Capitalizing on the frenetic pace of the Short North restaurant scene, Hyde Park will unveil a new high-energy dining concept next week.

Capitalizing on the frenetic pace of the Short North restaurant scene, Hyde Park will unveil a new high-energy dining concept next week.

Eleven, part of the steakhouse’s Cap at Union Station store, will feature a variety of unique cocktails, expanded wine offerings and a small-plates bar.

The official opening is 6 p.m. Aug. 7.

“This has become a destination for a lot of people, this particular part of the city,” said Rick Hauck, a founding partner of Hyde Park. “And we believe we’re just going to add to that by bringing something a little more special.”

The lounge will occupy 2,800 square feet at 591 N. High St. on the north end of the complex, The interior space, to seat 80, will open up to a covered outdoor terrace complete with comfy seating and two semi-private cabanas. The bar will be partially open to the patio, allowing patrons to sit at the bar and remain part of the outdoor dining area. An outdoor heating system will allow the patio to be open into the cooler months.

As is the case with the steakhouse, it will be open for dinner hours daily. The steakhouse, meanwhile, will expand by 2,100 square feet. That space, which will be used as a private dining room, also should open next week.

Using so-called molecular mixology, Eleven will have a gush of artisan libations that will use nitrogen-infused foams, green olive “caviar,” CO2 carbonation and a brulee technique, whereby raw fruit will be topped with sugar, misted with bitters and torched with a flame.

The bill of fare will consist of hot and cold plates, sandwiches and desserts. Eleven also will have brick-oven pizzas, some with a modern approach. For example, lobster ricotta, spinach and garlic confit. Most dishes will be in the $6 to $10 range.

Parking, always an issue in the Short North, isn’t a concern because valet services will be offered, said Joe Saccone, the other founding partner.

“Every city has those challenges but not every night,” Saccone said.

Local retail analyst Chris Boring said the Eleven concept sounds similar to that of Marcella’s and Burgundy Room, and is spreading out the competition.

“I do think they’re joining the crowd,” he said.

Hyde Park, part of a Cleveland-based chain, is a high-ticket prime steakhouse that now occupies the entire west side of the Cap. By serving smaller, less-expensive plates and promoting a more jaunty atmosphere, the restaurant is widening its appeal, Boring said.

“I think it’s a more casual and affordable way to enjoy the Hyde Park experience,” he said.
For more information, call 614-225-9611.

The ever-evolving ZenCha Tea Salon will launch an ambitious dining program Aug. 11. The Short North store, soothing in its light wood and calming music, will roll out three separate menus: lunch (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), afternoon (2 to 5:30 p.m.) and dinner (5:30 to 9 p.m.).

Although the café has limited food service, the new menus will offer a wider variety of fare that will include sushi, sandwiches and French casseroles, all prepared on premises. And each dish will incorporate a not-so-secret ingredient — tea. For example, the California roll will be flecked with premium-grade gyokuro tea. And the turkey sandwich will be garnished with a Russian Caravan tea mustard.

“I think food should be part of the experience,” owner I-Cheng Huang said. “Everything has to have tea in it to represent who we are.”
Corresponding teas will be recommended for each dish. Prices range from roughly $5 to $10.

More comprehensive food service has been in the works for a couple of years, but Huang said he was reluctant to put it into place until he got a properly trained kitchen staff. He said he tapped young talent from the Bradford School’s culinary program.

Brunch, which features tea-infused waffles, pancakes and other items, will continue to be offered on the weekends.
In other big news from ZenCha, Huang said he is on the verge of opening a second store. He wouldn’t divulge its location, saying only that it will be downtown.

The tea shop is located at 982 N. High St. For more information, call 614-421-2140.