updates from around the dinner table

Here’s a quick look at the happenings at some of our local favorites:

Crop Bistro
Crop recently welcomed the addition of Elaine Cicora as the director of communications/official storyteller. This is great news for Crop, but sad for the rest of us that looked forward to her well-written and spot-on food reviews each week.

Thursday-only happy hour / Chef-owner Steve Schimoler and his crew fire up the grill on the bistro’s shaded sidewalk patio each Thursday, from 5 to 7 p.m. Look for $5 specials, including hand-ground lamb sliders, topped with blue cheese, chopped mint, and pickled onions; savory soft tacos, stuffed with grilled chimichurri shrimp; and tender, crisp-edged Tuscan flatbreads, with fresh herb-and-veggie toppings. To drink, the day’s featured $5 cocktail – perhaps something like Crop Punch or the Back Porch Margarita.

Bar Cento
Cook Chefin’ is this Sunday at 3 p.m. From everything I’ve heard about this event, it’s a blast for both the kiddies and adults. We were actually planning to go on Sunday with my nieces and nephews but had to reschedule for the next one.

Women of Rock / Rock ‘n’ Roll Wine Project. Featuring female vintners from Pinnono, McCrea, Stelztner. Women Rockers on vinyl plus Bill Barefoot & Chef’s Widow pouring the juice all night on July 31st.

And if he wasn’t busy enough (I think he’s competing with Symon for who can work the most hours per week), you can hang out with Chef Sawyer and cook at the farm-to-plate cooking class at Tri-C: theme, get your goat.

2-part class / Saturday, July 26, 2008, 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Goat Feather’s Farm in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for the field trip, and Monday, July 28 6:30-9 p.m. at Tri-C’s Metro Campus Culinary Kitchen.

Description and Menu / This class will introduce and instruct students to the journey of farm to plate. We begin with the introduction of the farm and will see the symbiotic relationship developed between a farmer and a chef and learn about the farm’s 7 grazing pastures and their unique approach to raising the goats. We will then learn about the butchery process and how the animal eventually ends up on the plate in a restaurant. Menu: Goats Milk Recipe: Fresh Goats Milk Cheese; Goats Meat Recipe: Goat Keftedes (Kebabs), Roasted Leg of Goat and Tomato Braised Goat Shoulder. Fee: $120 total.

Cafe Marika / Lucy’s Sweet Surrender
Look for Michael Feigenbaum of Cafe Marika and Lucy’s at four farmer’s markets this summer:
Wednesdays in Lakewood from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Thursdays in Twinsburg from 3 – 7 p.m.; Saturdays in Shaker Square from 8 a.m. – noon and Crocker Park from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. He’ll feature 10-12 bread types, strudels, nut/poppyroll, kalacs, angel wings – about 100 different products in total, all made from scratch at Lucky’s Sweet Surrender.

Waterloo Street Fest will be August 2. Check out Cafe Marika during the fest for soups, salads, sandwiches and pastries.

The popular patio is in full swing and the place to be this summer. Be sure to check out the taquito grasshopper, which Chef Eric says continues to be extremely popular. And although I haven’t tried it myself, I have heard from several people tat is really is quite tasty.

You can also see Eric, along with Karen Small, Doug Katz, Paul Minnillo, Heather Haviland, Jonathan Bennett, Ryan Alabaugh, Scott and Brenda Kim, Matt Harlan, Ruth and Marc Levine and Rocco Whalen at the benefit for Annie Chiu at Sergio’s on July 28.

Blue Canyon
Speaking of busy, I think it’s safe to include Chef Brandt Evans in that mix. He’s off to Dallas to open another Blue Canyon, with a few more on the way (I think that’s four total locations now). Look for more on this next month. We have been trying to schedule an interview for oh, maybe the past 8 months, give or take. I think we’ll finally meet up on that fabulous patio in the near future.


  1. Alexa
    Posted July 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    i already have plans to go to crop on 8/7 to check out the thursday happy hour. it sounds like fun!

  2. Benito
    Posted July 21, 2008 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I’ve stayed a couple of times at the hotel right next to the Blue Canyon, and was always impressed with the food, service, and ambiance. Once the place was packed and I was asked, “Well, do you mind sitting at the kitchen counter?” It was amazing, and I kept getting passed little amuses bouche and other treats from the cooks.

    When I return to Cleveland in a couple of weeks Bar Cento is at the top of my list. The whole menu looks great, but do you have any suggestions on something I have to try while I’m there?

  3. michelle v
    Posted July 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Benito: Here are my absolute favorite things at Bar Cento: the sunnyside pizza (simply AMAZING!), caramelized fennel bulb (seriosuly, who knew fennel was this good – so simple and unlike anything you have had) and the Ohio potato fries. You will LOVE this place, enjoy!

  4. AdamX
    Posted July 27, 2008 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I’m been meaning to check out Momocho. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it!

    Mike (my partner) and I have a once a month date night and I’d like to find a Cleveland spot place similar to Agave in NYC for next month.

  5. michelle v
    Posted July 28, 2008 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Adam – go to Momoch, you will love it. I’ve never had a bad meal there and love the atmosphere. Grea tradition you guys have!

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