Tasty Tour

Ohio City eats step up in ’06.

Evening in Ohio City
One part Food Network and one part HGTV, the 13th annual Evening in Ohio City returns Saturday, May 20. The progressive food-and-wine affair combines great eats from some of Ohio City's top restaurants with an opportunity to savor a peek at six unique homes -- including a ninth-floor Stonebridge condo, with spectacular views of the skyline.

Other stops include a restored historic stone mansion, a renovated Victorian, and a multistory condo in the Fries & Schuele development at Market Square. At each home, visitors will have 30 minutes to check out the digs, sip wine, and sample finger foods provided by spots as diverse as Opa! on 25th (with braised pulled-lamb tarts, tabouli with grilled pita, and stuffed grape leaves) and first-time participant Kimo's Sushi Shop (with a sushi buffet).

Other newcomers include Touch Supper Club (seared chicken breast in poblano mole), Snicker's (beef carpaccio over daikon slaw in ginger-lemongrass vinaigrette), and Momocho (lamb lollipops with jalapeño chimichurri). Old favorite Heck's will return with mini-burgers and wild-mushroom ravioli, and McNulty's Bier Markt hosts desserts and a nightcap.

The event -- including transportation by Lolly the Trolley and a souvenir wine glass -- takes place from 6 to 11 p.m. and costs $100 per person; tickets are available by calling the Ohio City Near West Development Corporation at 216-781-3222.

Waiting for the Sun . . . After a seven-month hiatus, Sergio's in University Circle (1903 Ford Drive, 216-231-1234) has once again opened for lunch. The globally seasoned restaurant has one of the most charming little outdoor-dining spaces in town, and fresh-air fanatics can take advantage of it from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, as long as warm weather prevails. Iced-shrimp gazpacho on the patio, anyone?

Extreme Makeover . . . Closed for remodeling since last October, East Side stalwart Benihana (23611 Chagrin Boulevard) should be a show-stopper when it reopens on May 26. Along with lots of glass, stone, and natural light, the upgrades include a sushi bar, new exhaust systems, and a big new selection of sake. The spot began as the Samurai in 1974 and was one of Ohio's first restaurants to feature teppan-yaki, communal-style, hibachi-table dining; it became part of the Miami-based Benihana group in 1997.

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