Sunday, Jun 24, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Dan Neman


Chef cooks up a place of his own


Rob Campbell, formerly the chef at Bluewater Grille in Maumee, prepares oyster shooters with tequila gazpacho during a Taste of the Nation event in 2010. On Tuesday, Mr. Campbell will open his own restaurant, Revolution Grille, at 5333 Monroe St.

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Usually, we don't use this space to announce the opening of restaurants. Restaurants open all the time, especially in this food-crazed area, and unfortunately many of them also close.

But we're going to make a rare exception in this case (or maybe not so rare -- we'll have news of another major opening in a week or two) to announce that Revolution Grille opens Tuesday at 5333 Monroe St. What makes this opening noteworthy is the owner and chef, Rob Campbell.

Mr. Campbell previously made his mark serving up some of the area's best seafood at Mancy's Bluewater Grille in Maumee (which remains open under new executive chef Onnie Reed). And before that, he worked Italian wonders as the chef at Ciao! Ristorante.

Now he has a place of his own. Revolution Grille -- not to be confused with the lamented Revolver in Findlay -- will feature what we are told will be "a diverse and ever-changing menu" of American food prepared with classical techniques.

Sounds good. The "ever-changing menu" (I have a mental image of a menu that changes colors every 15 minutes, but I suppose that is too much to hope for) will feature small tasting courses, entrees, and offerings from the salad-soup-sandwich-burger spectrum. Much of the produce will be local and seasonal, and not-on-the-menu specials will also be served, at least sometimes.

The restaurant will include counter seating for people who want to watch the chef and his crew in action, plus a communal table for up to 12 guests, and a private dining room.

The restaurant is associated with Mainstreet Ventures in Ann Arbor, but is not owned by them. The chain is offering management and training support, and is considered a sister company rather than an owner. It is they who will answer the phone for reservations, at least for the time being, at 888-456-3463.

Revolution Grille opens for business at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday with a fund-raising event for Kids Unlimited, which helps at-risk children improve their academic and social skills. It will be open 4:30 to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4:30 to midnight Friday-Saturday, and 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Ola, ORA!

This column does not happen to know what is the largest private-sector employer in Ohio. Neither does it know the second-largest private-sector employer in Ohio.

But the third-largest? Oh, this column is all over that.

The third-largest private-sector employer in Ohio, since you asked, is the food-service industry. It takes in $16 billion a year at 27,000 locations and employs more than 553,000 people.

Representing the interests of all those businesses and all those people is the Ohio Restaurant Association. And running the association for the next two years is Toledo's own Roger Parker.

The association's 87th chairman of the 92-year-old association, Mr. Parker is the operating partner of Mancy Brothers' Catering. Formerly the vice president of hospitality for the catering firm V/Gladieux Enterprises, he is a familiar face about town. Mr. Parker has long been associated with food-related charitable events, such as Taste of the Nation, Share Our Strength, and such causes as the Red Cross and the United Way.

Before coming to Toledo 19 years ago, Mr. Parker worked in the food-service departments of three major hotels in New York City: the New York Helmsley Hotel, Le Parker Meridien, and the Grand Hyatt.

Classes 'n food

You pay a lot for quality at Williams-Sonoma, but you have to give them credit for coming up with innovative ways to get customers through the doors.

This month, the Westfield Franklin Park store continues its series of cooking classes and technique demonstrations, including a clever idea: the cookbook club. Seventy-five bucks gets you a 1 1/2-2-hour class that examines a new cookbook, and then serves a three-course dinner (made while you watch) cooked from recipes from that book. And of course you also get a copy of the book itself, including a pre-signed bookplate.

This week's club will look at Chris Cosentino's book Beginnings, which is devoted to Italian-style first courses. On the menu will be pappa al pomodoro; fruits and nuts; charred Brussels sprouts, walnuts, and country ham; pork and porcini polpettini; a cheese platter, and Rosalie's pepper knots. The two-hour class will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Also on the W-S schedule is an all-American dinner class on June 20 at 6:30 p.m. teaching how to cook chilied flank steak, heirloom tomato salad, grilled new potatoes with a red pepper crust, and berry shortcake pudding with whipped cream. The class costs $50, including the meal.

And at 10 a.m. June 24 (and repeated at 7 p.m. June 25) will be a technique class showing how to prepare, season, and grill fish and seafood -- including the always tricky (not really) method of wood-plank grilling. This class will be free.

To register for any of the events or for more information, such as what polpettini is, call the store at 419-475-6368.

Items for Morsels should be submitted up to two weeks before an event at

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