I am in mourning.
A local rite of spring, the annual bake sale at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Akron, is not happening this year.
The reason? “Major renovations of the church, including a brand-new kitchen, have prevented it,” Kim Vernis, who heads up the bake sale, told me.
“I feel really badly about it, but we’ll be back even better next year,” Vernis said. The Greek Festival in September will still go on.
For decades, the church’s women’s board has sold hundreds of loaves of braided Easter bread and thousands of Greek pastries during the week before Easter.
This year, there had been talk about working around the renovations, Vernis said, “but realistically, it was impossible.”
The bake sale is a major fundraiser for the women’s board, which raises money for local, national and international charities. The church, adjacent to the University of Akron, is at 129 S. Union St.
Blue Door ends dinners
The Blue Door Cafe & Bakery in Cuyahoga Falls has discontinued its dinner service, which had attracted a loyal following, but proved to be unsustainable.
Owner Michael Bruno revealed on the cafe’s Facebook page Sunday that it was returning to its roots as a breakfast-and-lunch place only.
In an interview, he said the dinner service, which began less than three years ago, often lost money and “when you do that over nearly three years, that takes its toll.”
Those dinners were a celebration of local fresh, seasonal food and natural ingredients, with menus changing weekly, as well as artful plating. Bruno hired Michelin-starred chef Torsten Schulz, who previously worked at the DBA restaurant in downtown Akron, to head up the dinner operation.
But they didn’t come cheap. A four-course chef’s tasting menu without wine ran $55 — a competitive price compared with other fine-dining options in the area, but not inexpensive.
Bruno said Schulz plans to concentrate on his startup venture, Grow Bar, which offers in-home systems to grow microgreens (http://grow.bar/).
But breakfast and lunch service will continue, and on the cafe’s Facebook page you can see shots of those dishes and housemade pastries, as well as Bruno’s musings. In one post, he talks about a hash of Berkshire pork belly and root vegetables that pays homage to East Prussia, where his father’s family originated. Nope, not your everyday hash.
The Blue Door is at 1970 State Road in Cuyahoga Falls. Phone: 330-926-9774.
Seven Courses of Kent
Seven Kent restaurants — including two that have not yet opened — will team up for the third annual Seven Courses of Kent dinner party at 5 p.m. April 23 at Laziza. Each course will be paired with a beer or wine.
Participating eateries are Bricco, Erie Street Kitchen, Franklin Hotel Bar, Grazers, Kenko, Ray’s Place and Treno Ristorante. Laziza, the host, is at 195 E. Erie St. in downtown Kent.
Kenko, an Asian place, will open this spring at Depeyster Street and Haymaker Parkway. Treno, an Italian eatery, will open soon in the old train depot, overlooking the Cuyahoga River, that previously housed the Pufferbelly. The depot at 152 Franklin Ave. across from Ray’s (more or less) is owned by the Kent Historical Society.
Cost is $70, including tax and tip. Proceeds go to the nonprofit Main Street Kent. Go to http://mainstreetkent.org/events/seven-courses-kent/. Call Main Street Kent at 330-677-8000.
No Muffin Left Behind
You can stock up on cookie dough and baked goods and help out the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, too, at the No Muffin Left Behind sale Saturday.
The sale of Main Street Gourmet product will run from 9 a.m. to noon at the food bank at 350 Opportunity Parkway, near downtown Akron, offering what the company calls “slightly off spec” bakery products, such as cookie dough, muffins and brownies for $1.25 a pound.
A portion of the proceeds and all unsold product will benefit the food bank.
As usual, the sale is first-come, first-serve. Cash, check and major credit cards will be accepted, but not debit cards. For information, go to http://mainstreetgourmet.com.
•?Chris Zazo, West Akron native and owner of Hailstone Vineyards, will visit the Akron 750ml wine bar and shop at 6 p.m. April 20. Hailstone has its headquarters in Dallas; Napa Valley is the source of its grapes.
Scot Finaly, with Duckhorn Vineyards of Napa Valley, will be on hand for a tasting at 6 p.m. June 7.
To reserve, call 330-794-5754. The West Akron 750ml is at 2287 W. Market St.
The Brecksville 750ml will host Phil Corrente of Merryvale Vineyards, also a Napa Valley winery, at 6 p.m. April 12. Call 440-526-8100 to reserve.
Cost for each event is $39 for club750 members, $49 for nonmembers.
•?Wine from Daou Vineyards will be featured at a 6:30 p.m. April 21 four-course wine dinner at Fleming’s Akron in Copley Township.
Here are the courses, each paired with a wine from Daou, in California’s Central Coast: scallop carpaccio, crisp pan-seared Chilean sea bass atop risotto, tenderloin of beef with potato hash and black bean and roasted corn relish; and dark chocolate cheesecake.
Cost is $95 plus tax and tip. Call 330-670-5200 to reserve. Fleming’s is at 4000 Medina Road (state Route 18).
•?DBA (Dante Boccuzzi Akron) hosts a five-course Walt and Hall Wine Dinner at 6 p.m. April 5. On the menu are baked Brie, cavatelli with rabbit sausage, pan-seared halibut, roasted lamb loin and flourless chocolate torte, all paired with wines (three pinot noirs, a chardonnay and a merlot). It’s $95, not counting tax and tip. Reserve at 330-375-5050. DBA is at 21 Furnace St. in the Northside district of Akron.
Bombay Grill opens in Fairlawn
Bombay Grill has opened in its new location at 117 Merz Blvd. near Summit Mall in Fairlawn.
The Indian restaurant, owned by George Colaco and his wife, Liz, previously was off Bath Road in Cuyahoga Falls. Its new home in Fairlawn previously housed the Sweet Pea Cafe.
Hours for lunch, including a buffet, are 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Dinner hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is closed Sundays. Phone is 330-664-0689.
Twisted Olive in spotlight
Twisted Olive, which opened less than three years ago in Green, is among the country’s “Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants in America” for 2017, according to a survey compiled by online reservation site OpenTable.
It’s one of nine Ohio restaurants to make the list, which also includes Greenhouse Tavern and Lola, both in Cleveland; the others are in Columbus and Cincinnati.
The list is generated from more than 10 million OpenTable diner reviews collected between Feb. 1, 2016, and Jan. 31 of this year. The complete list is at www.opentable.com/m/diners-picks-hot-spot-restaurants-in-america-for-2017/.
Owned by the same people behind Gervasi Vineyard in Canton, Twisted Olive is in a sprawling former home off Massillon Road. The menu is at www.thetwistedolive.com.
Luau at the Owl
Hawaii is coming to Morning Owl coffee house in Munroe Falls from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday.
Reader Craig Erskine tipped me off about Luau at the Owl, which will offer organic Kona coffee flown in from Hawaii, along with pulled pork sliders on Hawaiian buns, and desserts made with fresh pineapple.
Daniel Rylander and Shelby Olive will provide ukulele music.
The coffee shop, which opened in 2015, is at 297 N. Main St.
This year’s University of Akron Spring Graduate Chef Dinner is April 8. It is open to the public and will be prepared by graduates of the hospitality management program. It runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in UA’s Crystal Room Bistro inside Gallucci Hall at 360 Grant St. on the University of Akron campus.
Cost is $50. Proceeds help support the students’ educational visits. For reservations, call 330-972-6615.
Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at www.facebook.com and read the Akron Dish blog at www.ohio.com/food.