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Back in Touch

The hip Ohio City dance club is spinning platters in the kitchen too.

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Ohio City's Touch Supper Club (2710 Lorain Avenue, 216-631-5200) has a new owner and a new menu. Jeff Allison purchased the dinner-and-dancing spot last fall and is orchestrating a grand reopening celebration for early March. Allison, whose background is in restaurant, club, and hotel management, has hired former Mercury Lounge chef Brad Mitchell to head up the kitchen and says the plan is to serve food on par with some of the West Side's hippest restaurants, but at a lower price. Among the kitchen's offerings, strip steak, blackened tuna, penne pasta, and grilled pork medallions check in at $12 to $19. A house specialty of roast chicken breast with a stuffing of wilted spinach, sautéed mushrooms, and roasted garlic, drizzled with a balsamic-butter sauce and served with grilled vegetables and long-grain and wild rice, sounds like it will provide plenty of fuel for a night of dancing in the remodeled downstairs club. "We hope people take the food seriously," Allison says. "We certainly do." Touch is open Wednesday through Sunday; no cover charge with dinner reservations.

Green day . . .

Northeast Ohio's best-connected vegan, U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Nutritional Foods Association this summer in Las Vegas. The congressman, who embraced a vegan lifestyle more than seven years ago, was nominated for the award by Medeana Hobar, the organization's Midwest-region veep and owner of Westlake's Web of Life Natural Foods Market (25923 Detroit Road, 440-899-2882), where Kucinich is a regular shopper. Among his accomplishments, Kucinich has introduced bills to regulate genetically engineered foods and is co-sponsoring the Fisheries Recovery Act of 2001. As a vegan, the 56-year-old shuns all animal products, including eggs, milk, and cheese, and relies on grains, vegetables, and big bowls of miso soup for vim and vigor. He says the change of diet has not only improved his stamina and mental clarity, but has been a way for him to make a positive impact on the environment. "People are beginning to look at the world holistically and to see the importance of developing a sustainable ecology," he says. Yeah, yeah . . . but what we really want to know is how he feels about sharing the stage with legendary chef and conservationist Alice Waters, of Berkeley's Chez Panisse, who will be receiving the association's Rachel Carson Environmental Award. "She's going to be there, too?" Kucinich asks. "Cool."

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