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It's a jungle in there

Native drums are reporting that northern Summit County will soon be a stop along the Amazon Trail. Operating partners Seth Task and Rick Agnew, formerly of the Outback Steakhouse chain, and Paul Levine, formerly of Sammy's, hope to open their second rain-forest-themed steak and seafood restaurant in Twinsburg in April. Plans call for a 230-seat, 6,750-square-foot Amazon Trail to become part of the city's expanding Towne Center shopping plaza, on Route 91 near I-480. The three partners blazed a clearing for their first Amazon Trail in Middleburg Heights (6611 Eastland Road, 440-234-6050) last January and plan on setting up camp in at least five Ohio locations before taking the concept nationwide.

Goodbye, fellas . . . Inside sources say the owners of Goodfellas (1265 West Ninth Street) are about to close a deal to sell the restaurant to unidentified buyers, who plan on turning the space into yet another Warehouse District nightclub. When the dining room opened in May of 1998, with its unique collection of Hollywood wax-museum figures (including likenesses of Katharine Hepburn, John Wayne, Clark Gable, and Marilyn Monroe) and an ambitious menu of fusion cuisine, it seemed like Goodfellas might be poised to claim a spot on the upper rungs of the city's restaurant ladder. But somehow, the restaurant never grew into its potential. Now, it's curtains for the wax museum figures: Look for MM and her cronies to catch a flight back to Tinseltown, where they will become the property of a collector. In the meantime, Goodfellas remains open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings only.

Sushi rocks . . . and rolls at the new Am-Asian restaurant and sushi bar taking shape at 1280 West Sixth Street in the Warehouse District. Upscale Sushi Rock is scheduled to open by mid-January, with chef Gregg Korney, formerly of Giovanni's, presiding over the menu and a crew of Japanese chefs standing by at the sushi bar. Co-owner Tom Culkar says entertainment will be provided by a DJ with a collection of classic rock and roll, while diners down an assortment of sushi, tempura, and beef dishes in what he promises will be a lively setting. Plans call for Sushi Rock to serve lunch and dinner daily, with late-night hours on Fridays and Saturdays.

A restaurant sampler . . . Ever wish you could sneak into the kitchens of some of Northeast Ohio's top chefs and watch them at work? Well, you can't, but The Western Reserve School of Cooking (140 North Main Street in Hudson) is offering the next-best thing: a series of cooking demonstrations, in the school's kitchen, led by our best and brightest culinary hotshots. Guest chefs will include Jonathan Kish of Harry Corvairs (February 21); Greg MacLaren of MacLaren's Cuisine (February 28); Brandt Evans of Kosta's (March 13); Norbert Pissert of Napa Valley Grille (April 3); and Rocco Whalen of Blue Point Grille (April 10). Not only will the chefs prepare a variety of seasonal favorites before your very eyes, but they'll also dish out samples of each yummy creation while sharing oodles of insider information with the foodies who flock to these sessions. The Monday night fun costs $120 for the entire five-night series or $28 for a single class. Call 330-656-COOK for more information or to register.

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