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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Nuevo Modern Mexican Chef-Owner Zack Hirt has Passed Away

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 11:55 AM

GOFUNDME
  • GoFundMe
The local culinary community lost another member way too soon and tragically. Zack Hirt, chef and owner of Nuevo Modern Mexican, passed away on Friday at the age of 43. Obviously, his loss is a shock to family, friends and colleagues.

Hirt, who worked at notable Akron spots like Mustard Seed Market, Piatto and Crave, opened the popular Nuevo Modern Mexican in 2014 with his wife and business partner Lisa. Two years later, the couple was tapped by local developers to open the shimmering new lakefront restaurant in downtown Cleveland, which was unveiled in 2016.  The Akron location was shuttered earlier this year.

Thoughts and sentiments [sic] have been flooding social media.

"We begin to write this message with a very, very heavy heart. There is truly no good way to put this into words. Last Friday, our Executive Chef and owner, Zack Hirt passed away. His passion for food was second only to his character and his kindness towards all, especially the Nuevo family. Zack was a son, brother, twin, friend, mentor and one of the greatest individuals one could ever meet. Our thoughts and prayers to the Hirt family and everyone grieving at this time." — management at Nuevo

"Zack, you will forever be missed—- you will never be forgotten."It’s hard to put in to words the hole in our hearts that everyone in akron feels. I had the pleasure of working with Zack on many occasions. His smile would light the room. He was always willing to help anyone out! Such a sincere guy. He always strived to make akron a better place and just by him being here it was!!! You will never be forgotten Chef!! My heart, thoughta and prayers go out to his loved ones and all the lives he touched. Do your self a favor guys and hug your loved ones tight because you never know when it’s the last time. Rest easy Chef!!" — chef Dick Kanatzar

"I am absolutely devastated to hear of your passing Zack Hirt. When we met you were still young & dreaming big of what your future would be..and it turned out to be NuevoCleveland & Akron. You were always so, so special & the world truly lost a genuinely good person. The culinary world has lost another talented man, a master of your craft... & those of us lucky enough to have known you, lost a great friend. The legacy you leave behind is to be kind, always...& never drink cheap tequila. You'll always be my Zackariah. R.I.P. ❤" — Kimberly Benyo

A GoFundMe memorial page for the family has already far exceeded its goal of $8,000.

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Tacologist, a New Mexican Restaurant in University Circle, Opens Friday

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 9:59 AM

tacologist_logo.png
Updated 4-26-19

Management now says that the opening has been pushed back, perhaps one week.

Original story:

A Tacologist is not a medical specialist who treats patients with an uncontrollable appetite for Mexican food, but rather the name of a new Mexican restaurant that will open its doors this Friday in University Circle. The restaurant, an offshoot of the Tres Potrillos family of eateries, has been setting up shop for months in much of the former Corner Alley space on Euclid Avenue (11409 Euclid Ave.).

Management took inspiration from the collegiate location near the campus of Case Western Reserve University and incorporated science-related decor features like glass beakers used for cocktails, a periodic table of elements to list tequilas, and two-dimensional drawings of molecules to remind diners to study for their upcoming organic chem exams.

Starters include gaucamole — classic or a flight of three varieties — crispy fried flautas, flaming queso served in an earthenware bowl with or without chorizo, shrimp or mushrooms, and OMG (yes, OMG) queso nachos with or without ground beef or shredded chicken.

A quartet of salads ranges from the "Chapo" chopped salad to the Laredo, a medley of greens, cheese, avocado, hearts of palm and bacon in a cilantro-lime dressing.

For the main event there are burritos stuffed with chorizo and grilled vegetables or barbecue pork, beans and cheese. Fajitas starring chicken, steak or shrimp come with grilled vegatables, rice, beans, salsa, sour cream and tortillas. Naturally, there are tacos, categorized as either "classic" or "especial." Classic varieties like pollo, carnitas, carbe asada and barbacoa come in housemade corn tortiallas and can be mixed and matched. Especial ones such as garlic shrimp, el pastor and fried fish come three to an order and cannot be swapped. All come with a choice of sides like lime rice, Mexican rice, black beans or seasonal vegetables.

Last but not least are the entree platters starring items like grilled shrimp in garlic sauce, enchiladas with salsa verde, grilled steak and a fried chimichanga.

To drink, there are a variety of margaritas — "top-shelf" and otherwise — joined by beer, wine and cocktails.

In addition to the 140-seat dining room, there are an additional 120 spots for outdoor seating on the front patio.

Starting Friday, the restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.

The restaurant offers free parking in a nearby garage.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Punch Bowl Social to Open Its Rooftop for Cinco de Mayo Party

Posted By on Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 1:33 PM

AMBER BOUTWELL, PUNCH BOWL SOCIAL
  • Amber Boutwell, Punch Bowl Social
To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Punch Bowl Social will throw its first rooftop patio party of the season from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 5.

The event will feature a special $5 El Macho tequila-based cocktail (made with muddled cucumber, house-made cardamom syrup and fresh lime juice). You can try dishes like a “sheet load” of nachos, a plate of cocoa dusted carnitas tacos served with frijoles churros, and green chorizo fries

There will multiple games and activities inside and outside of the restaurant.

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Moxie in Beachwood to Close, Rebrand, and Reopen in June

Posted By on Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 10:08 AM

moxie_logo.jpg

To survive 22 years in the restaurant game takes more than a little moxie; it takes flexibility. Over the years, Moxie restaurant in Beachwood has endured more nips, tucks and tweaks than a C-List celebrity. Up next for the pioneering Cleveland bistro is the deepest cut of all.

The restaurant, which Esquire magazine included in its annual list of best new restaurants in 1998, will close its doors on Saturday, April 27. When it reopens a few weeks later in June, it will do so with a new name, design, menu and concept, according to company reps.

This is far from the first time Moxie has announced changes – sweeping or otherwise. Over the years, guests have watched as the menu expanded and contracted to correspond with current dining trends. Conventional arrangements of appetizers, salads, main courses and desserts gave way to those touting small, medium and large plate formats. Those, in turn, were swept away in favor of a menu flush with salads, sandwiches, half portions and smaller (read less expensive) entrees.

Cleveland diners, wherever they elect to eat, can thank Moxie owner Brad Friedlander for seeding the local market with household names like Doug Katz, Karen Small, Tim Bando, Eric Williams, Jonathan Bennett and John Kolar, all of whom have worked their way through the proving ground of Moxie.

As we near the reopening (or is it opening?) of the restaurant, we’ll learn more about the concept and menu. In the meantime, Red, the Steakhouse (3355 Richmond Rd., 216-831-5599) in Beachwood will now be open daily for lunch.

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Bar 32 Helps Kick Off Cleveland Patio Season May 10

Posted By on Mon, Apr 22, 2019 at 2:26 PM

PHOTO BY EMANUEL WALLACE
  • Photo by Emanuel Wallace
Is it patio season yet? We keep wondering over here at the Scene offices.
We want to be outside on a beautiful sunny day while drinking and eating. We want to finally be warm.

Thankfully, there is something to look forward to in downtown Cleveland with Bar 32 officially launching its patio season Friday, May 10 starting at 5 p.m. Weather may or may not be cooperative, but there will be live music from MIMO as well as plenty of craft cocktails and hors d'oeuvres on hand.

Most restaurants and bars around town do not offer a set date for their patio opening but rather make decisions to open based on consistent warm weather patterns. Always call ahead to confirm patio seating is open or risk being disappointing.

Find out more about the Bar 32 event right here. And find a list of some of our favorite hidden patio spots in Cleveland right here.

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Friday, April 19, 2019

When It Comes to Easter Candy, Ohio Gets Down With Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 3:35 PM

FILM SCREENSHOT
  • Film Screenshot
Although chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps might be the most obvious Easter candy options, the favorite in Ohio is a different, yet widely preferred kind of treat. This is the hot news that you come to Scene for, we know.

Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs are the Easter treat Ohioans want to chow down on most, a new survey by RetailMeNot found.

Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs swept the nation, with 29 states favoring the peanut butter-filled sweets over any other Easter candy.

Second place in Ohio was granted to Cadbury Eggs, which are preferred by 12 states, while Jellybeans and chocolate bunnies almost tied for third. Peeps, however, only caught the attention of two states — Tennessee and Virginia

Find the full list of favorite Easter candies by state right here.

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Brassica is Giving Out Free Falafel on Monday in Honor of Earth Day

Posted By on Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 12:59 PM

PHOTO COURTESY OF BRASSICA
  • Photo courtesy of Brassica
A new Shaker Heights restaurant is giving away free falafel this Monday to celebrate Earth Day.

Brassica, which officially opened April 12 in the Van Aken District (20301 Meade Rd.), is a Mediterranean restaurant out of Columbus that offers everything from hummus plates to chicken salads and brisket sandwiches. The fast-casual spot especially caters to people who eat a plant-based diet.

This Earth Day, the brand-new spot is enticing customers with free falafel sandwiches and salads from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. What better way to try out one of the newest arrivals on the Cleveland dining scene.

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