Fried chicken and all the fixin's is one of Southern food's finest traditions — "and it's really good," says Soho chef and owner Nolan Konkoski. "We think everyone should enjoy it once in a while — even vegans!"
That's why Soho Kitchen & Bar kicked off a new weekly event this week called "Chicken Scratch Wednesdays." The dinners will celebrate the ultimate Southern supper of fried chicken with all the fixin's. The chicken is all-natural Ohio-raised poultry, and the sides — mac & cheese, redeye cole slaw, jalapeño hush puppies, collards "with a kick," grilled corn on the cob, yam waffles with Ohio maple syrup, and mashers & bourbon gravy — are all made from scratch.
Diners pay per piece — a breast for $4.50, thigh for $3.50, leg for $2.50, or a whole wing for $1.50 — in spicy or regular versions. Sides are all $3.50 a pop.
Soho Kitchen is at 1889 West 25th St. Learn more by calling 216-298-9090 or visit them at sohocleveland.com.
New Rosewood in Strongsville: The original Rosewood Grill opened in Hudson in 2009, and the success of that popular restaurant prompted parent company Hospitality Restaurants (HR) to double down. Opening last week in the Plaza at South Park shopping center in Strongsville, the second Rosewood Grill is at once familiar and unique.
Fans of the Hudson locale will find a nearly identical menu of bold American fare, crafted by executive corporate chef Shawn Cline and implemented by executive chef Scott Bambic.
Also familiar is the attractive barroom, featuring an open kitchen, broad communal tables, and granite-topped bars.
"The energy created in the kitchen transcends the entire space, giving it a theater-like atmosphere," says HR president George Schindler. "It's a sensory experience, watching the kitchen in action."
Changes include the restaurant's size and layout.
"It's about 30 percent larger," explains Chris Oppewall, HR's director of operations. "And with such an incredible call from people who enjoy the patio in Hudson, we really expanded the outdoor seating."
Following a grueling training period, Rosewood Strongsville opened on August 6.
"We did a little more practice than usual because we wanted it to be a little more polished, thinking that, with a second version of the same thing ,there will be higher expectations," adds Oppewall.
It's dinner-service only for now, with lunch service starting in two months or less.
The new location is at 16740 Royalton Rd., in Strongsville. Learn more at 440-783-5500 or rosewoodgrill.com.
Here piggy piggy: With word from the State of Ohio coming in last Friday, August 10, Mike Nowak made the short drive to Columbus to retrieve his all-important liquor license. That paved the way for the public unveiling of the chef's eagerly anticipated Ohio City eatery, Black Pig, set for Wednesday, August 15.
Following a few "friends and family" dinners, chef Nowak said he and his crew were ready to go.
"They didn't take it easy on us," Nowak says of the restaurant's early guinea pigs. "But we made a few tweaks, and the next night was awesome. Everything went really smooth."
Set in the space that previously housed Dragonfly (1865 West 25th St.), Black Pig is described as a French-inspired American bistro specializing in dishes built around locally raised heritage-breed pork.
Dishes include a seared sweetbread starter with pasta and smoked trotters; a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich with pork pâté, chicken pâté, pork belly, and slaw; butter-poached pork loin with Ohio City Farm veggies; and roasted duck breast with confit crêpinette and hominy.
"The growth we've seen in this neighborhood over the past five years has been insane," says Nowak. "This is one of, if not the major, dining and nightlife destinations in town."
Coming next: Sam McNulty's Nano Brew, which is immediately next door in the former Garage Bar space.