If there is one thing Mike Ina wants Clevelanders to know, it's this: Sushi on the Square (13120 Shaker Square, 216-921-7744) serves more than just sushi. "We must get 20 calls a day from people wondering if we have anything else," says the restaurant's bemused manager. "And the answer is Yes, we do!" While the gently curving sushi bar is clearly Sushi on the Square's focal point, the handsome dining room serves a wide variety of contemporary Asian-accented items, like grilled Norwegian salmon with shiitake mushroom sauce and roasted Long Island duck paired with orange-mango salsa. Specials range from sautéed red snapper to a 16-ounce T-bone, and veal, lamb, and pork tenderloin are also available.
Sushi on the Square, which opened in August, is the newest project for restaurateur Hiroshi Tsuji, who helped introduce sushi to the Cleveland market at his former Lee Road restaurant, Shujiro; he also continues to operate the popular Shuhei on Chagrin Boulevard. Ina worked with Tsuji at Shujiro before launching his own Lee Road outpost, the Yorkville Café. That place closed last summer and will soon reopen as Lopez, a Mexican restaurant operated by Moxie owners Brad Friedlander and Craig Sumers. Talk about your six degrees of separation. Still no word on whether any of these guys know Kevin Bacon.
Changing Seasons . . .
Octavia the pink octopus may be gone, but there's other excitement going on at One Bratenahl Place. Chef Rick Gonzalez and manager Danko Zovkic opened their new restaurant, Seasons, in the former Lure space this week, and the partners' combined résumé reads like a Rand McNally. Gonzalez, former executive chef at the Denver Ritz-Carlton, has a true international background: His mom is Cuban, his dad is Spanish, and he went to culinary school in Switzerland before working his way through some of the top restaurants in N.Y.C., L.A., and Palm Beach. And Zovkic -- who was born and raised in Germany -- has extensive experience in hotel and restaurant management. Gonzalez calls his menu "global cuisine with a Latin twist" and offers entrées like slow-roasted Cuban-style pork with yucca root ($21) and basil-and-pine-nut-crusted lamb shank with cannellini beans and smoky Savoy cabbage ($22). Representative starters include mahi-mahi seviche with plantain chips and Key lime ($7.50), and forest mushroom risotto with English pea emulsion ($9). Seasons is open for lunch on weekdays; dinner is served Monday through Saturday. Reservations are recommended; call 216-541-3900.