A Hershey's Kiss sounds dull as dirt compared to what some locally owned restaurants will have in store for guests on Thursday, March 27, at the Great Lakes Science Center.
Nearly a dozen members of Cleveland Independents will be on hand to prove that Chocolate Dreams Do Come True — assuming your nighttime reveries revolve around tidbits like chocolate-covered bacon (Molinari's), chocolate sushi (SasaMatsu), or chocolate beer (Willoughby Brewing Company).
Other out-of-the-ordinary niblets at the tasting event will include cocoa-rubbed pulled pork (The Grovewood Tavern), grilled flank steak with bittersweet chocolate (Beach Club Bistro), and chocolate-goat-cheese truffles (The Grill at Bainbridge Commons).
The tasting runs from 7 to 9 p.m. and costs $50, including free parking and an opportunity to tour the GLSC installation, Chocolate: The Exhibition. Tickets must be ordered and paid for in advance by calling 216-621-2400.
Chef change: There's a new executive chef at Melange (2101 Richmond Road, 216-378-9755), the handsome restaurant inside Beachwood's La Place. Cleveland vet Adam Schmith recently took over the top toque from former chef Joe Bemer. Look for Schmith's new "contemporary, casual" menu to debut in early April.
A Cleveland native, Schmith has a résumé that includes stints at Moxie, the Ritz-Carlton, and One Walnut.
Brotherly lovin': Opening day is Friday, March 14, for the long-awaited Brothers Lounge (11609 Detroit Avenue, 216-226-2767), the beautifully restored bar in the West 117th Street 'hood. Pittsburgh native Dominique Willis is heading up the kitchen; a sneak peak at her contemporary-casual menu revealed such opening acts as Lake Erie perch tacos, buttermilk-battered popcorn shrimp, fried wings, and sliders. A Friday fish-fry platter will feature Lake Erie walleye. For dessert, we're already drooling over the promise of Grandma's Chocolate Cake, a six-layer edifice of gooey, fudgy yum.
Pub hours will run from 11 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. daily. Wine Room hours will be 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily. Food service extends to 10 p.m. on weekdays, 11 p.m. on weekends.