I wove through a platoon of protesters (alleging use of non-union labor and health-code violations) to take a gander at the just-opened Cadillac Ranch (200 Euclid Ave., 216.685.0000, cadillacranchhome.com). My first impression of the sprawling restaurant and bar is that it looks like Hard Rock Café with a mechanical bull. Sporting a pick-up-truck-chic decor, the space is festooned with license plates, hubcaps and full-size automobiles. There are entire walls of acoustic guitars. It shouldn't be hard to grab a drink here, thanks to three bars on the first floor and another upstairs. The menu is a mix of staples like nachos, wings, pizza, chopped salads, burgers, ribs and pasta. The Ranch operates other locations in Tempe, Arizona, Nashville and Cincinnati.
Since taking over as executive chef at The Wyndham Playhouse Square, Shawn Brozic has significantly improved all aspects of the food-services operation. Nowhere is that more apparent than at Winsor's restaurant (1260 Euclid Ave., 216.615.3307, wyndham.com). But there are bigger and better changes to come, the chef promises. To coincide with an ongoing hotel makeover, the restaurant will close between Christmas and New Year's to undergo major changes of its own. Diners can look forward to a whole new look, name and menu in 2009. New carpet, woodwork, tapestries, wallpaper and drapes will create a warmer atmosphere. While not set in stone, the name is likely to change from Winsor's to Stage Right, a fittingly theatrical moniker. "We've got a lot to do," says Brozic, "but it's a lot of fun."
Kimo's Sushi (1885 Fulton Rd.) has closed, but fans of Kimo Javier do not have to go without. Javiar is now the chef at Brothers Lounge (11609 Detroit Ave., 216.226.2767, brotherslounge.com), and on Tuesdays he offers a special sushi menu. The Brothers Roll is loaded with crab, avocado and mushrooms; there are spicy tuna, salmon and California rolls; there is seaweed salad. Kimo still operates a catering business out of the Fulton location. To reach him, call 216.392.6203.
Metropolitan Café (1352 W. 6th St., 216.241.1300, hydeparkrestaurants.com) introduced a new lunch and dinner menu, and it has the stamp of new executive chef Michael Herschman all over it. Additions include a crab cake with roasted pepper aioli and radish slaw; oven-fired pizza with wild mushrooms, parmesan, sweet grapes and truffle oil; and charred tuna with wasabi-spiked sticky rice fritters, urchin butter and soy sake.