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Issue Date: October 2006 Issue


News Bites

Century at the Ritz-Carlton served its final four-star meals Sept. 3. Meanwhile, the hotel has already put the finishing touches on Muse, a full-service restaurant dedicated to inspiration and art: “local artists’ art, the farmers’ art and the chef’s art.” Call (216) 902-5255.

Ky-wai Wong has been named executive chef at Lockkeepers in Valley View. Wong comes fresh from Classics, where he was sous chef for the past three years. He has also cooked for Blake’s Seafood Grill, fire food & drink and Noosa Bistro. Wong describes his cuisine as “very approachable, high quality and not intimidating,” with an understanding of the Cleveland palate. His new menu — a blend of Lockkeepers favorites and new dishes featuring his own style — debuts later in October. For reservations, call (216) 524-9404.

Chez François, the well-established French restaurant in Vermilion, is branching out with two new destinations at Crocker Park in Westlake. Petite de Vie, an upscale, European-style snack bar, offers fresh-made New Orleans-style beignets and Italian gelatos in flavors such as pistachio, cantaloupe, chocolate and wild berry, as well as granitas and coffee drinks. The Boulevard Dog, set to open this month, will serve gourmet, all-beef hotdogs with a tantalizing array of toppings. Custom-made rolls from Breadsmith in Lakewood, and french fries topped with truffle oil or garlic mayonnaise will bring European flair to these American favorites.

In time for Oktoberfest, Great Lakes Brewing Co. has added a beer garden to its Ohio City headquarters. The eco-friendly patio features a retractable roof, sliding glass doors and a radiant-heat floor for comfortable quaffing year-round.

West Coast quick-casual chain Fatburger has made its local debut. Longtime friends and native Clevelanders David Schneider (also the owner of Parallax) and Mark Holz have opened franchise locations in Mayfield Heights and Garfield Heights, and plan to open as many as 15 more in the Cleveland, Akron-Canton and Columbus areas. The pair felt the region was “starved” for the concept — juicy burgers, served quickly, in a sit-down environment. Freshly battered onion rings and real ice-cream milk shakes give Fatburger the “white tablecloth” experience Schneider brings his customers at Parallax. “The only thing that has changed is that I’m serving milk shakes instead of Pinot Noir,” Schneider jokes.

The 2006 Heinen’s/WVIZ World Series of Wine, a three-day oenophile extravaganza, offers ample opportunity to sample loads of luscious libations. Perfect for connoisseurs and neophytes alike, the array of activities from Nov. 2 to 4 offers something for everyone. Friday and Saturday, Grand Tastings at the Terrace Club at Jacobs Field include tasting selections coupled with sumptuous hors d’oeuvres. Wine tasting seminars on a variety of topics will be held Saturday at the Renaissance Hotel. Weekend winery dinners and on-location seminars round out a perfect blend. For tickets, visit wviz.org.

Openings:
Sinergy
, 1213 W. Sixth St., (216) 363-1130
Virtues, 525 E. Market St., Akron, (330) 375-7444
Fatburger, 1431 SOM Center Road, Mayfield Heights, (440) 995-5020
Fatburger, 5686 Transportation Blvd., Garfield Heights

Closings:
Century at the Ritz-Carlton
, 1515 W. Third St., Cleveland


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