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Taste Your Way Around Shaker Square

"Jumping off the entrepreneurial cliff" is the way Todd Gauman describes his March decision to launch NEO Food Tours, a homegrown homage to his city's culinary cred. But really, it was the winds of change that pushed this thirtysomething events planner toward the new venture. "After working in Tampa for seven years, I moved home in 2009," says the self-described foodie. "When I started exploring Cleveland again, I was just blown away — not by just the city's restaurants, but by what was happening around the periphery: the urban agriculture, the innovative caterers, the sustainability." The time, he thought, was right "to pull the blanket off the city's independent food scene," revealing the region's edible wonders to locals and tourists alike. Nowadays, NEO Food Tours offers a variety of monthly events aimed at doing just that, including tonight's "signature" tour of historic Shaker Square. "The unique thing about Shaker is that you can go around the world in the course of a visit. The cultural variety of the restaurants is just amazing." The tour kicks off at 6:30 at Sarava and continues to Fire, Grotto, and several others; food, drink, and a few words from the chef are served at every stop. Cost is $75 per person; advance reservations are required via the website. — Cicora 216-586-4214, neofoodtours.com

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