The name of the downtown Hyatt Regency's new restaurant, 1890, commemorates the year the Arcade opened; in keeping with the historical reference, the dining room's handsome interior is accented with steel, copper, and artwork meant to evoke Cleveland's industrial past. Probably the restaurant's most compelling feature, however, is its large windows, affording most tables a view of the gloriously restored Arcade's second-floor concourse. It promises some primo people-watching, once all the shops are up and running. As for the food, Chef Bruce Jones's relatively small menu is a collection of contemporary dishes, many with a Continental accent. Dinner entrées include roasted monkfish meunière with French green beans and pear tomatoes ($20), and filet mignon with three-peppercorn sauce ($21). At lunch, sandwiches and salads take the lead. We were wowed by a well-conceived, artfully arranged, and subtly seasoned salad of radicchio, Belgian endive, frisée, and lightly crusted sautéed goat cheese, although we thought it rather petite for its hefty $8.50 price tag. And while we were a tad disappointed that our Croque Monsieur ($7.50) of ham and cheese on golden batter-dipped bread hadn't been toasted in the classic shell-shaped iron, it was undeniably delicious. A few weeks back, the food writer for Cleveland's daily newspaper let loose on the Hyatt staff for poor service, but it looks as if the public flogging paid off. When we showed up -- anonymously, of course -- service was so good it was frightening. From the valet, who took our elbow to walk us through the Arcade entrance, to the team of smiling managers, who made the rounds with clock-like precision, staffers were obviously on their best behavior. Let's hope they can keep it up. If so, and in combination with the well-prepared food and urbane atmosphere, it will almost certainly make the restaurant a popular destination for downtown diners. Call 216-776-4576 for reservations.
Tasty little Lucy's on the Square (2775 South Moreland Boulevard; 216-283-5647) is expanding its hours (presently 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday) to include reservation-only dinners on Fridays and Saturdays. Owner Michael Feigenbaum says he plans to begin with one 7 p.m. seating each evening; if demand requires it, he'll add more. The café, displaced when Joseph-Beth Booksellers gobbled up its spot last August, has had a rough time recapturing customers since. On the bright side, however, Feigenbaum's mail-order business has taken off since the café -- and its outstanding Hungarian strudel -- was featured on the Food Network's Food Finds this winter. Feigenbaum also hopes the recent addition of Tuesday afternoon hours for the North Union Farmers' Market (from 2 to 6 p.m. on the Square's southeast quadrant) will help boost business.
Downtown's Hickerson's at the Hanna (1422 Euclid Avenue) served its last supper on Friday, June 8, but the space may not be empty for long. Columbus restaurant impresario Cameron Mitchell has signed a letter of intent to open an upscale steakhouse there in October 2002. . . . Joe Haladey's Old Brooklyn Soup Company (4770 Broadview Road) will ladle its final bowl of chicken noodle soup on June 23. But take heart, hungry West Siders: Haladey has his eye on a new location in the same neighborhood and hopes to reopen with a liquor license, more seating, and expanded hours in the not-too-distant future.