This Saturday will be Norbert Peissert's last night as executive chef at Lakewood's Pier W (12700 Lake Avenue, 216-228-2250). The former Napa Valley Grille chef has accepted a job as top gun in the kitchen of the Mentor Harbor Yacht Club. A Pier W manager says Sous Chef Lethaniel Beagay will be in charge until the restaurant finds a replacement for Peissert. But the seafood restaurant with a spectacular view of the downtown skyline has been flooded with applications, we hear, and it shouldn't be long before a new exec chef is on board.
Sprucing up the Grovewood
Staffers at the Grovewood Tavern & Wine Bar (17105 Grovewood Avenue, 216-531-4900) took time out last month to make some interior upgrades. Owner Beth Noragon's friendly East Side tavern now has new lighting fixtures in the dining room, a spruced-up men's room (Noragon says the ladies' powder room is next on her to-do list), and a smart new bartop inset with an international collection of wine labels. The tiny dining room, with its votive candles and white tablecloths, is now an even more pleasant setting for Chef Tim Ogan's robust dishes, which he serves up in eye-popping portions. Recent favorites include Chicken Paprikash My Mother's Way ($12.50) -- two plump boneless chicken breasts, caramelized onion, roasted vegetables, and plenty of spaetzle, all in a dreamy sauce of Hungarian paprika and sour cream; and zesty Sesame Noodles ($2.50 as a side dish), sprinkled with chopped scallions and black sesame seeds. And the Grovewood's impressive wine list continues to be one of the most reasonably priced ones around, with many of the 150 or so selections set at less than $30 a bottle and some rare vintages going for nearly half the prices we've seen at upscale downtown spots.