Shawn Monday's culinary ambitions are heating up. In the 18 months since he left his post at Hudson's Downtown 140, the chef has opened the village bistro One Red Door and his next-door gourmet-burger joint Flip Side.
Next month, along with his wife and partner Tiffany Monday, the chef will open his second Flip Side, this one northeast of Columbus at Easton Town Center. Almost twice the size of the original, the new Flip Side will serve Monday's brand of Ohio grass-fed beef burgers as well as an expanded menu of sandwiches and pastas.
Next up for the team: authentic Neapolitan-style pizza. Opening in February in the former home of San Francisco Oven, the as-yet-unnamed eatery will be just across the square from One Red Door and Flip Side in Hudson's First & Main development. Monday says the restaurant will be the first in Ohio to be certified by Verace Pizza Napoletana, an Italian organization that puts its stamp of approval on a very limited number of operations.
"We wanted everything to be authentic," says Monday, "so we thought, 'Why not get our pizza oven made in Naples?'" That Italian-built oven presently is making its way to Ohio. Monday is also sending an employee to California to become a "Master Pizzaioli."
To be VPN certified, a restaurant must use specific ingredients, including ultra-fine Italian flour. The pies must be baked in a wood-fired oven that reaches 900 degrees and finishes the job in just 90 seconds.
The new restaurant will also serve as bakeshop for One Red Door pastry chef Kim Horner. A retail arm will offer fresh-baked breads, Italian-style pastries, and gelato, says Monday.
Plans already are in the works for three more Flip Sides: two in Cleveland and one in Columbus.
Monday's Hudson installation is at 49 Village Way. Call 330-655-3547 or visit flipsidehudson.com for info.
Pho Queue: For years, Tom On, owner of Nails & Co. at Woodmere's Village Square Shopping Center, has been trying to convince a restaurateur to open a pho place on the East Side.
"There was a big need for this cuisine. A lot of East Siders work downtown and go to all the pho places. But they don't want to go downtown for dinner at 5:30," On says. After being turned down by pretty much every operator in town, On and his wife Ai decided to do it themselves. Bowl of Pho opened last month and, as On predicted, customers have been lining up.
In addition to the house-made pho, the menu features typical fare like spring and summer rolls, papaya salad, crêpes, banh mi, and noodles and rice dishes. The casual eatery is open every day but Tuesday. Find them at 27339 Chagrin Blvd.; call 216-831-1730 or visit bowlofpho2011.com for info.