Friday, December 14, 2018

Three New Restaurant Concepts to Open in Flats East Bank Next Year

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 1:15 PM

  • Photo by Emanuel Wallace
The Flats East Bank is getting three new club and restaurant concepts as early as next summer,'s Michelle Jarboe reported yesterday after the Port of Cleveland’s board of directors voted to help in financing the deal.

The trio of restaurants are set to join Flats stalwarts like Thirsty Dog Brewing Company and Coastal Taco as well as Alley Cat Oyster Bar and FWD, which the three new buildings will sit between.

First up is the Hampton Social, a restaurant chain out of Chicago. That place will also feature Bassment, a music lounge located in the basement (see what they did with that name there?). The same folks behind  the Warehouse District's XO Prime Steaks are also planning on opening up an Asian-fusion restaurant and club. And the third addition is yet another club/dinner spot that has the backing of chef Dante Boccuzzi, among others.

Developers hope to break ground as soon as next month. We'll keep you updated as we learn more about all of these restaurants. 

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Shake Shack to Open Downtown Cleveland Location of its Popular Burger Concept

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 4:44 PM

  • Scene Archives Photo
Ohio's first Shake Shack opened this summer at the Pinecrest development in Orange Village. Soon after that splashy opening we learned the the company also would be part of a fresh class of newcomers at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, slated to open sometime this winter. Now we're learning that Shake Shack will open one of its insanely popular "modern day roadside burger stands" in the heart of it all: Downtown Cleveland.

The long-rumored addition was confirmed by company spokespeople this past fall, a help wanted add was recently posted online, and today, the plans were confirmed to Scene by Kristyn Clark, Senior Manager, Brand Communications for the company.

This will be a 4,055-square-foot Shake Shack located at 1965 E. 6th Street. When it opens sometime in 2019, the shop will feature all the classics, including the ShackBurger®, crinkle-cut fries, hand-spun shakes and a selection of frozen custard concretes in collaboration with local food purveyors.

In keeping with Shake Shack’s commitment to green architecture and eco-friendly construction, the restaurant will be constructed with recycled and sustainable materials. Booths will be made from lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and table tops will be made from reclaimed bowling alley lanes.

“Downtown Cleveland is a bustling retail destination to bring our modern roadside burger stand," says Andrew McCaughan, VP of Development at Shake Shack. "We’re thrilled to open our second Cleveland area location and provide the local community a fun place for to gather with family and friends.” 

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Tomorrow is the Day that Mason’s Creamery Reopens as Ramen Shop for the Winter

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 9:38 AM



At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, December 12, Mason's Creamery will reopen its doors after a brief hiatus as a winter-long ramen popup shop. Minor modifications and physical improvements have been made to convert the walk-up ice cream shop into a small, but sit-down noodle bar.

For now, the hours of operation will be 4 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Owners may add lunch hours down the road.

Here's the original post:

For the past three winters, Jesse Mason and Helen Qin of Mason’s Creamery (4401 Bridge Ave., 216-245-8942) have hosted regular ramen pop-up events at their Ohio City-based ice cream shop. In addition to being a food they both absolutely adore, the wildly popular ramen nights inject some fun, energy and income into the typically slower months of the year.

The events have been so successful, in fact, that the owners were inspired to go all in this winter by setting up a full-time ramen residency at the shop.

“We were looking at options of what to do during the winter when it slows down,” explains Mason. “It’s not insanely crazy to think about doing ramen. We really don’t need to do much to convert it to a modern take on a classic ramen shop.”

In early December, the team will briefly shutter the petite shop in order to make some physical changes. New dedicated noodle cookers will be installed in the kitchen. The glass front on the display coolers will be removed to make way for some type of floating shelf that will serve as a dining counter. By enclosing the patio and adding space heaters, occupancy will be nearly doubled. All told, there will be approximately 18-20 seats. Service will be fast-casual-style, meaning that you’ll order, pay and sit down. Bowls also can be ordered to go.

As for the food, ramen fans can look forward to the same classic pork-based tonkotsu broth with cha siu (roasted pork belly), soy-marinated soft-cooked eggs, enoki mushrooms, mayu (black garlic oil) and ramen noodles. Other broth options will include chicken and a vegan mushroom-based brew. Specials and sides might also make appearances.

While most of the ice cream will be on winter holiday, a soft serve machine will be dispensing fun, colorful Japanese-inspired flavors that will be served in fish-shaped cones called taiyaki, a trend that’s sweeping the nation.

“The goal is to be fluid and just have fun with it, which has kind of been our plan with the ice cream shop in general,” adds Mason.

The plan is to run with the ramen concept until April, with afternoon and evening hours 5 or 6 days a week.

If you can’t wait until the middle of December for your Mason’s Creamery ramen fix, there will be a pop-up event taking place at the shop November 9 and 10.

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Friday, December 7, 2018

First Look: Flight Cleveland, Opening Next Week in Gordon Square

Posted By on Fri, Dec 7, 2018 at 1:57 PM

Owner Lindsay Smith
  • Owner Lindsay Smith
When Flight Cleveland (5712 Detroit Ave., 216-905-2533) opens next Friday in the Gordon Square neighborhood, it will likely become one of the most attractive and appealing spaces around in which to explore and enjoy wine. The two-room storefront is unrecognizable from its days as Latitude 41 thanks to six months of intensive renovation under the watchful eye of owner Lindsay Smith.

Since taking possession of the property in June, Smith has swapped out all the flooring, exposed the brick walls, installed tile accents, and fabricated an impressive bar and backbar, the anchor of which is a 29-bottle Cruvinet system that preserves and dispenses white and red wines at the optimal temperature.

The well-appointed interior is populated with eclectic furniture that melds old with new, like an acid green Victorian couch juxtaposed with a custom-built contemporary booth.

“I really wanted people to feel comfortable, so the intention was to make it feel like a living room,” says Smith, formerly Bon Appétit’s Director of Catering and Sales at the Cleveland Museum of Art. “There is enough seating for everybody’s preferences. There’s soft seating for those who want to get cozy, there’s bar seating for the bar people, and there’s the table and chairs for those who prefer that environment.”

All told, there is seating for about 60.

The heart and soul of the wine bar menu is the flights category. A trio of wines is presented in a small box along with printed cards that provide information on the wine’s country of origin, grape varietal, and tasting notes. Also listed is the retail price of the bottle, “so if you fall in love with something you’re drinking, we can add that to your check for you to take with you,” Smith states.

In addition to the flights, wines are available by the tasting pour, glass and bottle, which are sold at retail plus $12 corkage fee. Everything that is on the menu is available for purchase in the wine shop, which stocks about 400 labels.

“The idea for the space has always been that it’s a combination wine shop and bar, with both feeding off of each other,” says Smith. “The goal was to curate a retail shop that focuses on affordability and finding things that are a little off-the-beaten-path. I want to be the neighborhood wine shop.”

This neighborhood wine shop focuses on value and variety, with most bottles landing in the $12 to $35 category. A 13-under-13 section will always be stocked with taste-tested bargains for all palates.

Rounding out the menu are three Cleveland draft beers, enough booze for basic cocktails, and a small-bites roster built around olives, cheeses, meats and chocolates from Astoria, Ohio City Provisions and Lilly Chocolates.

“I think one of the things that makes us fit in so well here is that we aren’t doing another restaurant,” Smith suggests. “We’re trying to support and collaborate with the restaurant community that’s here.”

Starting next Friday, Flight Cleveland will be open Tuesday-Sunday. 

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

EDWINS Butcher Shop in Buckeye-Shaker Neighborhood to Open December 13

Posted By on Thu, Dec 6, 2018 at 10:35 AM

  • Photo by Douglas Trattner
Since opening EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, Brandon Chrostowski has been single-minded in his mission to provide a meaningful way forward for ex-convicts. That French bistro and culinary training center, the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary Knife Skills, continues to roll out graduates who are prepared to fill waiting jobs in restaurants around the city and beyond. With almost no exception, those who do advance and land jobs stay out of prison because, as the moniker suggests, education wins.

When the EDWINS Butcher Shop (13024 Buckeye Rd.) opens on Thursday, December 13, in the Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood of Cleveland, Chrostowski will provide another layer of culinary edification for students while introducing a neighborhood-appropriate retail food option.

"My goal on this whole project is always student-driven, to make sure that students learn a skill set here," Chrostowski explains during a walk-through of the space. "But the idea is to bridge this gap between what we are doing and the community we are doing it in. You can't just pop in a Starbucks and say it's for everyone. It's got to feel like it's for everyone. If it doesn't, I've failed."

By Chrostowski's estimation, the shop will be the neighborhood's first fresh meat vendor in almost 50 years. It joins the three-building campus that also includes EDWINS Second Chance Life Skills Center, which provides housing, support services and amenities to current and former students. All of it sits a short 10-minute walk from the restaurant on Shaker Square.

Customers can pop into the 3,300-square-foot shop for rotisserie chickens, braised meats, smoked barbecue and hot soups. Meals like sandwiches with a side of greens or mac and cheese can be enjoyed on site in the 30-seat cafe or taken to go. Coolers and freezers will stock pickles, burgers, ground beef, stocks, bones, condiments and beverages. The shop will sell carryout beer and wine.

"It's a butcher shop, so we're going to have the different cuts of meat, our own charcuterie, sausages, smokies, you name it," reports Chrostowski. "But prepared foods is also going to be a big part of what we do. We're not just going to sell butchered items."

In service of the teaching portion of the facility, three to six students at a time will undergo an intensive two-week butcher training program under the guidance of lead butcher Travis Gunter and three EDWINS graduates. An overhead meat trolley and rail system will safely and effortlessly transport whole and half animals from the delivery door straight into the chilled production room. There the meat will be broken down for use on site or sold to sister establishments EDWINS and Serenite Restaurant & Culinary Institute in Medina.

"Butchery is an amazing skill and it's an empowering skill," says Chrostowski. "This is not slicing a whole beef tenderloin. I want to take it deeper. This program is designed to really give you those skills."

At last count, 262 people have graduated from the program and landed gainful employment. There are still 50-plus jobs waiting to be filled by future graduates, Chrostowski says, and a skill like butchery will make them all the more marketable in today's farm-to-table culinary landscape.

Plans call for the overarching organization to continue transforming properties in the historic Buckeye neighborhood into potential businesses like a bakery, fish shop or cheese store, all fertile learning environments for students.

"This neighborhood deserves this," states Chrostowski. "They have not gotten a person to come into this neighborhood and give them a decent product for a decent price. Unfair pricing, lack of healthy food options and economic oppression have gone unchecked in our poorest neighborhoods for decades. The butcher shop is another piece in our overall plan to combat these issues."

EDWINS Butcher Shop will be open seven days a week.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

James Beard Award-Winning Chef and Author Michael Solomonov to Hold Book Signing at Mandel JCC Dec. 13

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 2:06 PM

Solomonov (left) and Cook - MIKE PERSICO
  • Mike Persico
  • Solomonov (left) and Cook
Michael Solomonov is a multiple James Beard award-winning chef and author based in Philadelphia. His modern takes on Israeli cooking at Zahav, which he opened with business partner Steven Cook, nabbed him medals for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic in 2011 and Outstanding Chef last year. He and Cook, his coauthor, earned additional Beard awards for the subsequent cookbook "Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking."

Since opening Zahav in 2008, the duo has gone on to open Federal Donuts, the world's first fried chicken and donut shop, Dizengoff, the hummus restaurant named for one of Tel Aviv's most iconic streets, Abe Fisher, the American-Jewish small-plates restaurant, Goldie, the vegan falafel shop, and the philanthropic-focused Rooster, whose profits go to Broad Street Hospitality Collaborative, where Philadelphia's most vulnerable citizens receive food, social services and the hospitality of a well-cooked meal.

On December 13, Solomonov and Cook will be stopping by the Mandel JCC to promote their latest cookbook, "Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious." The book signing is being presented in partnership with the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. The night kicks off at 7 p.m. and includes refreshments.

“Israeli Soul” showcases the modest street foods that are the main staple of everyday Israelis, enjoyed in small shops, hole-in-the-wall cafes and market stalls. For the book, which was included in New York Times' 19 Best Cookbooks for Fall, Solomonov and Cook scoured both the countryside as well as cities like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa.

Admission to the event is $25 ($20 for Mandel JCC members) or $36 if you’d like to leave with a cookbook. A special Author Meet & Greet Event, which includes hors d'oeuvres, reserved seating, an autographed book, and admission to the special exhibition Israel: Then & Now at the Maltz Museum are $200 per person.

For tickets click here or call 216-831-0700 ext. 1314.

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LBM Transforms Into Hog's Head Inn for Harry Potter Pop-Up Dec. 30

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 10:22 AM

  • Film screenshot
The cocktail wizards over at Lakewood's LBM are going full hog wild this holiday season, with a pop-up Harry Potter-themed night.

Sunday, Dec. 30, the Viking bar is transforming into the Hog's Head Inn, the dodgy, off-the-beaten-path Hogsmeade bar of the Potter Universe where many important plot points occur.

Expect some unusual food selections from LBM's kitchen, including blast-ended skrewt, pumpkin pasties, mandrake root stew and more. But it's the drink selections we find most intriguing.

The HP-themed cocktail list is as follows:
Belvedere Unfiltered Vodka, Chrysanthemum Agave Soda, Lemon

Polyjuice Potion:
Tanqueray Gin, Captain Morgan White Rum, Grapefruit Oleo, House Grenadine, Grapefruit, Lemon, Yerbe Mate Mint Tea, Grapefruit Bitters

Draught of the Living Death:
Apple Infused Peligroso Tequila, Ginger Orange Syrup, Lime, Butterfly Pea, Absinthe

Crown Royal, Disarrono, Pear Cordial, Lemon, Mead

Bulleit Barrel Strength Bourbon, Captain Morgan 100, Smirnoff 100, Spiced Cranberry Cordial, Lime, Vanilla Honey, Orange Bitters

Butter Beer:
Brown Butter Washed Captain Morgan Black Rum, Brown Ale Syrup, Chocolate Chai Supreme Tea, Orange Zested Whipped Cream

Bulleit Rye infused with Maple, Apricots, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger and Orange Peel
Harry Potter fans are encouraged to bring their wands and robes for the evening. Doors open at 4 p.m. Find out more about the event right here.

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