Michael Symon Can't Slow Down


Michael Symon clearly is not one to coast. Currently on the Cleveland-based chef's dance card is an ever-expanding restaurant empire, multiple appearances on the Food Network, and a starring role on "The Chew," one of the highest-rated daytime talk shows.

Next up for the Iron Chef is the first of what might be multiple airport eateries reviving the name Bar Symon. Slated to open this spring at the Pittsburgh International Airport, the 2,500-square-foot restaurant will feature many of the signature dishes Symon developed and served in Cleveland.

"We'll be doing the Lola burger, some mac and cheeses, a bunch of beers. Fun stuff," Symon explains.

Symon is partnering with Joe Rababy, owner of the former BanJoe's Café at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, whom he got to know from patronizing his café. Symon said he and his team will have total control over quality, standards and operations at the Pittsburgh restaurant. He is also thrilled with its location within the airport.

"Everybody has to pass the restaurant to get to their planes," he said.

Also in the works for Symon is S & P Kitchen Bar Smokehouse, something he is calling a "Cleveland-themed" restaurant.

"I'm really trying hard to dig deep into Cleveland cuisine," he says. His gastronomic ode to the city he loves might feature Hanky Pankies with lamb sausage, fried perch sliders, Polish Boys made with duck kielbasa, Lamb-A-Roni, and a whole mess o' Cleveland barbeque.

Look for S & P to come online later this year at an as-yet-decided Cleveland location.