Frank & Pauly's, which for a dozen years operated in the BP Building on Public Square, closed its doors about six years ago. But the restaurant, launched by Wayne Koury in 1993 and beloved for its family-style portions of Italian-American specialties, has gotten a new lease on life: Frank & Pauly's fans can dig in once again at the historic Sawyer House in Mentor.
"My brother passed away, and I had all the recipes, procedure manual, dishes ...," explains Wayne's brother, Dennis Koury. "And then I found this beautiful place."
Not only did Dennis have all the original recipes; he had the original chef. Ken Hawk, who pitched the pasta throughout Frank & Pauly's downtown run, is back in the kitchen making house favorites like linguini with clam sauce, veal scaloppini, shrimp oreganata, and the ever-popular salad: a toss of mixed greens, crisp prosciutto, red onions, and crumbled gorgonzola in homemade Italian dressing.
"People used to come in two or three times a week just for that salad," Koury says.
Diners fond of the family-style portions — which serve parties of four — can still order them. This time around, though, you can order individual dishes as well. Most single-serving entrées are priced at $20 or less.
At 12,000 square feet, the Sawyer House can accommodate 280 guests at a pop. Though it's been open just a handful of days, the restaurant has been slammed, and more than a dozen private parties have already been booked, says Koury.
"People are thrilled we came out to Lake County. Others just missed the beauty of the Sawyer House. But most have been to Frank & Pauly's and are returning for all the special items that made us famous downtown."
For now, Frank & Pauly's is open for dinner only. But lunch service begins March 1.
Find them at 9470 Mentor Ave. For more information, call 440-392-9500 or visit frankandpaulys.com.
MUCHO NACHOS: Visitors to Quicken Loans Arena now have another home-grown grub option. Chef Rocco Whalen joins Michael Symon at the Q with his just-launched Rocco's Nachos & Tacos, which can be found at Section 110.
Rocco's nachos are no ordinary cheese-topped tortilla pile. Rather, the dish consists of crisp and fluffy spiral-sliced spuds showered with goat cheese fondue, bacon, and fresh herbs. Other varieties feature just sea salt and malt vinegar aioli.
In the taco department, Whalen stuffs warm tortillas with beef brisket, braised pork, garlic-buttered shrimp, or spiced chicken.
"I am very excited to bring my passion for Cleveland, its sports franchises, and its food to fans at the Q," says Chef Rocco.
"Enjoy the tacos!"