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Issue Date: August 2007 Issue


News Bites

Matt and Dan Swingos, the brothers who co-own the venerable Swingos on the Lake in Lakewood and the year-old Swingos Grand Tavern in Avon Lake, have unveiled their own wine label. The custom-blended Oregon Pinot Noir and an Ohio-grown Riesling are each available to patrons at either restaurant, with future possibilities for other retail outlets.

Saucy Bistro in Westlake is returning to its culinary roots. Owner Matt Barnes, who served as executive chef at the restaurant’s former Rocky River incarnation, is returning to the kitchen permanently, taking over from chef Jill Vedaa. “A lot of customers have been requesting that I be back in the kitchen, cooking my food again,” Barnes says. “I was starting to miss [cooking].” Barnes looks forward to more frequent menu changes, incorporating seasonally available food. The bar menu is also being revamped, and a Monday night special is now available — buy one entrée, get a second one free up to $20. Use the Monday BOGO to try Barnes’ new walleye with pancetta, sweet corn, English peas and béarnaise. 24481 Detroit Road, (440) 835-3559

Local freelance writer, culinary instructor and frequent Feast! Magazine contributor Marilou Suszko has released her first book, “From Garden Gate to Dinner Plate,” published by Hippocrene Books. The book, a blend of easy recipes and engaging farmer profiles, is a combination of the best Ohio’s fields have to offer. Watch for upcoming book signing events, including Aug. 11 at the Peninsula Farmers’ Market.

A Tremont/Ohio City-style nightspot has opened in the former Niko’s space in Lakewood. Bar2 houses two separate bars with individual atmospheres — one half a more mellow wine and martini bar, the other with more of a nightclub feel. Owner Gerald “JR” Dugas has brought chef John Cafarelli on board, and Cafarelli says he is serving food with an eclectic global feel, grounded in classical technique. “We’re trying to offer something different. Every other place [in the neighborhood] is an Irish sports bar with chicken wings and pretzels. We’re serving stuffed quail, seared duck breast, halibut cheeks, rabbit strudel,” he says. But fans missing Niko’s gyros can rest easy — Niko left Cafarelli the recipe, and personally showed him how to cook it. 15625 Detroit Ave., (216) 226-7050
 
The former location of Le Oui Oui Café in Ohio City is staying French, but receiving une makeover. Joy and Tom Harlor, who until recently ran Take a Bite catering service in Tremont, purchased the building in April and have spent the last few months revamping the décor, renaming the spot Le Petite Triangle Café. They say it’s lighter, brighter and more modern — with more seating and a planned bar. While crepes are still de rigueur, the menu has been expanded to include sandwiches, salads, desserts and more, such as a croque monsieur featuring ham, Gruyère and béchamel on challah. The spot opens at 7 a.m. daily. 1881 Fulton Road, (216) 281-1881

Openings:
Teahouse Noodles, 2218 Murray Hill Road, Little Italy, Cleveland, (216) 229-8599
Otani, 180 W. Streetsboro St., Hudson, (330) 656-0012

Closings:
Jasper’s Pub, 566 White Pond Drive, Akron 
The Pub on Lee, 2198 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights
The Falls Grille, 504 E. Washington St., Chagrin Falls


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