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Issue Date: May 2009


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Case of the Mondays?
Here’s something that’ll lift your spirits on a mundane Monday night. On the first Monday of every month, Cleveland Heights restaurant Nighttown will donate $5 from every meal to the Cleveland Foodbank. Started in April as part of its Hungry First Monday program, the charity special will run through the end of the year.

Iron Farmer
Another Northeast Ohio native is ready for his Iron Chef America close-up, but this vegetable guru is not a chef. He’s the one growing the ingredients. Lee Jones of the Chef’s Garden in Huron became the first farmer to sit on the Food Network show’s panel of judges when the show aired in March. “I was so honored, but nervous, too. I’m a farmer, not a food critic,” Jones says. “It was definitely a long way from the farm.” Lee witnessed a cabbage showdown between Iron Chef Bobby Flay and chef David Kinch of Manresa restaurant in California. “Having cabbage was perfect,” says Lee. “They hand-picked that item for me to do. I love the cruciferous family.” And his days on Iron Chef aren’t quite over — sort of. While the Chef’s Garden has been providing the show with products for years, says Jones, it’s never been the featured ingredient. But that is all about to change. Jones is currently growing a secret ingredient for an episode of Iron Chef to be filmed in July.

A Hopping House
The latest addition to the Warehouse District, the Barley House, has filled the void left by Spy Bar. After a recent visit, it seems the same address is all they share. It’s got the warmth of an Irish pub with the cool of a trendy nightspot with exposed brick, dark oak woodwork and a deck added to the side of the building. “We have an absolute great vibe going,” says manager Brian Day. Like its Akron counterpart, the Barley House features a variety of Irish-American pub offerings and is open for lunch and dinner.

To The Virtual Market
What locavore doesn’t love a good farmers market? But if you often find yourself too busy to swing by, local earth-to-table business Fresh Fork Market has an interactive solution. Fresh Fork traditionally connects local restaurants with area farmers, but the Cleveland company has expanded its customer base to include home consumers, according to COO Bob Gavlak. Think of it as a virtual farmers market. Users can sign up for a free A La Carte account and browse dozens of farm-fresh products — including meats, produce, cheeses and pastas — and then order whatever they’d like, free of service charges or fees. Buyers then pick up their orders at the Fresh Fork Market office in Tremont on Fridays. “The feedback has been great,” Gavlak says. “We have more than 200 people already signed up. And once people order, they’re consistently ordering every week or every other week.” To get started, visit myfreshfork.com.

Openings:
Barley House, 1261 W. Sixth St., Cleveland, (216) 623-1700
Darna Fine Moroccan Cuisine
, 13114 Shaker Square, Cleveland, (216) 862-2910
Jekyll’s Kitchen, 17 River St., Chagrin Falls, (440) 893-0797

Closings:
Bovalino’s Italian Ristorante, 27828 Center Ridge Road, Westlake

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