Jihad Hachicho, chef/owner of Aura Global Cuisine (9200 Broadview Road, Broadview Heights, 440-546-9940), uses kalamata olive ice cream as the centerpiece of his kalamata salad ($7.50). The sweet scoop, flecked with small chunks of kalamata olive, syncs so well with the balsamic vinaigrette, mixed greens, mozzarella and strawberries, it leaves you pondering the flavor puzzle long after the last bite.
Jonathan Guest, executive chef at XO Prime Steaks (500 W. St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, 216-861-1919), spoons Meyer lemon sorbet next to a jumbo shrimp cocktail with avocado ($12.95). It works as a palate cleanser and takes some of the edge off the garlic and chives that season the shrimp. “Besides,” he adds, “I just like the idea of throwing away the preconceived idea that certain foods belong in specific categories.” Us, too!