to walk into my kitchen, see what is going on and get to know me." Look for a pre-Thanksgiving opening.
Said Ouaddaadaa says that he is in the process of purchasing Boulevard Blue (12718 Larchmere Blvd., 216.721.5500, boulevardblue.com) from chef-owner Kurt Steeber. Last December, Steeber purchased the restaurant from original owner Andy Himmel, who operated it for five years. Ouaddaadaa, who also owns Bodega (1854 Coventry Rd., 216.932.3060, bodegaoncoventry.com), intends to briefly close and retool the restaurant before reopening it as a prime steakhouse. "There is not a single place in this area to get a decent steak," he says. "Right now, anybody who wants a steak has to drive over to Morton's or Red." In addition to USDA prime steaks and chops, customers can expect a raw bar and plenty of fresh seafood, as well as other house specialties. The interior will be freshened up to give the room a warm, upscale feel. Steeber did not return a call seeking comment in time for publication.
Cleveland Restaurant Week, a promotion organized by Cleveland Independents, has developed into a two-week-long annual tradition. Running from Sunday, November 1, through Saturday, November 14, the popular event takes the form of special three-course, prix fixe dinners that can be enjoyed at over 50 independent restaurants area wide. The dinners cost $30 per person and do not require any prearrangement or enrollment, though reservations are a good idea. Some restaurants will also be offering special lunch deals. The list of participating restaurants can be found online at clevelandindependents.com.