Five months after opening, the owners of Twinsburg's Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern have decided that doing twice their projected business requires a few tweaks â€” about 4,000 square feet of them. If things stay on target, Blue Canyon revenues will hit $6.5 million its first fiscal year. To keep up with that volume, the kitchen is being expanded for more storage, a bigger cooler and more prep space for banquet business. Chef/co-owner Brandt Evans has already hired a second sous-chef, Stewart Huffman from Inn at Turner's Mill.
In front, a new 65-seat Vineyards at Blue Canyon space with 2,000-bottle wine cooler will project from the existing Tavern, along with an additional 40-seat private dining room. Terraced below them will be a second open kitchen for cooking demos and a 40-seat patio centered on a firepit. All those spaces are slated for opening next spring. "If you're gonna be a monkey, you might as well be a gorilla" is how Evans puts it.
He's also just debuted a new fall/winter menu with such temptations as Maine lump crab salad, duck confit strudel and Asiago-crusted turkey medallions.
• Gourmet Magazine has named Moxie in Beachwood as one of 132 of the "best places to eat in America." Raved-about executive chef Jonathan Bennett has just introduced a new menu, too, featuring lobster potato skins with Neufchatel cheese and Neuski bacon as a starter and a surf-n-turf entree of roasted scallops with curly-tail pork belly.
• There's also a new fall/winter menu at The Leopard in Aurora, offering a little of everything, from venison osso buco to pancetta-wrapped breast of pheasant to cocoa-dusted salmon with roasted parsnips.
• Keoko Turner (formerly of Vivo and Park City Diner) has fetched up as the new head chef at Vito's Italian Grill in Aurora. His introductory menu includes baked salmon with a puttanesca sauce and prosciutto-wrapped cod with white beans and sage pesto.
• Pho Hoa has expanded its formerly pho-only menu to include, among other treats, bubble teas and banh mi sandwiches.
• Sergio's in University Circle, which turns 10 in January, is slated to open a second, 130-seat location at Shaker Square in the former BrontÃ« Bistro space. A 60-seat bar and 120-seat seasonal terrace will round out the unnamed new eatery, which should open next spring.
• Classics' wine dinner this month, beginning at 7 p.m. on Nov. 16, features Domaine de la Romanee-Conti of Burgundy. Cost is $550 per person.
• Time to pop your cork at Heinen's/ WVIZ World Series of Wine Nov. 4 through 6. This year's event includes three grand tastings at the Jake, three winery dinners (at Blue Canyon, Classics and Theory) and eight wine-tasting seminars. For more info, visit www.wviz.org/wsw or call 1-888-281-WINE.
• Cleveland Originals kicks off Northeast Ohio's debut Dine Originals Week this month, from Nov. 14 through 20. Participating fine-dining restaurants will present several three-course, prix-fixe dinners for $30.04 (reservations required). Their casual counterparts will offer a "2 for $20.04" special. Get details at www.clevelandoriginals.com.
• Save Monday, Nov. 22, for the 14th-annual Cleveland Signature Chefs Auction at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Call 1-800-686-2323 for details on the event, which benefits the March of Dimes.
Castaldi's Market & Grill, Tower City Center, 230 Huron Road, (216) 241-2232; San Francisco Oven, 60 Village Way, Hudson, (330) 528-0621
Chuck's Diner, 2194 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights