Farewell to OZ . . .
Chef Donna Chriszt is turning in her toque. Her Tremont bar and bistro, OZ (2391 West 11th Street, 216-861-3734), will serve its last meal this Saturday. The talented Chriszt, whose previous restaurants have included Jeso and J Café, blames bad timing for the restaurant's failure. "We opened three months before the  elections and the ensuing economic decline, and we opened undercapitalized, thinking we could find an investor. With the first problem happening, there were no investors in sight." The restaurant has been sold; Chriszt declined to name the buyer. The chef says she plans to take some time off before returning to the kitchen.
Ethnic eating . . .
Indefatigable diner Laura Taxel is out with an expanded and updated edition of her culinary guidebook Cleveland Ethnic Eats (Gray & Company; $13.95). The book, a compendium of ethnic restaurants and markets in Northeast Ohio, makes tabletop adventuring easy as pie. While we might quibble with Taxel's broad definition of "ethnic" restaurants (she includes Ohio City's Parker's in the French category and figures Johnny's Bar for Italian), the book is a great resource, full of fascinating tidbits, like the history of Greek immigration to Cleveland and the essential differences between Southern cooking and soul food. For those who hunger for even more info, Taxel will be leading a tasteful tour to a number of authentic ethnic eateries around town on Saturday, November 10, from 1 to 5 p.m. The $40 ticket includes transportation via Lolly the Trolley, a copy of Taxel's book, and plenty of samples along the way. Call 216-771-4484 for tickets or more information.