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Issue Date: October 2013

News Bites

Helping Harvest

For Dante Boccuzzi, supporting a cause goes deeper than just donating money. While working with Refugee Response, a program that empowers refugees to become self-sufficient, he discovered Ohio City Farm. Boccuzzi consults on seed planting, purchases produce for his menus and has employed refugees from that farm at his Tremont restaurant Dante. "I was excited to have a farm so close," he says. To honor Boccuzzi and his wife, the organization is hosting a benefit dinner at Dante Oct. 13. Dishes such as vegetable sushi, squash pasta and carrot cake will be prepared by Boccuzzi.

Popping Corks

It's the classiest Halloween party in town. On Oct. 17, Chuck's Fine Wines will host its version of Yelloween, Veuve Clicquot's annual international fall tasting. "[It's] an elegant evening rather than just a spooky, scary sort of thing," says Yolanda Albergottie, the Chagrin Falls shop's sommelier and wine education coordinator. For $30, guests can sip French Champagne, don a little black mask and a feather boa, and even snag a goodie bag. 

Fresh Taste

A new team, led by executive chef Ian Thompson and director of dining services David Apthorpe, has taken over the kitchen at Radius. The two have updated the menu, injecting Thompson's background in contemporary fine dining into the dishes. While favorites such as the meatloaf remain, new entrees include rainbow trout and linguini. "I'd put it up against any other food around the city." says Thompson. 

Green Scene

Starting Oct. 1, vote for your favorite local green restaurant for its chance to win a Nature's Plate award. Hosted by the Nature Conservancy, participants weigh in on spots that use sustainable practices. "The basic idea is to draw attention to the relationships between health, sustainable food and a healthy environment,"says the Conservancy's Randy Edwards. To cast your vote, visit

Taking Sides

The popular West Side spot Sweet Melissa is set to open a University Heights location next month. The restaurant will offer the same menu as its Rocky River spot, which includes vegetarian and vegan options that have become popular over the years. "I listen to feedback," says owner Matthew Ullom. "I try to put out food that represents what they're asking for and do it in a way that's fun with fresh ingredients and is affordable." 

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