Thursday, August 16, 2018

Polpetta 'Balls and Cocktails' to Open in Rocky River on September 5

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 10:58 AM

It’s the home stretch for the guys behind Polpetta, the chef-driven meatball concept that was launched within the walls of Porco Lounge by that bar’s owners and the operators behind the former Cork and Cleaver. The restaurant is set to open in Rocky River (19900 Detroit Rd.) on Wednesday September 5.

After a one-year “proof of concept” period at the Ohio City tiki bar, the owners decided it was time to move up and out of the bar and into a proper setting. That setting is a casual 100-seat restaurant and bar in the space most recently home to River Dog Café.

The concept was inspired by a trip to New York City, says owner Brian Okin, when he and some colleagues visited the Meatball Shop on the Lower East Side.

“I was blown away by how obvious and simple and great the concept was and the fact that there was nothing even remotely like this in Cleveland,” he explains. “I thought to do something like that in Cleveland – not their exact concept, but to be inspired by it and do something based off of it – would be an awesome idea.”

When they visit, diners will encounter a menu that offers a build-your-own meal system, where they select a meatball type, sauce and side, alongside a list of “Our Go-Tos,” suggested compositions designed by the chef. On offer will be a roster of 10 or so meatballs and approximately 20 sauces and 20 sides. Three of the balls will be vegetarian and/or vegan and most are gluten-free as oats are used as the binding ingredient.

Combos will range from traditional beef meatballs with pomodoro sauce on a nest of spaghetti to lamb gyro balls topped with tzatziki sauce and paired with pita panzanella salad. The Chicken and Waffles marries chicken meatballs with maple hot sauce and herbed waffles, while the Bleu Balls showers beef meatballs with blue cheese cream sauce.

Other sauces run the gamut from cheddar cream or paprikash to Jamaican jerk and house BBQ. Prefer your balls to arrive unencumbered? Order them "commando."

Sides like gnocchi, polenta, mashed potatoes, fried rice, and mac and cheese can be ordered on the side or "under my balls."

In addition to the standard entrée, meatballs can be ordered as sliders, in large hoagie buns, or family-style with a dozen balls (three different types) and multiple sauces presented on a large platter.

Appetizers like marinated olives with focaccia bread, beer-battered fresh mozzarella, and ricotta-stuffed pepperoni bread will join salads like tomato and mozz and Caesar.

Because the Porco Lounge team is involved, guests can also expect “world-class cocktails,” Okin adds. While it won’t be “Porco 2.0,” you might encounter a tiki drink or two at some point. There will also be beer and wine.

The restaurant will be open for dinner only Monday through Saturday nights, with food service running until midnight during the week and 1 a.m. on weekends.

“There are almost no options to eat late in that area,” Okin notes. “We want to be that option and for service industry people.”

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Local Singer-Songwriter Ryan Humbert to Perform With 11-Piece Band

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 at 9:01 AM

  • Courtesy of Ryan Humbert
Ten years ago, local singer-songwriter Ryan Humbert released Old Souls, New Shoes. Humbert recorded the album in Nashville in 2008 with producer Eli “Lij” Shaw. It features members of Third Eye Blind, the Counting Crows, the Black Crowes, the Dixie Chicks, Sheryl Crow’s band and the Nashville Opera.

Now, Humbert just announced plans to celebrate its anniversary with a special concert at Gervasi Vineyard. At the event, which takes place at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18, Humbert will perform with a band that includes longtime bandmates Emily Bates, Ben Evans, Erin Vaughn, Brian Poston, Brian Piper and Brandon Covey. In addition, Michael Houff will lead a string quartet.

It'll be the first Ryan Humbert Band show in 19 months and the only one in 2018. The band will perform the Old Souls, New Shoes album in its entirety for the first time ever. The concert will also feature “a few choice cuts” from Humbert’s original music catalog.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Inkcarceration Music and Tattoo Festival Likely to Return in 2019

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 5:03 PM

Earlier today, organizers for the inaugural Inkcarceration Music and Tattoo Festival that took place last month at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield sent out a press release that proclaimed the festival was a success. The event hosted over 18,000 fans, raised over $6,000 for local charities and made an estimated $2.5 million local impact.

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Revamped Diner on Clifton Opens Today With New Menu, New Location, Booze!

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 3:34 PM


Plenty of folks were sad to see the closing of the Diner on Clifton in 2016 after 17 years of dishing up efficient, delicious diner fare. Almost immediately, owner Perry Drosos said he'd be looking for a new location to reopen the venerable institution.

Well, today was that day. After two years of waiting, the new diner officially reopened at 11 a.m. in Lakewood, just across the border from Cleveland, home to the original spot. 

The Dinerbar on Clifton, so named because the new location sports a bar and liquor license, can be found at 11801 Clifton in the former Clifton Medical Arts Building, which Drosos also owns.

With 2,200 square feet and an expansive patio, the new spot will be dishing up its welcoming mix of diner fare, including breakfast, lunch, brunch and home-style suppers. 

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Greater Cleveland Aquarium to Again Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 2:29 PM

  • Courtesy of the Greater Cleveland Aquarium
Way back in 1995, John Bauer and Mark Summers proclaimed Sept. 19 should forever be known as a day when we should all talk like pirates. The Greater Cleveland Aquarium has embraced the resulting International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) and makes it a point to celebrate the date each year.

On Wednesday, Sept. 19, if you come dressed as a pirate or read a randomly selected phrase while doing your best pirate impression, you'll receive $5 off of your admission that day.

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CWRU Announces 2018-19 Think Forum Speakers

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 1:43 PM

  • Courtesy of Case Western Reserve University
  • Tarana Burke
Presented annually by Case Western Reserve University, Think Forum aims to allow the campus community and Greater Cleveland residents to “engage with prominent academic leaders and international experts.” Each presentation includes a lecture followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.

The series returns this fall to Silver Hall in the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at the Temple-Tifereth Israel. It continues into 2019. All lectures are free and begin at 6 p.m.

Reserve general admission tickets by contacting the Maltz Performing Arts Center Box Office at

Here’s the schedule along with descriptions provided by Case’s PR team:

Jonathan Haidt, Thursday, Sept. 20

Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures––including the cultures of American progressives, conservatives and libertarians. Haidt is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis and The New York Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion.

Tarana Burke, Tuesday, Oct. 16

Founder of the seismic ‘me too.’ Movement  Tarana Burke shares a powerful message of unity, empathy and outreach in support of survivors of sexual trauma. The ‘me too.’ Movement inspires solidarity, amplifies the voices of thousands of victims of sexual abuse and puts the focus back on survivors.

Julia Ioffe, Tuesday, March 5

Julia Ioffe, a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a former Russian correspondent for The New Yorker, is a leading authority on Russian-U.S. relations. Born in Moscow, Ioffe’s family moved to America when she was seven years old. Ioffe conveys Russian-American relations from both sides with clarity and insight, providing colorful, character-rich discussions of Russia’s socio-political structure, its tempestuous historical relationship with America and how Russia will affect U.S. politics and policy.

Viet Thanh Nguyen, Thursday, April 11

A literary scholar, writer and professor at the University of Southern California, Viet Thanh Nguyen explores how depictions of the Vietnam War—and the refugees it displaced—often fail to capture the full humanity and inhumanity as well as the sacrifices and savagery of participants on both sides of the conflict. His bestselling novel, The Sympathizer, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. With his collection of short stories, The Refugees, Nguyen continues his exploration of the tensions, traumas and conflicting loyalties that endure far beyond a war’s end.

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August Means Plenty of Outdoor Classical Music in Cleveland

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 1:07 PM

  • Courtesy Cleveland Orchestra
As the last few weeks of summer play out, every one of our classical music picks except one will take place outdoors. Time to enjoy the weather while it lasts.

Cleveland Opera Theater is planning three al fresco events: on Friday, August 17 at 7:00 pm on the steps of Holy Rosary Church in Little Italy (it’s the annual Feast of the Assumption), on Saturday, August 18 at 7:00 pm in the Grove Amphitheatre in Mayfield, and on Sunday, August 26 at 6:30 pm at Dunham Tavern. All performances are free and will feature members of the company in opera and light opera favorites. For the August 26 event, food trucks will be on site beginning at 5:00 pm.

Arts in August at Lincoln Park in Tremont will launch its free annual series with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra on Saturday, August 18 at 7:00 pm and follow that with opera in the open air performed by members of ContempOpera Cleveland on Friday, August 24 at 7:00 pm.

The Cleveland Orchestra is at home all month — in both of its venues. At Blossom on Saturday, August 18 at 8:00 pm with James Gaffigan at the helm, British polymath Stephen Hough will be featured in Mendelssohn’s first piano concerto along with Barber’s Essay No. 2 and Sibelius’ second symphony.
The repertory moves to the popular side on Sunday, August 19, when vocalists Carpathia Jenkins and Tony DeSare (who will also play piano) salute Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald under the baton of Randall Craig Fleischer.
The Orchestra moves back indoors on Friday, August 24 for the third Summers@Severance concert with guest conductor Jonathan Cohen and pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout in a program of music by Handel, Haydn (Piano Concerto No. 11), and Mozart (Symphony No. 25, featured in the film Amadeus).

It’s back to Blossom for the rest of the summer season. On Saturday, August 25, Carl Orff’s ever-popular Carmina Burana will feature soprano Audrey Luna, tenor Matthew Plenk, and baritone Elliot Madore, baritone, led by Adrien Perruchon and backed up by the Blossom Festival Chorus. Copland’s Statements opens the evening.

And for the grand finale to the Blossom Festival, Vinay Parameswaran will conduct The Cleveland Orchestra in a live performance of John Williams’ score for Star Wars: A New Hope (along with a screening of the film, of course). There are three performances from Friday, August 31 through Sunday, September 2, all at 8:30 pm.

Tickets to all Cleveland Orchestra performances can be booked online.

We’ll be back with more classical music picks the first week in September.

Check out details of these and other events on our Concert Listings page.

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