For Dante in Valley View, a visit by a Clinton trumps all

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Dante Boccuzzi can call Bill Clinton a customer.
For months, Michelle Stein had been dying to check out Dante, an upscale restaurant in Valley View owned by former Nobu executive chef Dante Boccuzzi. She figured it would be an excellent place to celebrate her 26th birthday. (Read Scene's review of Dante here). So in December, she made a reservation for two on Tuesday night, January 29. Then she spent weeks scanning the menu online. But two days before the dinner, she got a call. ... It was a restaurant staffer, saying they’d have to cancel her reservation. Bill Clinton’s people had just called. They wanted to book the entire restaurant for that night. Boccuzzi was very sorry, but this was Bill Clinton, after all. Stein was pissed. Wasn’t Clinton last in office, like, 18 million years ago? Couldn’t he share the space? And what kinda restaurant blows off its Cleveland customers for some visiting politician they'll never see again? “I made the reservation weeks ago,” Stein complained. And she wasn’t OK with eating at 8:30, either — which was her other option. “Maybe on a Saturday, but this was a Tuesday. I had to go to work the next morning.” So Stein and her fiancée ended up at Giovanni’s in Beachwood. The food was “excellent,” but Stein still fumed. “What was he even doing in Ohio?” she asks. “We’re like the only state NOT voting during Super Tuesday.” “Maybe Hilary wanted him out of her hair,” she mused. -- Rebecca Meiser

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