Original plans called for Crop Bistro (1400 W. Sixth St., 216-696-2767, cropbistro.com) to shut its oven doors at the stroke of midnight on December 31. Of course, the closure was planned only as a temporary one as chef-owner Steve Schimoler focused his attentions on the new Ohio City space.
Well, there has been a slight change of plans, says Schimoler, but it is all for the best.
City inspectors had wanted an entirely new sprinkler system installed in the new restaurant, a stunner set inside the lobby of the United Bank Building (W. 25th and Lorain). Not only would the system mar the beauty of the grand space, it would come with a $100,000 price tag. A "historic preservation" plea saved the day but cost the Crop crew a few month's time.
"I'll take a 60-day delay over 100K any day of the week," says Schimoler.
Thus, Crop will remain open at its original Warehouse District spot through winter, with the new restaurant expected to open in March or April.
Those who did make it to Crop on New Year's Eve were treated to Schimoler's customary "F-You" dinner, a reference to the fact that the chef doesn't announce the menu beforehand. "This is not for diners who want well-done filet and mashed potatoes," he jokes. What diners at the sold-out bash did get was free-form lobster ravioli with lobster cream, lobster syrup and a fat dollop of caviar; braised short rib over smoked mushroom barley risotto, and duck confit-stuffed quail with fresh currants, to name but a few. — Douglas Trattner