Dining » Dining Lead

Side Dish

Millenial Mango



There's no shortage of restaurants hoping to feed you the millennium's last supper, but assuming the world does keep turning, where are you going to go for breakfast the following morning? One option? Johnny Mango, Ohio City's world café and juice bar (3120 Bridge Avenue, 216-575-1919). While the staff doesn't promise to walk softly and speak only in whispers (we know all about those party plans of yours), they do promise some good eating, with a brunch menu of fresh whole-wheat waffles, Vietnamese rice crepes, breakfast quesadillas, assorted omelets, and even scrambled tofu, served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Juice bar options like the Fruity Wabbit (apple and carrot juice), and the Sundrop (carrot and orange juice) may help reestablish the proper electrolyte balance in your otherwise abused system; just turn the page on the tequila menu if you're serious about that resolution . . .

The Captain's back . . . After spending much of the past year trying to turn the Shaker Square Captain Tony's Pizza and Pasta Emporium (13208 Shaker Square, 216-561-8669) into an upscale Italian restaurant, owner Michael Friedman has thrown in the towel. Bocelli's, Friedman's foray into fine dining, is no more, and the eatery's focus is once again on Captain Tony's popular gourmet pizzas. "Frankly," Friedman said, "the public didn't take well to the Bocelli's concept. We've been doing gourmet pizzas for the past 11 years, and that's what people wanted." Friedman said Bocelli's former dining room, located in space adjacent to Captain Tony's carryout, will serve the captain's menu of pizza, pastas, calzones, and salads until March, when it will close. The menu will be available for carryout only after that time, although Friedman promises that the popular patio, overlooking the Square, will reopen for alfresco feasting in May.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town . . . Bocelli's former head chef and general manager Tony Esquivel has just opened the doors of his own spot in Lakewood. Curcio's (18405 Detroit Avenue, 440-521-1213), site of the former Amici's, opened December 14 with a dinner menu of moderately priced Italian dinner standards; lunch hours will be added soon. Esquivel's partner-in-pasta is his brother, Chris, who previously cooked at Corleone's Italian Restaurant in North Royalton.

Bait for the night owls . . . It wasn't so long ago that Cleveland restaurateurs were all in bed by 10 p.m. Now, there are plenty of spots to grab a late-night bite after a party or a show, and you can add Tremont's Lava Lounge (1307 Auburn Avenue, 216-589-9112) to the list. Chef-owners Ricardo Sandoval and Jack Arfang open the doors to their little hideaway every day at 6 p.m. and don't close them until the wee morning hours (2:30 a.m. on weeknights; 3:30 a.m. on weekends) or until every last hungry soul has been fed. Early evening menu choices include "little plates" of Smoked Trout with Cr&eagrave;me Fraiche, Capers, and Roasted Peppers ($8) and Seared Fois Gras with Poached Pear, Crushed Macadamia Nuts, and Grey Hill blue cheese ($10); after midnight, the kitchen beats up an assortment of gourmet frittatas and omelets. Sandoval, along with Franco Boffice and Tim Verhiley, also owns and operates Fat Cats in Tremont. D'Agnese in Seven Hills and Hudson's Red Tomato are part of the group, too.

Tips are encouraged. Contact Elaine T. Cicora at ecicora@clevescene.com.

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