There are new hands on the throttle at Steamers Café (8074 Columbia Road, Olmsted Falls; 440-235-6030), the cozy little eatery in picturesque Grand Pacific Junction. Hospitality industry veterans Jim and Rita Nicklas took over the restaurant in November and have been hard at work since then, cleaning and remodeling the 10-year-old dining room's interior. Now, comfortable booths are mixed in among the tables, cream and pink linens set off dainty floral-rimmed cups and saucers, lace curtains frame the windows, and a new hostess stand provides a chance for the owners to give their guests a warm welcome. The couple, who most recently did front-of-the-house duties at Barnacle Bill's Crab House in Lakewood, have also put their personal stamp on chef Kevin Delargy's menu of American favorites, helping to simmer up kettles of seven-bean and vegetable-barley soups, and to bake warm bread puddings. Boneless, skinless Chicken Florentine ($6.95 lunch/ $10.95 dinner) is a house favorite, with a plump grilled breast topped by a creamy spinach and Swiss cheese sauce, served with some really good garlic-mashed redskinned potatoes; most entrées also come with a choice of soup, salad, or cole slaw. Other lunch options include half-pound burgers ($5.95); chicken Caesar salad ($7.95); and a fish-and-chips basket with beer-battered scrod and french fries ($6.95). The evening menu goes a bit more upscale, with grilled swordfish ($13.95) and a tasty sounding 10-ounce prime rib with a choice of lobster tail or crab legs ($23.95) as examples. Steamers also offers early-bird specials Monday through Friday, 4 to 6 p.m., and a Sunday brunch buffet from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A private upstairs room can accommodate 50.
What's in a name?
Don't go to Coventry looking for Maxx & Angelo's Grille; it's not there. Instead, the new Hyde Park Restaurant Systems outpost at 1825 Coventry Road has been renamed Sal & Angelo's, "to avoid any confusion in the marketplace." The Hyde Park folks sent out a press release earlier this month announcing the name change; seems the original trademarked moniker shared "certain similarities" to another business operating in several states outside Ohio. But whatever you call it, it sounds like the casual Italian steakhouse serves some fine fare, including smoked mozzarella ravioli, Gorgonzola tenderloin, and short ribs, osso bucco style. The 5,000-square-foot dining room also features an open kitchen and a wood grill for specialty pizza and seafood, à la its brothers, Blake's Grille in Chagrin Falls and the Metropolitan Café in the Warehouse District. Sal & Angelo's is open Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m., and Sunday 4 to 9 p.m.
The fun never stops...
Chef/owner Michael Herschman always cooks up good times at Mojo (2221 Professor Street, 216-592-6656), his hip Tremont hangout. Ongoing highlights include Thursday night 4 X 4 dinners (4 courses, 4 wines, 40 bucks), nightly prix fixe chef's tastings (3 courses for around $30), and live jazz every Tuesday and Wednesday evening. The place can get pretty busy, so reservations are a good idea. And if you want to make a little Mojo magic in the privacy of your own kitchen, check out the February issue of Bon Appétit. The magazine's popular R.S.V.P. column answers a request from a North Olmsted fan for the recipe for Herschman's Warm Arugula Salad.