restaurant news and upcoming events

Tartine will be hosting its second wine dinner on Tuesday, January 27 (they host one a month, each with a different theme). January’s dinner will celebrate the culinary exchange between France and the southeast Asian area once known as French Indochina, most notably Vietnam. The dinner will feature 5 courses paired with 5 wines for $50.

My favorite Little Italy restaurant is throwing a recession shindig on Monday, January 26. For $20 per person, enjoy gourmet peasant food, wine and old school drinks. What a fabulous idea and great deal!

Crop Bistro
Crop is extending Valentine’s Day to three evenings, beginning Thursday, February 12. Regardless of when you choose to dine, each meal will begin with a glass of sparkly and a tongue-teasing amuse bouche, then moves on to a appetizer, salad course, entrée and dessert, plus a surprise or two along the way. The cost is $75 per person. Be sure to ask for it by name when making reservations, at 216-696-2767. (A vegetarian version can be arranged with prior notice. The regular a la carte dinner menu will also be available.)

Celebrate the inauguration of President Obama (yay!)on January 20 beginning at 5 p.m. A projection TV in the bar will show all the national activities while you enjoy some of Obama’s favorite foods. In addition, Sergio’s SARAVA is participating in the Food For Change drive, in honor of National Day of Service on Martin Luther King Day. Bring a canned food donation, or a check made out to the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland.

Dante / Lockkeepers
As most know by now, the original Lockkeepers took over Dante earlier this year. Right now, it is still being operated under the Dante name with the menu featuring part Dante items and part original Lockkeepers favorites. Look for the total overhaul to happen by early February, complete with lower prices.

As for Dante Boccuzzi we won’t have to wait much longer to check out his new venue in Tremont, expected to open around April / May. Hopefully Dante will offer his fabulous sushi at the new place. Either way, I’m willing to bet it will be a wonderful offering and atmosphere that I can’t wait to checkout.

Finally, Shinano Sushi Bar is open in Solon, right next to Miles Farmer’s Market. We’re planning to go this week for dinner, but everything that I’ve heard thus far has been positive. 440.498.1614

Market Avenue Wine Bar
On Tuesday, January 20 starting at 7 p.m., head to Market Ave for a five-course vegetarian wine dinner prepared by Dish Global Catering. Cost is $60 per person.


  1. lifeinrecipes
    Posted January 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Great news on Shinano….waiting on the Vietnamese place.

  2. michelle v
    Posted January 18, 2009 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I think we’re going to be waiting awhile! I heard from the owner (she also owns the place where I get my nails done) that because of the economy, she might hold off – but who knows, that could change.

  3. SicklyBug and Cassaendra
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    That’s sad to hear (Viet Pho), but totally understandable. I think they had their signage up before Shinano last year. Having gone to Shinano’s soft opening several weeks back, they are still the best place for Japanese food in the region, and the space is beautiful.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted February 1, 2009 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Friday, January 30, 2009
    Gasoline Tax: Yes or No?
    A recent Gainesville Sun editorial compared the decision of the Alachua County Commission to impose a gasoline tax for roads with that of our own Marion County Commission. Here is a condensed version of some of the comments contained in the Sun editorial:

    “Alachua County Commissioners took a lot of heat last year when they decided to raise the local option gasoline tax by 5 cents a gallon to help whittle down the county’s huge backlog of unfinanced transportation improvements. Commissioners, all of them Democrats, were of course denounced as “tax and spend liberals.” (Interestingly, though, none of the three commissioners up for re-election in November were punished by voters for their taxing and spending ways).

    But lest you think that it’s only Democrats who want to dip into your pocket, consider what happened this week in neighboring Marion County, where Republicans rule the roost. On Tuesday, the Marion County Commission gave preliminary approval to (Gasp!) an Alachua County-style 5-cent-a-gallon local option gas tax increase.

    Why? Because Marion County needs to borrow $100 million for road improvements, and about the only way they can pay the money back is with higher gas taxes.

    Something’s got to give. Cheap gas is a wonderful thing. But there’s nothing like a road riddled with potholes to ruin a nice Sunday drive. Not to mention your car’s suspension.”

    Is the gas tax a partisan issue (i.e., a Democrat or Republican thing) or just being fiscally responsible to the road needs of Marion County? What do you think about the imposition of a 5 cent per gallon gas tax for Marion County?
    at 10:10 AM 53 comments
    Tuesday, January 27, 2009
    Economic Stimulus: Will it Work?
    Let’s all assume the $825 billion (not including tax cuts) stimulus package rolls right through our U.S. Congress—which seems to be the case.

    What would you do with any money that might be directed to Marion County? Where would you allocate it (e.g., schools, roads, etc.)?

    And an even more important question: Is this huge economic stimulus package even a good idea?

    Fire away! Sound off on this important economic event.
    at 8:01 AM 43 comments
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009
    Conservative Republicans: Leave the Party or Push for Changes?
    A recent article offers the start of a good debate among Republicans about the future of their Party. The GOP has historically relied almost exclusively on conservatives for grassroots campaign workers and financial support. However, the Republican Party seems to have a history of exploiting conservatives’ efforts and misusing conservatives’ financial contributions. In many ways, the situation is reminiscent of an abusive marriage. Is it time for conservatives to finally recognize the lies and abuse and move out of the house? Or is some sort of reconciliation still possible?

    Read the article at this link and then tell us what you think:
    at 7:00 PM 175 comments
    Saturday, January 17, 2009
    Ocala City Council – Marion County Commission
    The Ocala City Council and Marion County Commissioners will soon be participating in a joint workshop to discuss topics of common interest. If you were developing the agenda for the workshop, what would be some of the important issues/topics you would like to see them discuss? And why is that issue important to you.
    at 10:29 AM 65 comments
    Saturday, January 10, 2009
    Shifting School Construction Money to Fund School Operations?
    The Star-Banner offered an opinion in a recent editorial that we would like to have you discuss. Here is the gist of what the editorial suggests our State Legislature consider:

    “Allow all local School Boards for a two-year period to take a portion of the 1.75 mills (say 25%–$10 million) of the total $40 million in capital outlay money, and redirect it to the operations budget, which has been slashed by $28 million in the past year and a half, and could see that much or more cut in the coming year. The result of those cuts has been the closure of alternative schools for our worst-behaving students, a hiring freeze, no new computer purchases, no new bus purchases, bigger classes and no pay raises for teachers. This would free up money for increasing teacher salaries. The Marion County School Board just voted no salary increases for teachers in 2009.”

    The full editorial is available at:

    Tell us what you think about this suggestion. With the slow down in school building projects, would you be willing to have your tax dollars for school construction switched to funding school operational needs for a couple of years?
    at 11:51 AM 63 comments
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