Members of the Ohio City Near West Development Corporation are once again gearing up to present an Evening in Ohio City, the popular annual event that combines great food and drink with the chance to peek inside some of the neighborhood's most interesting houses. This year's movable feast will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, and turns the spotlight on six Ohio City homes. At each stop, visitors will have a chance to tour the house, as well as graze upon a selection of heavy hors d'oeuvres and wines provided by some of the area's most notable restaurants and caterers. This year's stars include Bruno's Ristorante, Erie Bleu, Flying Fig, Fulton Bar & Grill, and OPA! An Epicurean Project. In addition, West Side Market vendors Ohio City Pasta, Judy's Oasis (Middle Eastern gourmet foods), Reilly's (Gaelic delicacies), and Orale (Mexican delights) will band together at one of the stops to offer a veritable world tour of tasty treats.
The affair will wind up at the tasting room of Great Lakes Brewery, where not-yet-tapped-out guests can finish off the evening with scrumptious desserts, coffee, and a sampling of the brewery's award-winning beers. And take note, you carefree imbibers: Transportation between the stops will be safely provided by Lolly the Trolley. Tickets for this eighth annual spring fling are $100 per person and must be ordered in advance.
Want more? The merriment continues the next day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the Ohio City Home Tour. Here, a separate $12 ticket will gain you entrance to a lavish urban garden, as well as to nine unusual buildings ranging from a renovated 1870s brick Italianate to a modern townhouse with a breathtaking view of the lake. And finally, visitors can combine both events into a Getaway Weekend Package -- including Saturday night lodging, Sunday brunch, and a gift basket from area merchants -- for $375 per couple. Call 216-781-3222 for information and tickets to all events.
A pizza with pizzazz
It's worth a drive into Avon to sample Theresa Bryant's award-winning Barbecue Chicken Pizza, a mouthwatering combo of breaded chicken bits, bacon, mozzarella, provolone, pineapple, and zesty homemade BBQ sauce, all piled onto a sturdy crust. Bryant, owner of Angelo's Pizza II and the attached Hound Dog Café (37190 Colorado Avenue; 440-934-4128), won third place and $200 for the original-recipe gourmet pizza at the Mid-America's Pizza Pizzazz contest this past February in Columbus, topping 42 other contestants from six Midwestern states. It's no surprise: With its scrumptious balance of the sweet and the savory, not to mention its satisfying crunch, the pizza ($7.25 for a small one, $9.50 for a large) is nearly irresistible. Angelo's is open daily for lunch or dinner; carry out or dine in the little caf´, surrounded by vintage 1950s cultural kitsch, including plenty of Elvis and Marilyn memorabilia.
Winsor's goes west
Downtown Winsor's restaurant (1260 Euclid Avenue, in the Wyndham Hotel) has a new executive chef in Texan Mike Trundy. Trundy joined the Wyndham earlier this month and eventually hopes to herd the menu toward some creative Southwestern "ranch-style" fare, complete with smoked and wood-grilled specialties. Before saddling up for Northeast Ohio, the 43-year-old graduate of the New England Culinary Institute worked at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta and the Hilton in San Antonio; his wife and two children soon will be joining him here in the heartland.