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Behold the Mustard

The latest news about food and dining around town.


The staff at the Mustard Seed Market and Café's new Solon location (6025 Kruse Drive, 440-519-3663) should be laying out the welcome mats any minute: The upscale grocery and restaurant, specializing in organic produce, free-range meats, and preservative-free seafood, plans a "soft" opening for October 11 and a grand-opening celebration for October 21. Executive Chef Mark Shary, formerly of KeKA, will oversee the café menu; former B.F. Goodrich Executive Chef Rich Taylor is in charge of deli, carryout, and catering duties. Lunch and dinner will be served daily. GM Chuck McAdams says the Solon café menu will continue to emphasize fresh, natural, and health-oriented foods -- with macrobiotic meals and plenty of vegetarian selections -- while featuring more steaks and fresh fish than the Fairlawn location.

Big Fish to Fry . . . A new Chuck Muer restaurant recently washed ashore in Westlake. Big Fish Seafood Bistro (24940 Sperry Road, 440-892-5151) hopes to combine a youthful, hip attitude with the impeccable seafood offerings that have made Charley's Crab — another Muer spot — a local favorite. Trendy touches include orange-and-blue velvet booths and a soundtrack of acid jazz and rock and roll. Besides a full complement of fish dishes, the menu includes steaks, pasta, poultry, and sandwiches for landlubbers; a full bar and raw bar are also on board. The 265-seat bistro is open for lunch and dinner daily. Don't bother saving a seat for Muer: According to corporate legend, the restaurateur and his family were lost at sea some years ago, near the Bermuda Triangle. Neither their ship nor their bodies were ever recovered. Sounds fishy to us.

Taster's Choice . . . The Cleveland affiliate of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League is giving you a chance to put your money where your mouth is October 7, with a "Chocolate for Choice" fund-raiser and twentieth-anniversary celebration at the Diamondback Brewery (724 Prospect Avenue). For the price of your $25 ticket, you can sample more than a dozen chocolate creations from some of the city's top restaurants, bakeries, and cafés. Organizers are already swooning over the promised chocolate-peanut-butter tortes from Arabica, brownies from Ooh là là, Heck's Café's signature chocolate tortes, and chocolate-chestnut tortes from Lucy's Sweet Surrender, among other yummies. You and your sweet tooth can have at it from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Pick up your tickets at the door.

Buns on the Run . . . Cleveland caterers Laurie Johnson and Mark Ulrich (Cleveland Celebrations Catering) have finally found a home large enough to embrace all their epicurean dreams. Urban Feast (2206 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-397-1115) offers call-ahead gourmet lunches and dinners for carryout or delivery, wines, a host of upscale food products, cookbooks, and food-related gift items, as well as cooking lessons for both kids and adults. Grand-opening festivities (with lots of samples) are planned for October 7, 8, and 9.

Pardon Our Dust . . . "Jeso will be closed for vacation this week. Thank you for your patronage," reads the sign in the window at 10427 Clifton Boulevard. Only thing is, the notice went up nearly two months ago. Perhaps time is measured differently, wherever owner Richard Marthaller's search for a new chef has taken him.

Tips are encouraged. Contact Elaine T. Cicora at ecicora@clevescene.com.

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