Tag Archives: dinner in the dark

Get Inspired by Locavore + Cleveland's Other Fall Feasts

Image source lifeinthecle.wordpress.com

I love seeing Clevelanders – especially young Clevelanders – finding inspiration and getting involved in a cause that matters to them.  Whether it’s the arts, the homeless and hungry, the preservation of a historic landmark or building awareness for a disease — if you see an organization or an issue that needs your support, get out there!

Recently, I’ve found inspiration from Charlene at Life in the CLE who is helping to organize the National MS Society’s Locavore fundraiser this September.

When she was 18, her best friend Adam Reidy – who was poised to qualify for the 2002 Winter Olympics – was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Although he missed his opportunity to compete, he’s faced the life-long challenges of MS with a positive attitude.

Inspired by Adam’s journey, Charlene has become deeply involved over the years with the National MS Society’s mission. After reading about Adam’s story and the MS Society’s upcoming event on her blog, there’s no way I wasn’t going to share it.

Image of Adam Reidy from lifeinthecle.wordpress.com

On September 7th at Windows on the River, Locavore will raise funds to support the Society’s mission of finding a cure for multiple sclerosis, while also supporting the thousands of Ohioans who live daily with MS.

Locavore will feature local food and drinks grown or produced within 100 miles of Cleveland. Wine and beer will be paired with Lilly Handmade Chocolates, as well as treats from AMP 150, Carrie Cerino’s, Corleone’s Ristorante, Indulgence, John Palmer’s Bistro 44, Momocho and Nosh Eatery.

Event tickets are $75 and Patron tickets are $95 (which includes an exclusive champagne tasting). All proceeds from the evening will be used to provide programs and services to more than 20,000 Ohioans who have been diagnosed with MS.

Tickets can be purchased here. For more information about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, visit www.MSohiobuckeye.org.


Over the coming weeks and months, there are a full slate of events like Locavore that will keep attendees’ stomachs full and tastebuds happy. However, because of my blog vacation, I realized I’m not going to have enough time to cover them all.

So before I leave, enjoy this roundup of a few other culinary events I’m looking forward to:

Founder Todd Gauman leads an NEO Food Tour in Shaker Square

NEO Food Tours
Aug. 28 and Oct. 16

There are only 3 tours left in NEO Food Tours’ 2012 season and one is already sold out.

On August 28, explore the history and food of Cleveland Heights and the Cedar Lee District at NEO Food Tours’ next guided restaurant tour. The Mayor of Cleveland Heights will be co-hosting and stops will include The Wine Spot with a special presentation from FarmShare Ohio, Taste and Lopez Southwest Kitchen.  Tickets available at 2012cedarlee-eorg.eventbrite.com

Because September’s Ohio City tour is already sold out, your last chance to experience an NEO Food Tour won’t be til Oct. 16 in Chagrin Falls. Although the restaurants haven’t been announced yet, each stop will feature a presentation with the chef/owner and a small plate and beverage pairing designed especially for the evening.

Graphic courtesy of Emerging Chefs

Emerging Chefs
Aug. 31, Sept. 29 and Oct. 28

This Fall, Emerging Chefs has a “Flavorful Trifecta of Feasts” lined up.

After their heralded turn at Dinner in the Dark this week, The Black Pig on W 25th Street is hosting Emerging Chefs’ Midnight Brunch at the end of August. When the clock strikes twelve on the evening of August 31, Chef Nowak will introduce his twist on the “fourth meal” with a multi-course celebration featuring rare meats, cheeses and drink pairings. This will be a fun way to check out one of Cleveland’s newest (and already buzzing) additions!

With the arrival of autumn, comes Emerging Chefs’ Harvest Moon on September 29. This culinary celebration of all things Fall will showcase Chef Ben Bebenroth and one of my favorite restaurants that opened this past year — Spice Kitchen & Bar. Bundle up in your fall sweaters because (weather permitting) guests will be dining al fresco on Spice’s patio for what may be the last time this year.

The Trifecta culminates with Emerging Chefs’ most extravagant event to date: Chef Steve Schimoler’s The Roaring Twenties – A Culinary Play in Three Acts. “Extravagant” is probably an understatement when it comes to this black-tie/1920s inspired gala on October 28. Only a handful of tickets will be available for the evening which will include period cocktails and champagne in Crop’s grand bar, a five-course meal straight out of the 1920s in their bank vault, and an after-dinner cigar and cocktail party.

Graphic courtesy of the Arthritis Foundation-NEO

L’Amour du Vin
Launch Party Sept. 6; Event Oct. 18

The 15th annual L’Amour du Vin will help raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation and features an evening of cuisine paired with wines from around the world. I’ll actually be sharing more info about this October event in the coming weeks, but in the meantime learn more at their free Launch Party on September 6 at Crocker Park’s 87 West.

Taste of the Browns
Sept. 10

Likewise, I’ll soon be posting details (and a giveaway!) about the return of one of my favorite Fall events: the Cleveland Foodbank’s Taste of the Browns on September 10. As a teaser, though, here’s my recap of last year’s event. Come back the week of August 27 for your chance to win tickets.

Dinner in the Dark
Sept. 10

I love Dinner in the Dark’s continued dedication to dining for a cause. Their next event is September 10 at Luxe and although the participating chefs and 6-course menu will not be revealed until the guests arrive, I would recommend anything involving Chef Brian Okin after last month’s extraordinary CLE Dinner Club. Plus, Dinner in the Dark just posted the charity that will be benefitting from the Sept. event: The Covenant Adolescent Chemical Dependency Treatment & Prevention Center. Tickets available at dinnerinthedark-luxe-eorg.eventbrite.com.

Image source wsm100.org

West Side Market 100
Oct. 7 and Nov. 3

Last — but certainly not least — are all of this Fall’s events celebrating the Centennial of West Side Market! The goal of WSM100 is to offer something for everyone while commemorating the history, tradition and importance of the Market.

On October 7, West 25th is going to be closed off all day long for the West Side Market Street Festival and Parade.  A WSM-themed parade, featuring current and past vendors, neighborhood block clubs and community groups, will step off at noon, while music, food and more festivities will be going on throughout the district from 11am to 8pm.

The event will mark the first time in a decade that West Side Market has been open on a Sunday. In addition to freshly prepared foods from WSM vendors, festival attendees can enjoy two beer gardens and the Ohio City restaurants and food trucks that will be selling food along W. 25th Street all day.

After filling yourself with deliciously local fare, 3 stages of dancing and live music and family-friendly activities at the Ohio City Farm’s OC Harvest will help burn away the calories.

Image source wsm100.org

The West Side Market Centennial Gala on November 3 not just marks the end of WSM100’s year-long celebration but will most importantly raise substantial funding for the care and growth of West Side Market in its next 100 years.

Organized by Cleveland’s Iron Chef Michael Symon and Food & Wine’s Best New Chef Jonathon Sawyer, the gala fundraiser will feature food sourced from WSM and prepared by an all-star list of national and local chef talent:

  • Cleveland’s Britt-Marie Culey, Chris Hodgson, Eric Williams, Paul Minnillo and Rocco Whalen (in addition to Sawyer and Symon);
  • NYC’s Andrew Zimmern, April Bloomfield, Andrew Carmellini and Karen DeMasco;
  • Philadelphia’s Jeff Michaud and Marc Vetri;
  • and Chicago’s Paul Kahan.

In honor of the milestone, WSM’s neighbor Great Lakes Brewing Company will debut the commemorative hand-brewed lager Butcher’s Brew.

More information about both events and Gala tickets are at wsm100.org. While the street fest and parade are free, tickets to the gala are $250 with proceeds helping to ensure the future of this worthy Cleveland institution.

Happy eating!

Disclosure: I was asked to blog about Taste of the Browns in exchange for 2 tickets for myself and 2 to giveaway on my blog. I will be blogging about this event in more detail over the next few weeks.

25+ Reasons to Buy Tickets to Chefs for Chardon

Dinner in the Dark’s Chefs for Chardon – March 19

As I mentioned last week, Cleveland’s chefs are standing in solidarity this coming Monday, March 19, with two events to support the victims of the Chardon High School shooting.

Although the eastside Chefs for Chardon is sold out, you still have a chance to get tickets to Dinner in the Dark’s event on the westside.

Dinner in the Dark’s Chefs for Chardon benefit starts at 6:30pm on March 19. AMP 150 is hosting over 20 chefs in a tasting extravaganza. Tickets will cost $65.

AMP 150 is located in the Airport Marriott at 4277 West 150th Street, Cleveland

If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, get them now. Here are over 25 reasons why:

Reason #1:
The most important reason is that all proceeds will benefit the families of the Chardon Shooting victims. However, while that should be the only reason you need, there are definitely many more.


Reason #2:
This month’s event is being held at AMP 150, home to Dinner in the Dark co-founder Jeff Jarrett. As I’ve mentioned numerous times before, AMP 150 is one of my favorite restaurants in Cleveland.

In addition to great food from Jarrett and management by Nathan White, the restaurant’s space is ideal for a large tasting event like this.


Reason #3:
The westside Chefs for Chardon is being presented by Dinner in the Dark, which is often described as “an open mic, jam session for chefs.” Each month they host a different dinner throughout Cleveland.

Dinner in the Dark typically features 6 chefs preparing a 6 course dinner that benefits a local charity hand-selected by the chefs. The organization has done a lot of great work for charities such as Providence House, Veggie U and Tremont’s Farmers Market, while offering a one-of-a-kind meal for Cleveland foodies.


Reasons #4-27:
Although Dinner in the Dark typically features 6 chefs, the latest list of chefs at this month’s event features over 20 – giving you another 24 reasons to go.

Many of Cleveland’s favorite restaurants are coming out for the tasting, such as Greenhouse Tavern/Noodlecat, the soon-to-open Hodge’s, Crop, AMP 150, Fountain, and Washington Place Bistro.  Check out the chefs and restaurants who are scheduled to appear so far:

  • Brian Okin – Fountain
  • Jeff Jarrett – AMP 150
  • Brian Reilly – Greenhouse Tavern/Noodlecat
  • Chris Hodgson – Hodge’s
  • Patrick Kander – Choice Catering
  • Kimberly McCune – Hungry Bee
  • Adam Bostwick – Hodge’s
  • Jim Blevins – Downtown 140 in Hudson
  • Anna Harouvis – Good To Go Cafe
  • Cory Hess – Lincoln Park Bistro
  • Wendy Thompson – A Cookie and a Cupcake
  • Ky-Wai – Tri-C
  • Melissa Khoury – Washington Place
  • Eric Wells – Skye LaRae’s
  • Scott David Kuhn – Washington Place
  • Lauren Stephenson – Crop
  • Walter Hyde – Fat Casual BBQ
  • Mike Nowak – Bar Cento/Market Garden Brewery
  • Matthew Barbee – Rockmill Brewery
  • Rachael Spieth – Georgetown
  • Backstage
  • Toni Stanislo –Medina Career Center
  • Johnny Schulze – Zydeco Bistro
  • Jill Vedaa – Rockefeller’s

With the tickets costing only $65, that breaks down to less than $3 per chef or restaurant. Even if this wasn’t a benefit, the variety and quality of food alone is worth the ticket price. The fact that it’s also going to support the Chardon community makes this month’s Dinner in the Dark a can’t-miss event.


Purchase your tickets to Dinner in the Dark’s Chefs for Chardon here.


If you can’t make it to Chefs for Chardon on Monday because of work or some other scheduling conflict (the only reason I won’t be there), remember that you can make a donation directly to the Chardon Healing Fund at any PNC Bank branch or the United Way of Geauga County. 100 percent of the money raised will help those affected.