Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Max's Deli Plans Holiday Season Rebirth

IN THE NEWS: The Plain Dealer's Bill Lubinger reports the scheduled Aug. 4 closing of highly regarded Little Italy eatery Battuto Ristorante. Giovanna and Mark Daverio, partners in the 7-year-old restaurant listed among America's top restaurants in a 2006 Zagat survey, said that business had been off for about a year. ... Lubinger also reports the closings of Cleveland Heights fixture The Pub on Lee, and May Wah in Euclid and also reports, "Max's Deli will resurface near the place it called home for a quarter-century. Owner Michele Kotach said Max's, which closed June 30 when she chose not to renew the lease after 25 years in Rocky River, will emerge at Westgate in Fairview Park. She's hoping for an early November opening but definitely in time for the year-end holidays. Expect roughly the same number of seats and the same menu, especially the desserts for which Max's was known. But unlike the original, this version will feature plenty of parking and an outdoor patio with garage-style windows that pop open when weather permits. Kotach also intends to ramp up the catering business. ... The much-anticipated Paladar, with dishes from Central and South America, Cuba and the Latin Caribbean - plus a rum bar - opens Aug. 2 at Eton Chagrin Boulevard in Woodmere. ... Solon's former Valerio's will reopen as Pasha Mediterranean Grill in mid-August. ... Jeff Coyle and his partners in Cereal Central opened a cereal restaurant near the Ohio State University campus in Columbus last year with ambitious plans for about 100 nationally within five years. But the ride's been a tad bumpy. First, they had to change the name from Cerealitious when the concept's originator, Cereality Bar & Cafe, threatened to sue. Next, expansion has been slower than expected. But a second location may finally open at a spot near Detroit Avenue and Warren Road, hopefully in September. ... Carolyn Fitzgerald bought out her business partner in Cafe Limbo in Cleveland and has expanded the all-vegetarian menu to offer a choice of meat and fish dishes ... Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries, a chain with a cult following along the East Coast, is set to open a second Northeast Ohio location as part of a major rollout. Five Guys debuted in Avon a few months ago. Next up is a spot outside the Westfield SouthPark mall in Strongsville, that will open Monday, Aug. 6. ... And the local Fat Burger folks opened a third location, this one in North Olmsted. A fourth, at Harvard Park in Warrensville Heights, arrives mid-September. ... Lubinger interviews Doug Katz, chef-owner of the popular Fire Food & Drink on Shaker Square in Cleveland, who offers his five favorites places for cheap eats: Mint Cafe (1791 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, www.mintcafe.org); Stone Oven (2267 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, www.stone-oven.com); Nate's Deli and Restaurant (1923 West 25th St., Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood); Lucky's Cafe (777 Starkweather Ave., Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood); Tommy's (1824 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, www.tommyscoventry.com). ... David Farkus reviews Shooters on the Water. cleveland.com ...

The Scene's Elaine Cicora reviews Cyrus Waterfront Restaurant (2000 Sycamore Street, in the Powerhouse, Flats West Bank, www.cyruswaterfront.com). ... Cicora also reports, "So chef-restaurateur Michael Symon (Lola, Lolita) hasn't been using his downtime to unwind since he resigned from N.Y.C.'s Parea late last month. Instead, he and his partners (wife Liz Symon and colleague Doug Petkovic) are busy plotting their next moves. "I'm sure we'll do another New York project in the next year or two," Liz Symon says. "We know the city, we know the vendors, and we have a lot of friends there. I can't see us not going back." Petkovic is more circumspect, admitting the partners have been cultivating a new concept, but insisting it's still little more than a seedling. "It's something that may show up somewhere sometime," is about all we could coax out of him. Also coming up is next spring's project, Hush, and its upstairs annex, Hush Up, just two doors down from Lola, on East Fourth Street. Food won't be served, but expect a full lineup of cocktails and wines. And, of course, there's Symon's Food Network gig, The Next Iron Chef, which he has been taping in New York since the beginning of the month." clevescene.com ... Free Times' Douglas Trattner reviews Grill at Bainbridge Commons (17800 Chillicothe Rd., Bainbridge Township). freetimes.com ... EatingCleveland.com visits Luisa’s Mexican Grill (41 N. Broadway, Geneva).

Compiled by Pat Embry, WhereTheLocalsEat.com

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