"I'm not going anywhere," asserted Dante Boccuzzi when asked to confirm or deny reports that he is buying Tremont's Sage Bistro. "There's a lot of stories floating around - that I'm opening a restaurant on East Fourth Street, that I'm buying Sage. I don't even know where that place is." For proof that Boccuzzi, chef-owner of Dante (8001 Rockside Rd., 216.524.9404), is staying put, visit him any Thursday when he hosts his popular Sushi Blues nights. From 5 to 10:30 p.m., the chef steps out of the kitchen to work behind the bar, where he prepares an assortment of sushi and sashimi while accompanied by a live blues band. Served ˆ la carte, the options might include live scallop, toro, roasted yellowtail collar and an array of rolls. To wash it all down, try the Tokyo Sangria, a refreshing elixir made with sake and fresh lychee. Boccuzzi just returned from 10-day trip to Japan, where he visited the legendary Tsukiji fish market.
After more than 10 years in the kitchen of Brennan's Colony (2299 Lee Rd., 216.371.1010), chef Jamie Wynbrandt is finally moving on. The 33-year-old Scottsdale Culinary Institute grad is relocating to Los Angeles, where he will consider offers from various restaurants. Wynbrandt deserves much of the credit for elevating the food at this Cleveland Heights institution, adding creative nightly specials along with well-executed pub fare. The Colony may be the only neighborhood pub that makes veal demi-glace from scratch. "I just got a little tired of all the burgers," the chef confessed at his going-away party. "I want to experience new things." Longtime chef Rich Wise will likely pick up right where Wynbrandt left off.
The Flying Fig (2523 Market Ave., 216.241.4243) will celebrate its nine-year anniversary with a special event on August 27. On tap is a four-course dinner priced at $19.99, which features dishes "reminiscent of our original 1999 menu." Diners can look forward to coriander-and-pepper-crusted pear salad, duck confit enchiladas, horseradish-crusted halibut or grilled Ohio porkÊtenderloin, and sour-cherry bread pudding. There will also be a special wine list studded with bottles priced at $19.99. Call early to reserve your spot. If it's Labor Day, its Taste of Cleveland time. The event runs from Friday to Monday at Time Warner Cable Amphitheater and features food from dozens of great Northeast Ohio restaurants. Attendees can grab a "Best of the Fest" ballot to vote for "Best Restaurant" and "Best Entrée."