Friday, October 20, 2017

First Look: Boss Dog Brewing in Cleveland Heights, Opening Soon

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 5:31 PM

It’s been 15 months since Josh and Jason Sweet were handed the keys to the building that for 20 years was home to Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine in Cleveland Heights. In the meantime, the pair has completely transformed the property from a dim and dated eatery to Boss Dog Brewing (2179 Lee Rd.), a crisp new bar, brewery and pub. With the finishing touches now being applied, the owners have announced opening day as Thursday, November 2.
It was a massive undertaking that begin with a complete demolition of the 5,700-square-foot main level and 3,000-square-foot lower lever. Walls were knocked down, tile floors jack-hammered up, drop ceilings removed, basement footers added, support columns and beams installed, concrete slabs poured, and a shiny 10-barrel brewhouse prominently positioned so that it’s visible to guests and passerby alike.

The Sweets teamed up with Richardson Design to achieve a cohesive look. Attempts were made to bring the brewery into the dining room, says Josh. In addition to the large picture windows that separate brewhouse from bar, there’s a dramatic light fixture assembled out of repurposed kegs. Mini fermentation tanks will become patio accents.

Apart from opening and brightening up the entire interior, the most significant improvement was the installation of a large glass garage door panel. Not only does it introduce a ton of natural light into the dining room, in warm months it will open directly onto the patio, which is in the process of being tripled in size from its original dimensions. Guests will be able to enter the brewery from either the front or the rear of the building.

Jason, who worked for years at Fat Head’s production facility, has been busy brewing the pub’s initial offerings. By opening day, four beers – Chief Chinook Pale Ale, Buck IPA, Dog Pound Brown, and a double IPA – should be ready for consumption. The plan going forward is to have 10 house beers supplemented by another 10 guest beers from Ohio producers. In addition to onsite enjoyment, the suds can be popped into a crowler or growler for take-away.

An all new kitchen will turn out “gastropub” fare that should appeal to most tastes and budgets.

“This will be a family place where you can bring everybody,” Josh says of the brewpub.

Bar snacks like chipotle-maple nuts and garlic knots will be paired with small plates like Korean-braised beef sliders and smoked blue mac and cheese. Soups, salads and deck-oven pizzas join a short rib torta, pulled pork sandwich and beef or black bean burger. A half dozen entrees, priced in the $19-24 range, include braised short rib, cedar-plank salmon and bone-in pork chop. A build-your-own pierogi option lets diners mix and match fillings with toppings.

Boss Dog will be dinner-only to start, with weekend lunch coming online a few weeks after opening. 

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Harlow's Now Serving Up Wood-Fired Pizza in Lakewood

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 4:27 PM

  • All photos by Peter Larson
This morning, John Sweeney is kneading pizza dough while chatting about his newly-opened Lakewood restaurant, Harlow's (14319 Madison Ave., 216-712-6502). He's been here since 6:30 a.m. and, except for a lunch break with his kids, won't leave until late into the night.

Sweeney says the goal, before he and fiancee Emily Flamos even opened the spot, was to perfect the dough and menu and come up with the best product possible. So first they traveled to Italy to find out how to make traditional pies.

"It is just pizza," Sweeney admits. "But you know, we went to Naples and we went to New York and we went to Toronto, and we felt that west side was missing out on a certain style of pizza. So we’re sticking to traditional Neapolitan recipe here."

The 12-inch pies, which Sweeney makes individually himself, are made with fresh ingredients and precision. The menu only offers five of choices — Marinara, Margherita, Bianca, Salami and Leonardo — and no substitutions are allowed. Once assembled, the personal pizza is popped into the mouth of the 800-degree wood-fired oven for 60 to 90 seconds. The pizza is then meant to be eaten immediately (although the spot will do carryouts).

Harlow's, which is named after the couple's daughter, also offers a small selection of wine, beer, spirits and sodas.

Regarding the Mexican-style decor and open-air atmosphere of the small 1,000 square-foot place, Sweeney says, "We didn’t want you to walk in and hear Frank Sinatra, and we didn't want it to look like other old-school Italian shops."

After a few weeks up and running in Lakewood, Sweeney says the feedback has been positive, although some wait times have grown quite long on busy nights. But he says he's not willing to compromise quality for speed. 

"I can see people, it’s the head nod when they take that first bite. That's everything," he says.


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Tickets for the Eighth Annual Winter Wine & Ale Fest Go on Sale Today

Posted By on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 2:43 PM

Given the unseasonably warm weather, it’s hard to believe winter is just around the corner. But temperatures will drop soon enough for upcoming events such as the Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s eighth annual Winter Wine & Ale Fest.

Organizers offer a variety of ticket options (prices range from $40 to $250) for the event, which takes place from 8 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Global Center for Health Innovation.

Guests can sample ales, ciders, mead and boutique wines from Ohio based establishments such as the Brew Kettle, BrewDog, Columbus Brewing Company, Crafted Artisan Meadery and Goldhorn Brewery.

Tickets go on sale today.

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Moncho's to Close at End of the Month, Quisqueya La Bella Moving In

Posted By on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 12:40 PM

Camarones con mofongo
  • Camarones con mofongo
The Brooklyn Centre business formerly known as Moncho’s is on borrowed time. Opened by Isabel Montoya and her family back in 2015, the popular Colombian eatery has been under new management since last year, when the owners of the Lakewood-based Mexican restaurant El Torito took over. That relationship will cease at the end of the month, says Montoya.

“The relationship did not work out, so we decided to end the lease,” she says. “We would have liked everything to work out, but it did not.”

Montoya says the family chose, instead, to sell the business to Daisy Hunt, who for the past seven years has operated Quisqueya La Bella (4616 Clark Ave., 216-651-3410). That restaurant specializes in Puerto Rican and Dominican dishes like sancocho, mondongo, empanadillas, alcapurrias, fried pork with plantains, camarones con mofongo, and beef stew with rice and beans.

Quisqueya will take over the old Moncho’s space on the first of November. When it does, the menu will largely be the same as that served at the original.

“I’m going to add a couple of dishes,” Hunt says.

As for the Clark-Fulton spot, Hunt says that she’ll keep it open for now and see how they work out together before making a decision on its future.

As for Moncho's, Montoya said that fans shouldn’t be surprised to see a return sometime down the road.
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Galley Group to Bring Innovative Food Hall Accelerator Concept to Ohio City

Posted By on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 11:03 AM

At first glance, Smallman Galley, which opened in Pittsburgh’s Strip District in 2015, is a public food hall populated by various and unique restaurant concepts. But this is not your average food hall, which typically features satellite outposts of already thriving, popular brands. Just four operators were selected for an 18-month residency designed to give new operators an opportunity to fine tune their startups while providing them with advice, mentoring and assistance on the path to opening a brick-and-mortar establishment.

  • Courtesy Galley Group
In Pittsburgh, participating chefs are provided with a fully built-out kitchen within the 200-seat space. They are granted total creative license to create their own brand and market that concept with help from Galley Group’s national public relations team. Along the way they receive business resources, strategy help and mentorship, including training in restaurant operations, help with drafting a business plan, and securing financing.

In addition to coffee, lunch and dinner service, the tenants act as caterers for a whole host of public and private events that take place in the historic building, which has a property-wide liquor license, two bars, and professionally run beverage program. The concept has been so successful, it even landed a collective spot on NEXTpittsburgh's annual roundup of Best New Restaurants.

When Galley Group co-founders Tyler Benson and Benjamin Mantica open a Cleveland location in the fall of 2018, the playbook will largely be the same. The number of participants may vary, as might the residency length, but the goal will be the same: help nascent food-based businesses establish proof of concept on their path to success.

“The Galley Group team is very excited about our new food hall project in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland," says Mantica, Co-CEO of Galley Group. "There are a ton of talented chefs in the Cleveland area ready to run their own restaurant, we are thrilled to be able to offer aspiring restaurateurs that opportunity. We look forward to becoming a meaningful part of the incredible food and beverage scene in Cleveland.”

The venture will be taking over the ground floor of the Forest City Bank Building at the corner of W. 25th Street and Detroit Avenue, a turn-of-the-century structure on the National Register of Historic Places. That property is being redeveloped by the Snavely Group, which is also behind the large Quarter project across the street.

Galley Group will occupy the 7,500-square-foot space presently operated as Massimo Da Milano Italian restaurant. The restaurant, which was opened in 1990 by partners Antonio DiIorio and Rocco Esposito, now functions largely as a private-events facility and will continue to do so until the middle of January.

As we get closer to opening day, expected to take place next fall, we will continue to share more details about the project, including when and how chefs can apply for the first term of residency.

Here's a website to check keep tabs on in the meantime.
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Monday, October 16, 2017

Corbo's Bakery is Coming to Cleveland's Theater District

Posted By on Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 3:56 PM

  • Photo via buckeye_state_proud/Instagram
Corbo's Bakery is soon coming to Cleveland's downtown theater district, making Northeast Ohioans' musical-going experience that much sweeter.

Leasing a spot at the Keith building, right by the Connor Palace theater on Euclid Ave., the new Corbo's Bakery plans to cater not only the hungry-for-baked-goods downtown workforce but also theater patrons.

The 30-seat shop, set to open its doors daily at 7 a.m. and close an hour after shows get out, could start up as soon as December, bakery president Selena Corbo told Crain's Cleveland Business.

Customers can expect much more of the same from the additional Italian sweet shop, like two dozen types of cookies, as well as cannoli and biscotti. Some items will be made at the shop, while others will be brought in directly from the original Little Italy spot.

In the meantime, customers can also purchase Corbo's pastries from various Marc's throughout the area.

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Melt Bar & Grilled Will Open Canton Location on Monday, Nov. 6

Posted By on Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 11:09 AM

  • Photo via Melt Bar and Grilled/Instagram
On Monday, November 6, Melt Bar & Grilled will open its 11th location, this one in Jackson Township at the Belden Village Mall (4199 Belden Village Mall Circle, Canton, 330-494-4604). The Cleveland-based restaurant group, beloved for its riffs on grilled cheese sandwiches, opened its first shop in Lakewood in 2006. They have since expanded to nearly a dozen locations across Northeast Ohio, Sandusky, Columbus and Dayton.
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