News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Metro RTA

The Holden Arboretum


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Lifestyle




A Quick Bite with the Cleveland chef who cooks for Eric Clapton and Todd Rundgren
Dante Boccuzzi also cooked for Giorgio Armani in Italy.
by WKSU's VIVIAN GOODMAN
This story is part of a special series.


Reporter
Vivian Goodman
 
Cleveland chef Dante Boccuzzi, who cooks for Eric Clapton and Todd Rundgren, has opened four restaurants in only five years.
Courtesy of Vivian Goodman
Download (WKSU Only)
A key ingredient in Cleveland’s hot new cuisine scene is a former dishwasher who now owns four restaurants. WKSU’s Vivian Goodman takes us to Tremont for a Quick Bite with Dante Boccuzzi.
One rockin' chef

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (6:15)


(Click image for larger view.)

Dante,  Dante Boccuzzi’s signature restaurant on Professor Avenue, used to be a Third Federal bank branch. Marble pillars at the entrance frame a décor that’s quietly upscale, but comfortable. Dark wood paneling and natural light create an ambience that can be intimate.  But on a busy night, the chatter of as many as 80 diners bounces off the vaulted ceilings.


Modern American Cuisine 

The restaurant is billed as “modern American cuisine,” but it includes many echoes of the chef’s international resume such as Tuscan bean soup, lobe of foie gras, and tempura tofu .

Growing up in Middleburg Heights and Parma, Boccuzzi  worked as a dishwasher and cook from the age of 14.

The most prestigious and fine dining restaurant that I went to like as a student at school was Le Cirque. That was in the early 90s and that was just an experience I’ll never forget just: first time in New York City and first time in a restaurant of that caliber . It was pretty cool.”

He attended the Culinary Institute of America and right after graduation in 1991, went to work for the legendary chef Charlie Parker at New York’s Aureole.

Boccuzzi went on to cook in England, France, Italy, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Washington D.C. and San Francisco before returning to Cleveland in 2007.

Cooking with the best
 

 “I always wanted to work under as many great chefs as I could. I always figured if I wanted to be the best someday, I should work for the best.”

He has cooked for Giorgio Armani in Milan and Robert De Niro in Hollywood. But as a drummer and guitarist, his biggest thrills have been cooking for rock stars.

 “When I was in Italy cooking, I met Eric Clapton, Phil Collins. Then in San Francisco I met Eddie Vedder, Bruce Springsteen. I mean all kinds of people (who) when I was a kid listening to their music I thought, ‘Oh wow, it would be cool to meet them,’ And then, here in town, Todd Rundgren;  anytime he comes to town he comes in to eat." 

 You can bank on sushi at Gingko

Why the name? Gingko means bank in Japanese.

There’s a glowing glass wall, lots of neon and anime, a video game in the corner, and a sushi bar that seats 25.

Paul Smith of Cleveland calls it the city’s best sushi:

 “I think you need to be authentic. A lot of people have just regular rolls. They do a lot of different things here that I’ve never tried before and it’s upscale; it’s a great place and awesome food.”

Working in Italy under the renowned “Nobu” Yuki Matsuhisa, Dante says he ate sushi every day:

 “It’s kind of funny because somebody pointed out to me. You know you just opened this restaurant for yourself so that you could have sushi anytime you wanted it. And that’s probably very true.”

Homemade pasta 

In February, Dante opened a third restaurant, D.C. Pasta, in Strongsville. He’s a pasta fanatic, too:

 “I would eat pasta every single day. You know when it’s done well and it’s homemade it’s amazing. And we have an extruder machine which makes 15 pounds of pasta every hour. And it’s kind of the beginning of a concept that might develop into something a little bit bigger, more of a market."

Dante’s happy in Tremont.

“ I think it’s a great area. People just flock down here to go to the art galleries and hang out at bars or whatever and then come in to eat.”

 There are other really great restaurants here, too. Is that competition or does that enhance your business?

 I think it’s both. We are in competition, but it draws people down here.

Where do you eat out if you do?

“I’m a big fan of Barcento. We always go get a pizza there once a week. If I’m looking for something a little more formal, I’ll go to Moxie or Red.

Dante Boccuzzi. His newest restaurant, yet to be named, is set to open this summer in the former Vegiterranean space at Akron’s Northside Lofts.


Related Links & Resources
Dante website

Listener Comments:

dante im as proud of you as your dad an family
keep up the good work you put tremont on the map god bless you and your family larry and tina


Posted by: larry falasco (cape coral fl) on April 6, 2012 11:04AM
Wow....Dante has surely made us proud! We go way back to his CIA days in Hyde Park, NY!!! We love you cuz!!!!!


Posted by: Valerie Andrews (Poughkeepsie, New York) on April 6, 2012 3:04AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook






Stories with Recent Comments

Crystal Ball says Ohio governor's race is done
How much is the Kasich campaign paying you to keep repeating the phrase "woman who is not his wife"? Fitzgerald was in the car with a friend who happens to be f...

Plane that crashed killing Case students is a popular training aircraft
The following is incorrect. The last few words should read "UNDER maximum gross take-off weight." “They have a normal take-off speed and all those take-off...

Exploradio: The never-ending war against superbugs
Super Federico ,we are so proud of you ,and very lucky to be among your friends . Keep it up human kind needs people like you to survive .Thanks for being so d...

Ohio's Lyme disease-carrying tick population is exploding
Interesting report. The last sentence needs some editing. It isn't a good idea to "save garments carrying ticks for analysis." The garments carrying t...

Teach for America enters third year in Ohio
For more background on TFA, check out http://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/

Faith leaders hold week-long prayer vigil at Ohio Statehouse
I think this is the wrong link to the audio. Its Andy Chow about cigarette taxes.

A $30 million plan to turn Cleveland's Public Square from gray to green
The current plan is for the Land Bank, RTA, and Mr. Jeremy Paris to run a bus line through the new Public Square and cutting the park in half. Save Public Squar...

Medina County residents question safety of proposed natural gas pipeline
I'm very concerned about this nexus project. I've received mail requesting my permission to allow the company to survey my property. I don't understand how thi...

A small group of tea party and Democrats protest at Kasich campaign stop
Enjoyed your excellent coverage of the statehouse for sometime now, never dreamed I'd be on. The feedback from people has been great. Thank you. Doris Adams

Top staffers are leaving the FitzGerald gubernatorial campaign
I's too bad that the dirt on Fitzgerald dug up by Kasich's operatives and publicized heavily by the Yellow Plain Dealer has caused the weak staffers of the Fitz...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University