quick bites: soho, spice, bruell & wells

Lots of good stuff happening, folks. Much of which I’m pretty behind on helping to spread the word. So here’s a quick look at things I think you’d find of interest.

One of my favorite power couples, Ben and Jackie Bebenroth, have opened their first restaurant, Spice Kitchen & Bar – right across from The Happy Dog (opening very, very soon). Spice will serve as the catering headquarters for Spice of Life (if you have yet to use the, USE THEM), and offer up an ever-changing small menu in the front – along side a super cool art deco bar. I had a chance to check out the space at a New Year’s Eve Eve party and think it will make a nice addition to the neighborhood.

Here’s a look at the winter menu:

  • Fried polenta {five} parmesan, herbs, 12yr balsamic
  • Bacon jalapeno cornbread {five} with green tomato jam
  • Steelhead lax {seven} with crackers, crème friache, garnish
  • Local cheeses {fifteen} with quince paste, crisps, pickle
  • Mushroom Beniegts {six} with honey goat cheese crème friache
  • Bibb lettuce {eight} with pickled onions, croutons, blue cheese, apples & champagne vinaigrette
  • Mixed greens {eight} with roasted beets, sweet onions, LEC feta & cider vinaigrette
  • Andouille burger {twelve} with pickled peppers, roasted onions, aioli, house smoked cheddar, & corriander chips
  • Preserved squash risotto {twelve} with apple, parsley and hazelnut salad, lemon oil
  • Buckwheat noodles {fourteen} with winter greens, shitake, and mushroom broth
  • Grilled pork loin {twenty-two} with mashed sweets, spinach, cider mustard jus
  • Seared chicken breast {twenty} with spaetzle, bacon, root veg, hickory sherry pan sauce
  • Ribeye {twenty-four} with grilled romaine, pickled onions and feta, winter veg, red wine syrup


Other News – Look for all-around good guy and chef, Eric Wells (Skye LaRae’s Culinary Services, to open his first restaurant in March. Wells’ restaurant will be located steps from Bratenahl.

Zack Bruell Restaurant Week. When you own enough restaurants, you can make your own week, right?  The first-ever Zack Bruell Restaurant Week takes place January 15-28.  During this two-week celebration of food, diners will be able to try a unique three-course $30 dinner menu at each Zack Bruell restaurant: Parallax, Table 45, L’Albatros and Chinato.

Bruell will create his own custom restaurant week menus for each establishment, including new and exciting concepts that will only be available during Restaurant Week. Menus choices for each course:


1st Course – Choice Of…


Chinese Barbeque Pork on Grilled Polenta Cake with Sweet Pea Rouille Sauce Baked Goat Cheese Salad with Roasted Beets, Watercress and Sherry Vinaigrette Choice of any house soups, Lobster Bisque with Curry Cream, Vegan Black Bean or Soup of the Day

2nd Course – Choice Of…

Grilled Scallops with Ivory Lentils, Haricot Verts and Saffron Cream Sauce Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Mousseline with Wild Mushroom Risotto and Chinese Broccoli Intercontinental Sushi Roll Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Cream Spinach

3rd Course – Choice Of…

Vacherin Ice

Apple Cassolette

Choice of Ice Creams and Sorbet


1st Course – Choice Of…

Seared Tiger Shrimp a la Plancha

Potage du Jour

Beet Salad with Local Greens

2nd Course – Choice Of…

Beef Brisket with Polenta and Braised Greens Market Fish with Winter Vegetables Vegan Pasta with Fregola Sarda and Winter Squash

3rd Course – Choice of Of…

Warm Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream Crème Caramel Fromage


1st Course – Choice Of…

Tuna, Mango and Jalapeño Roll

Roasted Beets, Grapefruit, Pickled Onion and Arugula with Mint and Coriander Vinaigrette Duck Confit Spring Roll with Tamarind Dipping Sauce

2nd Course – Choice Of…

Sautéed Rainbow Trout with Papaya Salad, Thai Fried Rice and Ginger Lime Gastrique Lemongrass Noodles with Roast Pork and Crab Korean Barbeque Lettuce Wraps with Pickled Veggies and Sticky Rice and Sesame Green Beans

3rd Course – Choice Of…

Bananas Foster

Ginger Crème Brulèe

Thai Coffee Tiramisu


1st Course – Choice Of…

Mushroom Bisque

Seared Scallops with Frisèe, Pomegranates and Pomegranate Gastrique Oxtail Suplee

2nd Course – Choice Of…

Pork Tenderloin with Pickled Onions, Red Wine Apples and Potato Dumplings Tuna Meatballs with Spaghetti Veal Piccata with Grilled Radicchio and Polenta

3rd Course – Choice Of…

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Almond Panna Cotta

Apple Torta


Just a reminder, Parallax, Chinato and L’Albatros are closed on Sundays – even during restaurant week (though Chinato will be open 1.15 from 2-6 pm ONLY, for the Ohio State-Michigan hockey game).


Go SoHo (southern hospitality). Speaking of good guys, I have yet to go but am hearing lots of good things about chef Nolan Konkoski’s latest endeavor in Ohio City. I’ve been a fan since he started the tequila dinners at Momocho. The focus is modern southern food that’s affordable and creative. In Nolan’s own words: Big hits so far have been the fried green tomatoes, the oysters Rockefeller, the chicken & waffles, the beef and pork sandwiches, all of our house cocktails and the pecan pie. We feel like we’re doing something fresh and unique to Cleveland’s dining scene, but we’re also trying to make sure that everything is broadly appealing — after all, who doesn’t love the wonderful flavors of the South?

As of now, join them for dinner 5-10 Tuesday thru Thursday and 5-11 Friday & Saturday. Look for Friday & Saturday lunch very soon, as well as a Sunday brunch. Happy Hour is Tuesday-Friday from 5-6:30, featuring some great food and drink specials.



  1. kellygatta
    Posted January 12, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the heads up about the Zack Bruell Restaurant Week – I’ll be making reservations for Parallax asap ;)

  2. peltz.allison
    Posted January 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I need get myself to Soho – a lot of people like their menu.