December 2007 Issue
Stacks of multicolored appetizer plates decorate each table at Poco Piatti, which opened in November 2006 in Levis Commons, an open-air shopping complex in Perrysburg. “Poco Piatti” is Italian for “small plates,” so most everything on the menu is served appetizer-style. Merging Old World charm and urban-chic decor, and complete with a wood-burning oven, Poco Piatti serves up Mediterranean fare, drawing inspiration from Italy, Spain, Greece and the Middle East. Labib Hajjar, chief...
Songs That Tell a Story
Today, “Cleveland Rocks.” But it didn’t always. Back in September 1852, residents slow-danced to the strains of the “Cleveland State Fair Waltzes,” performed by the German Brass Band in honor of the state festival that was taking the city by storm that year (it made the rounds of other towns, too, before being headquartered permanently in Columbus, beginning in 1874). And it’s easy to imagine World War I doughboys sitting around a campfire far from home in 1918, pinin...
|Haus of Hospitality
First-time guests to Chef Hubert and Helga Seifert’s Columbus home quickly discover that, around these natural-born entertainers, you’re never a stranger for long. Some of us learn this the hard way. Minutes after arriving for a tour of the couple’s kitchen, my black ballet flat catches on the room’s back door, and I find myself face-to-face with one of its amenities — the hardwood floor. After helping me up and checking for serious injury, the 60-year-old German-born chef ...
People in Glass Houses
Alice Pitts has been an avid gardener for as long as she can remember. But it was a man-made object, not a collection of plants, that motivated her to build a greenhouse on her and husband Tom’s 12-acre property in South Newbury, in Geauga County. That object was a hundred-year-old glass door that the couple picked up for $25 in 1995 — framed in an arch of poplar and flanked by a transom and sidelights — that once provided entry to a local estate greenhouse. “Finally, I said to m...
|Head of the Class
Being a combination of authority figure, expert, fount of wisdom, entertainer and buddy is not an easy burden of any human to beat, but some teachers thrive under the weight of these combined roles. Ohio Magazine is recognizing 139 exemplary teachers from universities and colleges within the state in its annual Excellence in Education section. Spend a moment with a few among the respected and the best. Eyes on the Skies The endeavors of Ohio Wesleyan University zoology professor Edwar...
It doesn’t happen often. After all, for those among us who spring into action at the sight of a problem –– ready to right a wrong, lead a movement, or champion a cause at a moment’s notice –– looking the other way is as unnatural as ignoring a person in need. However, heroes know that the only thing as admirable as performing a selfless act is not seeking praise for it. Which is why when someone calls these people heroes, they may avert their eyes. All six of the Ohio...
As banter at holiday parties, discussing investment tenets such as “asset allocation” and “risk tolerance” may not thrill the punch-bowl crowd. But in the financial services arena, experts say it’s more important than ever for investors to become familiar with these and other basic investment principles. For those who are investing to build their retirement portfolios, an informed and disciplined approach can mean the difference between living comfortably in their senior ye...
|Spirit of the Season
Recall your favorite holiday memories from childhood: The comforting aroma of hot chocolate as you unlace your ice skates, your cheeks red with chill. The prick of pine needles on your fingers as your parents let you choose the Christmas tree. The clarity of the night sky seen from the carriage of a horse-drawn sleigh. Odds are, those memories don’t include late-night shopping at a big-box store. It’s hardly a new complaint. The idea that this season is now less about spending time with love...
|For the Record
To some people, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without spending every free moment scouring the state for the perfect tree. For others, unwrapping a special ornament or whipping up a batch of cookies from a treasured family recipe conjures up the spirit of holidays past. But for me, nothing grants such powerful access to days gone by as the music that played a noteworthy part in my childhood: the Christmas LPs that Akron’s Goodyear and Firestone tire companies released annually during t...
For most fifth-graders, summer means swimming pools and keeping a close lookout for ice-cream trucks. But 9-year-old Cody Mendenhall of Newport spent part of his vacation helping transform a dusty, abandoned town in New Mexico into a functioning community. This summer Mendenhall was one of 40 children from across the country chosen to participate in the new reality show on CBS-TV, “Kid Nation.” The show takes place in a ghost town called Bonanza City, where children make the rules sans adult...
There are as many definitions of heroism as there are heroes. But for our purposes here, we believe tennis star Arthur Ashe, who died in 1993, put it best: “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic,” he said. “It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” That says it well for the six heroic individuals and groups we spotlight this month in our annual “Ohio Heroes” feature. This is the feature’...
AGE: 57 HOMETOWN: New Albany PERSONAL: Married to Mark; they have three children: Kirsten, 24, Kristopher, 22, and Kalin, 20. OCCUPATION: Owner of Le Gateau, a cake and pastry shop. Her business is conducted primarily by phone (614/939-1930) and online ( www.legateau.net ). WHERE SHE LEARNED TO BAKE: Larson trained at Lenotre Pastry School in France, and continues to learn from professionals like Norman Love, a chocolatier with the French Pastry School in Chicago. She also has a mas...
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