Wine & Dine Not sure how to spend Valentine’s Day? Head to Ohio’s wine country for the Chocolate is for Lovers Vines & Wine Trail event Feb. 5, 6, 12 and 13 from noon to 6 p.m. More than a dozen wineries will offer appetizers and wine samples paired with chocolate candy. Participating wineries include, Debonné Vineyards, Ferrante Winery, Grand River Cellars, Laurello Vineyards, Old Firehouse Winery, The Barrel Room Winery and Virant Family Winery. The tour is $45 per couple and $35 per single. Make reservations at debonne.com.
Time for a Facelift If you saw the doors of The Metropolitan Café closed last month, don’t worry. It’s only temporary though it won’t reopen as the Metropolitan you’ve known for the past 10 years. If everything goes according to plan, Metropolitan will reopen in March as the more relaxed Metro Bar & Kitchen after an estimated $500,000 renovation, according to Hyde Park Restaurant Group co-owner Joe Saccone. The new plan calls for an exhibition kitchen, center island bar with more than 15 craft and microbrews on tap and lounge area with a fireplace, sofas and overstuffed chairs. The restaurant will also take better advantage of its location on the corner of West Sixth Street and St. Clair Avenue with an outdoor patio and a streetside bar. “We feel now is the best time to update the restaurant to better reflect the urban-chic atmosphere and sophistication of the Cleveland food scene,” says Saccone. The menu, designed by executive chef David Culi, formerly head chef at Hyde Park restaurant Jekyll’s Kitchen, will see its fair share of tweaks as well, Saccone adds.
Dante’s Back Chef Dante Boccuzzi confessed he was a little overwhelmed (in a good way) when he previewed Dante in Tremont in early January. At the “private” party, guests could barely get a foot in the door, and they swarmed the kitchen looking for a first taste of his revived restaurant. He officially opened Jan. 12 in the refurbished Third Federal Bank building on Professor Ave. Leaving the original vault intact, it’s now a four-person specialty table, an intimate space, but it doesn’t nearly rival the chef’s table in the state-of-the-art kitchen. The interior at Dante was designed by his partner and artist Giancarlo Calicchia and features a large chandelier of handblown glass as the centerpiece. This spring, Boccuzzi plans to open a sushi bar in the basement called Ginko (that’s Japanese for bank).
Serving Sushi Table 45 has ended its live cooking demo table, announcing they will replace it with something more accessible to diners: a full sushi bar. Up to eight people will be able to sit at the table and watch sushi chef Eugene Em, formerly of Shuhei, craft expert rolls. The sushi menu will be open daily from 4 to 11 p.m.
Openings Bac, 2661 W. 14th St., Cleveland, 216-938-8960 Dante, 2247 Professor Ave., Cleveland, 216-274-1200 Dragonfly Lounge, 1865 W. 25th St., Cleveland, 216-669-7774 Gusto d’Italia, 180 W. Streetsboro St., Hudson, 330-653-3240 Rosewood Grill, 36 E. Streetsboro St., Hudson, 330-656-2100
Closings Metropolitan Bar and Grill, 1352 W. Sixth St., Cleveland