Monday, June 18, 2018

Celebrate the First Day of Summer with Free Ice Cream on Public Square

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 5:00 PM

  • Photo via Wikimedia
Turns out that the state of Michigan wants you to come visit sometime this summer. So bad in fact that the Pure Michigan advertising campaign is passing out free ice cream in downtown Cleveland this Thursday in honor of the first official day of summer.

Offering three flavors to any passersby interested in ice cream, the event runs on Public Square from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or until they run out of the sweet stuff.

According to a Pure Michigan press release the flavors are meant to inspire travel to that great state to the north.

There's Gone Fishing, a combination of Blue Moon, a Fruit Loop-esque ice cream that's a favorite in the upper Midwest, with pieces of fish-shaped cake. The second flavor option is Trail Mix, a chocolate lovers dream which includes dipped pretzels, here to remind you that Michigan has plenty of trails to bike and hike. Last is the Sunny Sandar, a coconut concoction made in honor of the state's 3,288 miles of shoreline.

Whether the free ice cream venture will send any Clevelander Michigan's way this summer is still up in the air. But for those looking to get out of town for the weekend, check out Scene's 2018 Summer Road Trip Guide, which does include a stop in Detroit. 
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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Trio in Tremont to Open in Former Bac Asian Bistro Spot on June 21

Posted By on Thu, Jun 14, 2018 at 2:12 PM

  • Trio
Back in March, we reported on the imminent closure of Bac Asian Bistro (and forthcoming opening of Ninja City in Detroit Shoreway) and chef Anthony Scolaro’s plans to open Trio (2661 W. 14th St., 216-952-7035) in that corner Tremont property. Now we know that the restaurant will open on June 21.

For the past four years, Scolaro has been working to elevate the culinary scene in Medina, where he and his partners run the popular One Eleven Bistro (2736 Medina Rd., 330-952-1122). His goal when opening the business, he told me, was to bring a little taste of Cleveland to his hometown city. With Trio, a modern American bistro, the chef hopes to push his culinary game a little farther.

“When this opportunity in Tremont came up, it was kind of a way for us to do all the things that don’t necessarily fly down here,” he explains. “The opportunity kind of fell in our lap and we decided to take it and run with it. That’s the nature of this business in a way. Tremont is a mainstay and I think we can use that ‘new kid on the block’ thing for a while to hopefully get people interested.”

Management has spent the past few months spiffing up the interior, revamping the kitchen and reworking the space.
  • Trio
An early draft of the menu reveals seasonal, ingredient-driven items like roasted carrots with Romesco sauce and tarragon gremolata; rabbit rillettes with fig, apricot and giardiniera; a springy halibut with pea puree, asparagus and fingerlings; goat cheese agnolotti with peas, asparagus and lamb neck demi; and desserts like parsnip tiramisu made with mascarpone ice cream, coffee foam and shortbread.

When Trio opens it will be dinner-only Monday through Saturday.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Popular Koko Bakery to Open Full-Service Café in Adjacent Space

Posted By on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 10:01 AM

  • Photo Courtesy of KOKO, Facebook
As Cleveland’s Asian community continues to grow, so too does the number of authentic dining options in and around Asiatown. One of the newest comes courtesy of Koko Bakery (3710 Payne Ave., 216-881-7600), which has been serving up Asian delicacies for approximately a dozen years. Fans of the place doubtless have seen the craft paper-covered windows on the adjacent space for months. That place, Koko Café, will finally debut on June 15.

Koko Bakery has earned a following over the years thanks in large part to its ability to pack so much flavor, value and choice into such a small, quiet cafe. Commuters adore the large donut-style case stocked with dozens and dozens of fresh-baked sweet and savory buns with fillings like red bean paste, ham-and-egg, BBQ pork, curried beef, even hotdogs. They make excellent grab-and-go meals that are delicious and affordable.

Koko also excels at Asian sweets like colorful fruit tarts, cakes and pastries, such as light-as-air almond cookies and not-so-sweet cheese cake. Come lunch, Koko rolled out rice bowls topped with crispy-fried pork or chicken katsu drizzled with tonkatsu sauce. The small, sun-soaked shop also serves bubble tea, fresh fruit smoothies and Taiwanese shaved ice.

So it makes perfect sense that the owners would choose to expand given the opportunity. The 40-seat café will be an all-day, full-service restaurant. The menu is remarkable for its length and breadth, a five-page catalogue that features dim sum items like beef short rib with honey sauce, rice noodles stuffed with half a dozen fillings, a dozen noodle soups starring items like fresh shrimp wontons, beef balls or tendon, and noodle dishes done Cantonese pan-fried-style and Singapore-style vermicelli. There are also dozens of entrees, steamed buns, steamed dumplings and even congee topped with anything from abalone to pork liver. For dessert, there will be mochi with fresh fruit, caramel flan, and Korean shave ice.

The fun starts Friday, June 15.
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Monday, June 11, 2018

Hatfield's Goode Grub Express Now Open in Old Cleveland Pickle Spot

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 4:30 PM

  • Yelp

Hatfield's Goode Grub Express opened its doors in the old Cleveland Pickle spot last week and is now serving up southern-infused sandwiches and sides from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Check out the menu here.


(Original story 2/19/18): It didn't take long for a new tenant to scoop up the spot occupied by Cleveland Pickle until last month.

Come April, that location will be a Hatfield's Goode Grub Express, a semi-scaled down version of Hatfield's Goode Grub in Westpark.

"We actually just signed the lease," Ken Hatfield told Scene this morning.

"The space doesn't have a hood, so I won't be able to do burgers," Hatfield says, "but I'm formulating an insanely good sloppy joe, and we're still going to do our pulled pork, our hillbilly philly and we'll do a bunch of southern twists on different sandwiches."

Hatfield's Express will also feature a roster of deli favorites — chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad, potato salad — all spiced up with a southern twist, of course. Hatfield is still figuring out the exact menu and hours but says the shop will probably be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"We're already established with our food truck which is at Walnut Wednesdays, so we want to take what all those people enjoy at our truck and have them come over any day of the week," he says. "We're really looking forward to it and we want to get open as soon as possible."

There's also news on the food truck front: Hatfield's is launching a second truck, Hatfield's Goode Grub Sweet Tooth. Malts, milkshakes, cookies, pies and cobblers will be served from a vintage 1976 ice cream truck. Look for that to start rolling this spring.
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Cleveland Summer Beerfest Adds Brews Cruise to Lineup This Weekend

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 4:12 PM

  • Photo by Emanuel Wallace
Cleveland just can't get enough beer it seems, and this weekend the summer version of the Cleveland Beerfest returns to Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica.

Doubling its brewery participants this year, the event includes more than 100 breweries, including local favorites like Masthead and Market Garden. Folks can also expect plenty of food trucks, silent disco and live music. And new this year, the event is adding a Brews Cruise on the Nautica Queen the night before the main event at 7:30 p.m. It includes dinner and beer samples for $55.

Then, with two sessions on Saturday, from 2 to 5 p.m. and also 8 to 11 p.m., festival-goers have just enough time to try 25 5-ounce samples. Cost is $40 before June 15 and is $45 the day of the event. Designated driver tickets, which cost $20, come with a $5 food truck coupon and also free bottled water and soft drinks.

Naturally, this thing goes down rain or shine, and is only open to those 21 and over (including designated drivers).

Check out the whole beer list right here.
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Friday, June 8, 2018

Iconic Cleveland Bar Flannery’s Irish Pub Sold to New Local Owners

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 11:27 AM

Since 1997, long before East Fourth Street was a bustling entertainment district, Flannery’s Irish Pub (323 Prospect Ave., 216-781-7782) has been providing good cheer in the form of beer, spirits and food to large and consistent crowds. It is a staple destination on St. Patrick’s Day and is stop number one for many bound for a Cavs or Indians game.

This week, the legendary Cleveland pub changed hands from MRN Ltd., the principal developer of East Fourth, to Doug Petkovic, a partner in Michael Symon Restaurants.

“The opportunity presented itself to acquire Flannery’s and I decided to take advantage of it,” says Petkovic, adding that this is not a Symon venture. “We looked at the opportunity as a group as we always do, but decided that the project didn’t fit with what we have going on right now. We’re very focused on two new restaurants in Vegas and the Lolita property.”

Petkovic, along with partners Jeff Schmittgen and John Gaydosh, said there was much to love about the bar and restaurant, and that he was fortunate to become its next steward.

“This is an iconic property and location, and they have done a great job over the past 20-something years of building the brand of Flannery’s,” he notes. “It’s difficult enough to create something new and build a brand – all I hope to do is build upon that and improve it.”

The 8,000-square-foot, 150-seat bar sits at the corner of East Fourth Street and Prospect, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Lola, Mabel’s BBQ, Chinato, Red, House of Blues and Hilarities. Petkovic, who took possession this week, said that fans of the property should expect no major changes in name, concept or even staff, but they should look forward to numerous physical improvements.

“We are working with management to form a plan as to how we’ll go about the changes,” he says. “They may come in stages or over time, but we don’t foresee a large shutdown for an extended period of time. But we are going to sink a considerable amount of money into the property. It’s tired; it needs some love.”

If your favorite server, bartender or manager happens to work at Flannery’s, you should expect to continue seeing their smiling faces in the future, adds Petkovic.

“The cornerstone of that property are the employees, who are awesome,” he says. “One of the most difficult things in the hospitality industry right now is labor, finding good help – even finding any help. Flannery’s has some employees who have been there for 20 years.”
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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Tickets on Sale for Autism Speaks Chefs Gala Starring Michael Symon

Posted By on Tue, Jun 5, 2018 at 10:52 AM

  • Courtesy Food Network
This is an “on” year for the Cleveland Autism Speaks Chefs Gala, a biennial event at the Cleveland Museum of Art hosted by celebrity chef Michael Symon. The extraordinary affair features two dozen Cleveland chefs preparing and serving signature small plate items – and that’s just the appetizer. The benefit, which helps to raise funds and awareness for people with autism, is a highlight of the culinary calendar.

The real fun takes place on stage, where Symon and fellow Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli will host a live and interactive cooking presentation. The resulting three-course meals are dispatched to a handful of lucky high-rollers seated on stage.

The event also offers exciting packages available to bidders in silent and live auctions.

Tickets start at $250 per person for access to the tasting and full-service seated dinner. Higher echelon packages include access to a VIP chef meet-and-greet session and other perks. Click here to see all available ticket packages.

The gala will be held from 6:30 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 28th in the atrium of Cleveland Museum of Art and include the following chefs.

Derek Clayton and Summer Geneti – Michael Symon Restaurants
Tim Bando - Grove Hill
Joseph Lang - Moxie the Restaurant, Red the Steakhouse
Britt-Marie Culey – Cleveland Convention Center
Brian Doyle - Café Avalaun, SōwFood
Brandt Evans - Pura Vida, Blue Canyon
Anna Harouvis - Anna in the Raw, Good to Go Cafes
Jeff Jarrett – US Foods
Douglas Katz - fire food and drink, Provenance
Paul Minnillo & Matt Mytro – Flour
Brian Okin – Graffiti: A Social Kitchen, Cork & Cleaver
Carl Qualiata & Zach Ladner – Giovanni's Ristorante
Fabio Salerno – Lago, Salerno Group
Jonathon Sawyer - Greenhouse Tavern, Noodlecat, Trentina
John Selick – Sodexo, University Hospitals
Anthony Scolaro- 111 Bistro, Trio
Mark Sherry- J. Pistone
Karen Small - Flying Fig
Vishwatji Nath- Urban Farmer
Jill Vedaa – Salt
Eric Wells- Skye LaRae's
Rocco Whalen – Fahrenheit, Rocco
Eric Williams – Momocho, El Carnicero
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