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Carrie Cerino's is Worth the Trip! - Cleveland


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#31 edsel

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 06:19 PM

I met up with some eG folks (and other friends) last night for dinner at CC. Funny how we always wind up at CC on the first Friday of the month! :raz: The big draw right now is Linguini with Clams. Yeah, I know that sounds kind of pedestrian, but the CC version is of course something special.

The pasta is house-made (as always), and the sauce is a white clam sauce.

Wait! Wait! I know you're thinking of that goopy flour-thickened stuff that's served in so many restaurants. This is different. The "sauce" is simply rendered pancetta, olive oil, parmesan, and romano cheeses mingled with the juices of the clams. No cream. No butter. And definitely no flour. It's amazingly creamy!

The dish is ringed with the middle neck clams in their shells. Tom (tino27) figured out the technique for eating this dish: Scoop the clams out of their shells and dump them (with their juices) onto the pasta. Absolutely scrumptious.

#32 rockandroller

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 08:04 PM

I just took some friends there the other night. One had never been, the other grew up less than a few miles away but hadn't been since a few weddings as a child, neither even knew there was a restaurant, or of the wonderful things Dominic and the people in his kitchen are doing there. Turns out our server was the girl from a previous gathering of some eG folks, it was nice of her to remember, and our food as usual was awesome. Two more people who will now become customers (and hopefully, their family and friends, and so on).

#33 edsel

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 06:12 PM

Dominic is attending the Terra Madre gathering in Torino (Turin, Italy). eG member Kat Breychak has graciously provided a photo blog for Dominic to post his impressions.

Terra Madre 2006 photoblog.

The pictures of the food from the Salone del Gusto just blow me away. Lots of salume, artisinal cheeses, beautiful breads, awesome truffles. There's even some prosciutto from Norcia, the original home town of grandma Carrie.

#34 rockandroller

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 03:23 PM

doesn't it look wonderful? I think we should have another eG dinner there just so we can hear about this from Dom.

#35 edsel

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 04:24 PM

doesn't it look wonderful?  I think we should have another eG dinner there just so we can hear about this from Dom.

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I expect a full accounting from Dominic and his "bald, tattooed" roommate. :cool:

#36 rockandroller

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 10:52 AM

When do they get back?

#37 Shannon_Elise

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 01:02 PM

After the Terra Madre, Dominic is spending (I think) a couple of weeks exploring the part of Italy that Carrie Cerino herself is from, so I don't think he'll be back for a few weeks. What an awesome trip!

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#38 Blue_Egg_Farmer

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 04:59 AM

Dominic's latest adventure took him through Florance and his anscestral home of Norcia.
His story is just wonderful, the pictures breathtaking and the food amazing.
The latest updated link is

http://www.blueeggfarm.com/dc3

Edited by Blue_Egg_Farmer, 06 November 2006 - 05:01 AM.


#39 edsel

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 07:08 PM

Dominic just updated the photoblog with pictures from Dario Cecchini's butcher shop. (More photoblog).

Check out the "Fred Flintstone" steak! :laugh:

#40 edsel

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 04:29 PM

Dinner at CC on Friday. It's been bitter cold here for several days now. Braving the nasty weather was worth it, though.

First Friday of the month, so we had to start out with the Blue Egg Ravioli:

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We emailed Dominic with a special request for his Osso Bucco Agnolotti. No longer on the menu, but with some advance warning he obliged. :smile:

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My bleary picture doesn't do it justice. The osso bucco filling is intensely flavorful, and the double saucing (creamy white sauce and veal stock reduction) sends it over the top. Simply wonderful.

A new dish on the menu is the Salsiccia e Lenticchie de Umbria:

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Another pic that doesn't measure up to the reality. The dish is made with organic Colfiorito lentils, house-made sausage, and house-cured red-pepper guanciale. The lentils are prepared in the "al dente" Umbrian style. The pepper-cured guanciale gives it a surprising kick.

#41 tino27

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 06:59 PM

Edsel was right on the money about CC on Friday. The osso bucco agnolotti was so delicious. Chef Dominic always seems to know when we've arrived since he gets an order for 8 Blue Egg ravioli appetizers for an 8 top table. :biggrin:

I also had the Sausage and Lentils and the spicing was spot on. Enough to be interesting but didn't detract from the flavor of the dish at all.

Somehow, we always manage to close the place out when we go. Wonder how that happens? :wink:
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#42 rockandroller

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 06:11 AM

I've been wanting to get there to try the sausage & lentils dish. Now I'm really motivated!

#43 NancyH

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 08:46 AM

Unfortunately, my camera was a bit underexposed - so much for idiot-proof. Shutterfly helped somehow to make some of my photos a little better; they are here: My Shutterfly Album

I also put them here, but they are darker on EGullet than on Shutterfly (don't ask me why - see "idiot", above).

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This is the BER after it is cut open and the yolks mixed with the cheese and butter sauce.

Salumi Platter featuring House Made and Batali products:

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Angolotti with a beef reduction and cream sauce.

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Berkshire Pork Picatta

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Berkshire Pork Chop

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My photo of the lentil dish is about the same as Edsel's, but it looks a bit better on Shutterfly.

We were way too stuffed to order dessert.
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#44 edsel

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 08:41 AM

Four of us had dinner at Carrie Cerino's last night. Since White Lotus is in town, we're enjoying introducing her to some of the great food we have here in Cleveland. :smile:

We started out with a salumi and cheese board.
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Prosciutto, finocchiona, salame, and coppa, along with Bel Paese and Parmesan cheeses.

Of course we had to have the Blue Egg Ravioli. I't now being served with baby arugula. The sage has been moved into the filling.
(No picture - we've posted plenty here before)

We shared several entrées. Here's the Carbonara as served:
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and after the third Blue Egg yolk is blended in:
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There are a couple of new dishes on the menu. The Tagliatelle Norcia has prosciutto, tomato, broccoli, cannellini beans, and is served in a white sauce.
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The Duck Scaloppine has house-cured red chile Guanciale and dried cherries and a veal stock and wine reduction. Very tasty.
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Finally, we managed to eat dessert even though we were already stuffed. We couldn't resist trying the gelato made with the organic blue egg yolks. Look how yellow the lemon gelato is - that's mainly from the egg yolks. We also had orange and chocolate-hazelnut.
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#45 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 08:51 AM

Edsel, those are some delicious-looking plates. Thanks for posting the images. The gorgeous egg yolk on the carbonara is calling out to me :biggrin:

I'm really looking forward to eating at Carrie Cerino's this July.

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#46 NancyH

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 10:20 AM

I have a few thoughts and photos to add to Edsel's report.

A choice of soup or salad is offered with every entree at Carrie Cerinos. On Friday night, the usual choice to Italian Wedding is Chowder. I love CCs Fish Chowder:

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Unfortunately, I did not get to photograph the Wedding Soup. Fortunately, I got to taste it! In addition to the wonderful meatballs - Dominic is now putting tender chunks of pork in this soup! Bellisimo!

Another dish that Dominic has been tweaking since returning from Italy is the Umbrian Lentils, with house-made Guanciale.

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It is now offered as a side dish rather than an entree. We enjoyed such a fabulous range of tastes and flavors last night that I didn't fully appreciate the complexity of this dish until I ate the leftovers for breakfast this morning. The hot pepper Guanciale brings a delightful tingle, and even though the lentils are al dente, there is a wonderful creaminess to the dish. The sweetness of the red peppers play off of the spice. This is truly a wonderful dish!

As for the Tagliatelle Norcia - I was so intrigued with it that I had to take a "close up":

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The integration of the ingredients is what made this dish so wonderful for me. The cheesy-creamy of the white sauce against the prosciutto, the creaminess of the beans and the melt-in-your-mouth pasta.

A few words about the duck.

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It was fabulous! White Lotus could not stop picking out the cherries, which lent a perfect contrast to the hot chilies (anyone who was at the Heartland Gathering last year remember where they tasted that combination?). The duck breast was perfectly seared, and the satiny reduction brought it all together. A winner!

Finally, a few shots of the individual gelatos:

First, the Lemon:

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We agreed that this was our favorite - sort of (you'll see what I mean in a minute).

Orange- which we agreed was like a grown-up Creamsicle:

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And last - Chocolate Hazelnut:

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Now, we all said we like the Lemon the best - but at some point as we passed them around, the Chocolate got "stuck" in front of White Lotus. While insisting that she's not a big chocolate person - she finally decided to just finish it!

It's too bad that White Lotus will have to leave before the Copper River Salmon come in. But we who live here will be back soon for that delicacy.
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#47 torakris

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 03:03 PM

Thanks again for the report guys!
I really want some of that duck and the gelato.

Is Dominic going to be able to hold some of the salmon for our Heartland gathering? If not maybe he can pop a piece for me in the freezer until I get to Cleveland on 7/13.... :wub:

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#48 torakris

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 03:05 PM

I forgot to add that I have extended my trip this year to either 8/28 or 8/30 and I am definitely going to get out there for the panzanella this year!

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#49 edsel

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 06:54 PM

The Copper River king salmon has arrived (in limited quantities). When we were at CC on Friday, Dominic Cerino was anxiously awaiting another shipment of CR kings which were held up in Chicago due to bad weather. The kings had to change planes in Chicago because Alaska Air doesn't fly into Cleveland. I guess that they enjoyed the same ORD experience familiar to so many human travelers. :wacko: :laugh:

Fortunately there were just enough servings from the previous shipment for three of us (tino27 had the wonderful duck scaloppine, which he hadn't had before and was looking forward to trying).

The salmon is given the simplest of treatments, entirely appropriate given its extraordinary quality:

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Pictures can't do justice to just how wonderful this dish is. I don't usually like cooked salmon, though I love salmon sushi, sashimi, and cured or smoked salmon. The CR king salmon at Carrie Cerinos is the exception to the rule. It's moist and delicately flaky and the flavor is fantastic.

#50 NancyH

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 10:41 AM

Last night, Dominic Cerino hosted our local Slow Food Convivium for a Copper River Salmon Celebration! These fabulous salmon preparations were accompanied by three Pinot Noirs supplied by Wine Trendz, which paired wonderfully with the food.

We started with a buffet of appetizers and a Jibe Pinot Noir (New Zealand). The centerpiece was a huge filet of Smoked Copper River King, accompanied by sliced tomato, red onion, lemon, capers, dill dipping sauce and a cream cheese side:

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The Carpaccio was served over olive oil and crostini:

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House-cured gravlax was perfect by itself, and presented over a huge section of salmon skin!

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Deviled Eggs with salmon in the filling, and topped with Copper River King Roe, were devine:

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Arrancini (Risotto Balls) with salmon in the filling were light and crispy:

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This is my appetizer plate, fully loaded:

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Though I was tempted to get a little more of the smoked salmon, I was ultimately glad I resisted that temptation! The appetizers started to come out of the kitchen just as I decided to wait - Salmon-Stuffed Agnolotti with Mama’s White Sauce:

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Normally, Mama's White Sauce is a mixture of butter and parmesean - this version was accented with a touch of Dijon Mustard. It accompanied the puffy squares of goodness perfectly. The Angeline Pinot Noir (Russian River, California) was a delightful match.

Instead of bringing out the salad course next, Dominic followed Italian tradtition and sent out the entree plates. Care to guess what constituted the main course?

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I don't know how the kitchen managed to get 50 orders of salmon filet cooked to perfect medium-rare - but they did:

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The side of Roasted Asparagus Crusted with Parmesan went delightfully with the fish and the wine - Hayman Hill (Santa Lucia, California).

I was really too full for salad (but had the salad been served first, I would have been to full for salmon - so that calculus worked just fine for me!). Like everything else Dominic does - this was special:

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The salad was Dandelion, Escarole, Romaine and Red Onion tossed with Olive Oil
and Red Wine Vinegar, finished with Crisped House-Cured Pancetta and Jacquin Saint Maure Ash goat cheese. The rind of the cheese was a little strong for me - but the center was oh so marvelous - especially with the red onion and the bacon! I only wish I had been able to finish it.

Dessert was an item we've posted about above, but I'll include a photo of it anyway:

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Blue Egg Gelato, topped with an exquisite Italian balsamic - Condimento Balsamic Must, aged in Oak, Cherry and Chestnut Barrets -- and fresh berries, and served with Italian Cookies. Unfortunately, Dominic was still not satisfied with his Lemon Gelato, so that will have to await another day.

Gee - another excuse to eat at Carrie Cerino's!

Copper River King Salmon Season runs through the end of June.
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#51 rockandroller

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 11:25 AM

Great pix/descriptions as usual. I just joined the convivium last month so am looking forward to future outings!

#52 torakris

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 05:34 PM

There are absolutely no words to convey just how jealous I am at this moment.
I touch down in Cleveland in 36 days!! and I know where I am headed first. :biggrin:

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#53 NancyH

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 09:56 AM

Another fabulous meal at Carrie Cerino's last Friday!

Since it was not the first Friday of the month, it was not a Blue Egg Ravioli day. So, our group of 7 adults and 2 infants sampled a couple of the other appetizers, as well as salumi boards. (I'm kidding about the infants eating the appetizers and salumi - though they did get their first taste of bread and butter!)

We had Artichoke Hearts, which I neglected to photograph, but which I did photograph at the Heartland Gathering Food Tsunami:

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What an awesome way to use an Escargot pan!

We also sampled the Sauerkraut balls:

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Most restaurants that serve sauerkraut balls use food service-frozen. Not Carrie Cerino's!

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beef, ham, bread, eggs, onions, garlic, parsely, Colemans dry mustard, salt, white pepper.

The appetizers were almost a meal in themselves! And of course, each dinner is accompanied by soup or salad and a side. I love Dominic's fish chowder; it always gets me singing!

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"Fills you up from your top to your toenails"

After the soup/salad course - the entrees came out:

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Braised Short Ribs Osso Bucco with Risotto

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Berkshire Pork Chops

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Norcian Lentils with House Cured Red Pepper Guanciale, House Made Sausage, House Made Focaccia Bread and Red Peppers

And last but not least - since I didn't have a BER - I had to have this:

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Blue Egg Spaghetti Carbonara

This dish is pure bliss on a plate - generously topped with the house-made Red Pepper Guanciale and coarse black pepper. Oh, and speaking of the guanciale - here's a great photo that I underexposed when I first took it, but I was able to manipulate it into post-ability:

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Dominic Shows Us His Pride and Joy

For more details on our latest food adventures - look up my blog!
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#54 tino27

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 12:38 PM

I was just thinking last night how long it had been since I've been to CC. This inspires me to perhaps make a journey up there for the next Blue Egg ravioli night in January.

Yum!

BTW, lovely pics NancyH!
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#55 NancyH

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 07:43 AM

We are planning to put Tino's post, above, into action. So, if anyone reading this is interested in joining us, please PM one of us.

Happy New Year, all!
"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

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#56 NancyH

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 11:16 AM

Some photos from recent visits to CCs:

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Pulled Pork Canelloni

This item was still on special as of last weekend - tender pasta-based crepes filled with succulent strips of pork, and topped with fresh Ricotta and tomato sauce - yum!

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House-Made Gnocchi with Mama's White Sauce

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About once a year, I just have to indulge in these pillows of goodness, bathed in the white sauce Dominic now calls "Norcian Macaroni & Cheese". It was fabulous, as always.

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Those Amazing Norcian Lentils with Dominic's own Red Pepper Guanciale

We also enjoyed a new Gelato flavor - Amaretto - and a live 7 piece band in the Under the C's Lounge (no cover, no minimum) last Friday.
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#57 NancyH

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 12:21 PM

It is with a most heavy heart that I report the following, as posted on the Cleveland.com Food & Wine Forum yesterday afternoon by Chef Dominic's good friend and confidant Linda Griffith:

On January 29 of 2008 Carmen C. Cerino, Co-Owner of Carrie Cerino's Ristorante & Party Center, became the sole owner and operator of the business. Brothers Dominic A. Cerino III and Michael J. Cerino have decided to retire from the family business, and pursue other interests in their respective fields. Carmen's wife, Jo Marie Cerino, will join in on the day-to-day operations of the business.


Dominic has added as follows:

Many thanks for the well wishes on post 16725, they are very much appreciated. After 36 years of working and spending the last decade being the CEO of CC�s I have decided to take a sabbatical. Time to recharge the batteries, reclaim a life, plant a garden, cruise the rural roads of Ohio and chase the Frau around the house ;)
Thanks to my brother Carmen and his wife Jo Maria, CC�s remains in the Cerino family and deserves the support of the Cleveland community as one of the longest standing family operated restaurants in our community. There are many wonderful and gifted employees who along with my brother Carmen and his wife Jo Maria will continue to produce the foods that Carrie Cerino�s are known for. Please continue to support CC�s; 4 generations of Cerino�s have worked in this building and have laid a firm foundation for its continued success.

There is a lot of history there and it will be hard to walk away from the memories but it is time. My last day is February 10th and all of us will be at the [Our Lady of the Wayside] event next Thursday! [for information on this event] I hope to see you there!


Ironically, Bob and I dined there with a group of friends last Saturday, not knowing this was coming. Photos and such are on my blog.

I am going to miss Dominic's vision and talent and wish him all the best.

The good news is that Bar Cento in Ohio City seems to be the up and coming place for cutting edge Italian-inspired food in Cleveland - I'll post separately on that (or just look at my blog)!
"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

#58 torakris

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 05:36 PM

Wow! I am shocked. I wonder if the menu will change. CC's was also one the the major highlights of my summer trips to Cleveland...

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#59 NancyH

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 03:56 PM

It is with a most heavy heart that I report to the EG community that Chef Dominic Cerino passed away earlier this week. The public details are reported here


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food