Strapping young chef Bridget McGinty is dishing it out these days at Tastebuds, her new café and deli in Cleveland's Chinatown. The pleasant 30-seat bistro, all done up in bold shades of chartreuse, plum, crimson, and gold, offers a small but still-expanding menu of homemade soups, gourmet salads, and hot and cold sandwiches in the $3 to $7 range. McGinty, a former server in some of Cleveland's tonier restaurants and a 1999 graduate of the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, plans to add a daily hot entrée to the menu in the near future -- perhaps something like sautéed chicken breast with melted pepperjack cheese, Mexicali corn, black beans, and rice, for around $7. While the athletic McGinty's own dietary preferences lean toward healthy choices, she's already finding that not all Clevelanders share her taste for fruits and vegetables. "I've got all these wonderful salads and low-fat sandwiches," she muses, "and what's my top seller so far?" Why, the bratwurst with sauerkraut, of course! You can find Tastebuds at 3030 Superior Avenue, inside the Golden Plaza; 216-344-1770. Dine in, carry out, or fax your order to 216-344-1990. Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
A feast at your doorstep
You don't have to leave Cleveland to sample some of the nation's finest cuisine. Just mark your calendar for the evening of Monday, June 11, when the staff at Moxie (3355 Richmond Road, Beachwood) will present the third annual Friends of Beard event, a seven-course dinner in support of the James Beard Foundation's Moxie Scholarship fund. Top chefs from around the country will gather here that weekend, including Suzanne Goin from Lucques in West Hollywood, preparing yellowtail seviche with beluga lentils, Mexican lime, crème frâiche, and caviar; Jean-Robert de Cavel from Cincinnati's Maisonette, making licorice-and-cumin-marinated rack of lamb with classic ratatouille fondue and Indiana goat-cheese and lamb croquette; and Lincoln Carson from Olives in N.Y.C., preparing oven-roasted pineapple with coconut cake and coconut-lime sorbet. And, besides hosting the out-of-towners to an Indians game and introducing them to some of our own culinary talent, Moxie's executive chef, Jonathan Bennett, will begin the dinner with English pea soup with blue-crab-stuffed morels. Approximately 150 guests are expected; you can still be one of them by ordering tickets ($140 for foundation members/$165 for nonmembers) at 216-831-5599. But don't bother knocking on Moxie's door for a regular lunch or dinner on the 11th; the restaurant will be closed to the public all day, while the chefs prepare for the evening's festivities.
Take Joe home
Robust soups, hearty stews, and zesty chilis are always in season at chef Joe Haladey's Old Brooklyn Soup Company (4770 Broadview Road, 216-335-9394). But with the return of warmer weather, customers' thoughts have turned to Haladey's cool salads and flavorful homemade dressings. In fact, his sauces and dressings have proven so popular, Haladey recently decided to take a plunge into retail. Look for Old Brooklyn Joe's Peach Grilling Sauce and Old Brooklyn Joe's Caribbean Lime Vinaigrette to arrive on the shelves of Solon's Mustard Seed Market any minute now. Too busy to toss your own greens? Don't despair. Soup's on at Haladey's little eatery from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.