There’s a new place under construction in Cuyahoga Falls that promises to be one of the most high-end hot dog and root beer drive-ups that ever was.
The owner is Jeff Bruno, who also owns Papa Joe’s in the Merriman Valley. “It’s going to blow your mind,” he promised.
Retro Dog is expected to open in April at 350 E. Steels Corners Road.
There will be chargrilled hotdogs, three root beers on draft, soft-serve custard with 11 percent butterfat, hand-cut french fries, seating inside and out, and plenty of parking.
For an advanced peek, look for the Retro Dog page on Facebook.
Girl Scout cookies on sale
Girl Scout cookies went on sale Sunday, just in time for every scout to sell to relatives at holiday gatherings — a wise marketing move by Girl Scouts of North East Ohio.
Cookies being sold this year in Northeast Ohio were made by Little Brownie Bakers of Louisville, Ky. They will sell for $3.50 a box.
Varieties offered are Thin Mints, Do-Si-Dos, Samoas, Tagalongs, Trefoils, Dulce de Leche, Thank U Berry Munch, and Savannah Smiles. The Smiles are new this year and were created by Little Brownie to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Ga. It’s a lemon wedge cookie, coated in powdered sugar with small lemon chips inside. When held upright, its shape is meant to look like a big bright smile.
Cookies will arrive for delivery Feb. 13, and Scouts will start selling publicly Feb. 17. If you don’t know a Scout, call 888-9-THIN-MINT in January to order.
Neiman at Beard home
Drew Neiman, owner of Neiman Cellars in California’s Napa Valley, will be pouring his wines at the James Beard House in New York City on Dec. 28.
The wines will be part of a dinner being prepared by chef Jonathon Sawyer of Cleveland’s Greenhouse Tavern.
Neiman, 51, a Firestone High School graduate, moved to California in 1994 to work with winemaker John Kongsgaard at Newton Vineyard. He started out working the harvest at Newton and by the time he was ready to branch out on his own, he had worked his way up to winemaker’s assistant.
In 1997, he began bottling his own wine under the Neiman Cellars label.
Neiman will pour his 2009 chardonnay and his 2006 red, a cabernet blend, which will be served with a cheese course selected by Lassa Skinner of Culture, the cheese-making magazine.
The chardonnay will be served as part of a chardonnay smackdown with one of Kongsgaard’s for the meal’s first two courses.
The James Beard House is the Greenwich Village townhouse of the late, renowned New York food critic. Each month, the house hosts more than 20 dinners, lunches and workshops to showcase the talents of chefs and winemakers from throughout the world.
Feast of fishes celebrated
Vaccaro’s Trattoria will be celebrating Christmas with the traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes.
Through Christmas Eve, Vaccaro’s will offer a full menu of fish specials, crafted after the dishes that founder Frank Vaccaro and his wife, Linda, served at their home on Christmas Eve. Choices include clams, baccala, smelts, grilled octopus, stuffed calamari, scallops and lobster.
Vaccaro’s is at 1000 Ghent Road, Bath Township. Call 330-666-6158.
Changes at Summa Virtues
Virtues, the fine dining restaurant at Summa Akron City Hospital, is making some changes.
It now will be open from 7 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday for breakfast, with traditional offerings of eggs Benedict, French toast and pancakes.
Chef Frank Zifer also has created a new menu, which includes Gorgonzola pear and pecan pizza, Jamaican jerk chicken pizza, wild mushroom ravioli and blackened shrimp and rice.
On weekdays, there’s a new “Wine-N-Down” promotion, featuring three wines and an antipasto menu for $15. The offerings spotlight different regions monthly, with this month celebrating northern Italy.
Virtues, 525 E. Market St., is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, with three distinct dining areas — a Starbucks coffee bar, the restaurant, and the Aristotle Room, which is available for private parties and meetings. Call 330-375-7444 for reservations.
Lisa Abraham can be reached at 330-996-3737 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.