They're not just for breakfast anymore . . . Those trendsetters at One Walnut (Walnut Avenue and East Ninth Street, in the Ohio Savings Plaza) have given Clevelanders yet another reason to raise a glass this season, with their own adaptation of the sweetly seductive Espresso Martini. A blend of Stoli Vanilla, Kahlua, espresso, and a float of Bailey's Irish Cream, the after-dinner drink is served "up," in a traditional martini glass. Chef-owner Marlin Kaplan says the $9 libation is taking downtown by storm. Just remind the barkeep to hold the olives . . .
Soup's on . . . Just in time for "chili" weather, the Fulton Bar and Grill (1835 Fulton Road, 216-694-2122) has a new sous chef with a penchant for cooking up kettles of hearty soups. In fact, Diane Brodnick has taken over all soup-making chores from Fulton chef Steve Parris and has bragging rights on vegetarian chili, made with black beans, root veggies, celery, jicama, onions, roasted tomatoes, and lots of savory spices. Brodnick, 34, joined the staff at the Fulton this November, after stints at the Harp, Snickers, and the now-defunct Bohemia Club Café. She comes by her restaurant talents honestly: Her parents own Barnacle Bill's Crab House in Lakewood, and Brodnick has been schooled in all aspects of restaurant operation since she was 11.
A Diner's Wish List . . .
You'll be flying over Cleveland soon,
so I'd like to ask some favors
For small gifts to keep our diners full
of things that they can savor.
Please bring us trendy foodstuffs,
but nothing too bizarre.
Let's rule out eats with eyestalks,
and all things hit by cars.
May our fish be gently cooked,
our vegetables well-seasoned,
And keep hot chiles out
of mashed potatoes, within reason.
Plate our foods with style and flair,
but spare us from conjecture:
Is this something we should eat,
or is it architecture?
Make servers prompt, responsible, mild-tempered, and fulfilled,
So they do not overlook us
when we're ready for our bill.
And if you can, dear Santa,
make each restaurant here a winner,
So we never need the Pepcid
after going out to dinner!
Tips are encouraged. Contact Elaine T. Cicora at firstname.lastname@example.org.