Tag Archives: CL Bucket List

Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate

I can’t stop drinking hot chocolate lately. Not surprising, given how it is outside. All I want to do is curl up in a blanket and go to sleep until this horrid winter lets up. If only life would allow it :).

On Sunday I had cup from Starbuck’s that was too chocolate syrupy for my taste. On Tuesday, one from Civilization which I was sure would be delicious as I saw it named one of 50 Things to Eat and Drink in Cleveland. The shop was adorable but the drink nothing special. And on Wednesday, Godiva’s costly version – delightfully chocolaty but only semi-warm.

In case you are wondering, my Tour de Chocolat Chaud has not yet caused weight gain, although I fear it might if I don’t find a truly satisfying cup soon! Memories tell me nothing can beat Lilly’s drinking chocolate and that might have to be my next stop.

What’s your pick for the best hot chocolate in CLE? Someone help.

xo Beth


Wednesday Weekend Recap

fried chicken

It’s Wednesday and we’re recapping the weekend. Things have been busy! But I think a Wednesday weekend recap will do, especially for one as scrumptious as this.

Friday was spent with my sweet old high school friends at Cornerstone Brewing Company in Berea Square. Looking so adorable still dressed up for Christmas! Although their food doesn’t really light my fire, their Seven IPA is as delicious as they come and I can’t say no to that.

Saturday was so (rainy but) warm! A perfect winter day for a trip to the Westside Market. We bought ingredients for that evening’s dinner, healthier “fried” chicken and minty Greek salad. Plus a delightful loaf of fresh bread from my favorite, Mediterra Bakehouse. It was a lighter yet yummy supper, perfect for a January I’m-so-sick-of-resolutions-already dinner.

Post-dinner we crossed the first item off my 2014 CL Bucket List and attended the late show at Hilarities. Yannis Pappas was the headliner and as with all of the night’s comedians – just. too. funny. And only $18 a ticket! Why don’t we do that more often.

biscuits and gravy

Sunday’s breakfast was rather decadent, another product of our WSM shopping trip. Sausage gravy and homemade biscuits. Dare I say better than Lucky’s? Perhaps not but certainly closer to home and impressively delicious for our first try!

Followed by way too much television time but who can resist all those gorgeous (and not so gorgeous) Red Carpet fashions? Not I. And so there’s last weekend. Likely, I’ll see you again after the next :).

xo Beth

New Year Cleveland Bucket List


Happy New Year! We have a wind chill of –24F outside. But never mind, because soon it will “warm up” and we can all start having fun again.

And one way to ensure plenty of fun for the year ahead is a nice list of things to enjoy. A Bucket List! Not only is it fun to participate in Bucket List activities, it’s also satisfying to cross them off, no?

I made a nice dent in my Cleveland Bucket List last year – but since then I’ve discovered so much more to do! As quickly as I check items off, new ones appear. In that case, here’s 10 places to eat and drink and things to see and do from my master list, which I’ll be sure to accomplish before year’s end. We’ll call it a resolution…likely the only one I keep :).

2014 Cleveland Bucket List




A Cookie & A Cupcake

Civilization Coffee



Terminal Tower Observation Deck

Wade Oval Wednesday

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad


Ohio Winery

What’s on your 2014 Bucket List? Suggestions are always welcome.

xo Beth

Tis the Season, Part I

Potato Gratin

So much food, so much booze. I am stuffed!

Ah but it’s just so fun while it lasts (and the fun is not quite over yet). Above and below, a delicious little weeknight dinner that only comes together due to random December days off work. Fillet minion, scalloped potato gratin, mushrooms in sherry sauce. And a sip of Cleveland Whiskey’s Christmas Bourbon, all spicy and warm. Weeknight dinner perfection.

Steak potato mushrooms

Last weekend was particularly fun as my brother came in from Chicago, my sister in from DC, and I already live here :). It was a blast.

Friday dinner was enjoyed at home, mushroom-stuffed pork tenderloin, vegetable cous cous and crusty French bread. Lots of board games, lots of cheese and wine, lots of fun ensued.


Saturday my family went out shopping at the Westside Market and to the Rock Hall, while I stayed behind trying to recover from the cough that never ends. Luckily I was well enough to attend my high school friends’ annual Christmas party and a family dinner at our favorite spot, Spice, in the evening :). Shared bites of Polenta Chickpea Fries, Flatbread, Mushroom Beignets and Ohio Cheeses, followed by OXTAIL BUTTERNUT GNOCCHI – squash, greens, ricotta & pan reduction. Like soft, tasty pillows of heaven.

On Sunday, my siblings and I ventured downtown for a family photo shoot, a surprise Christmas gift to our parents. Despite the rain it was a warm day, perfect for frolicking all over downtown Cleveland and snapping lots of photographs together.

Followed by a traditional English Sunday Lunch – roast beef, Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes and veggies. And then a cheese board….a whole lot of Wii games…and then some homemade sausage rolls and local ice cream. Hello delicious food coma.

And we haven’t even talked Christmas yet! More on that feast next time we meet. Someone get me to the gym.

xo Beth

Glow at Cleveland Botanical Garden


December is flying by, much too fast for my taste. Between work and life, holiday preparations, visitors and visiting – there’s so much to enjoy and what seems like so little time to enjoy it! But as always, I’ve been determined to participate in a few extracurricular Christmas activities before they’re gone for another year.

Like Glow at Cleveland Botanical Garden. I love the garden and try to visit often – especially in the winter. A walk through the warm, outdoorsy interior feels like a nice little vacation from way too much indoor time. I’ve been to fun events such as Cocktails in the Garden and Orchids After Dark but never Glow. So I was happy for the experience this December.

A fun little browse in their lovely gift shop, followed by a long stroll through all sorts of beautifully decorated gingerbread houses and Christmas trees. And finally, a little walk through the greenhouses to see their beautiful poinsettias. So festive, so sparkly :).


My favorite, a Victorian Gingerbread. How absolutely lovely is that?

A delightful dinner followed, at Washington Place Bistro’s 2 for $40 Wednesday. Or in our case, 3 for $60 :). It is one impressive special! A shared appetizer and bottle of wine, plus one entree each. I enjoyed my pours of wine with a bowl of Cauliflower Bisque and then Shrimp and Grits. A stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal, perfect for this month of indulgence.

Amidst all the holiday hustle and bustle, the evening was a perfect reminder to occasionally stop and smell the roses (poinsettias), just because. How happy the holidays can be.

xo Beth

December Decadence

Steak night2 

In case you hadn’t noticed by today’s 25 degree thermometer reading, Cleveland’s not-so-friendly winter is officially upon us. Which before Christmas, is just fine in my book. Extra cold weather makes warm homes cozier, fire places brighter and bottomless glasses of red wine seem necessary for survival. Days are best spent hibernating – cooking and eating delicious food. Which is exactly what we did this weekend!

On Friday, a late night steak dinner – fillet decked out with a to die for mushroom sherry sauce, which this mushroom aficionado could not. stop. eating. Plus spicy-sweet roast sweet potatoes to really warm our insides. We realized after sitting down to eat that our plates were most definitely missing anything green. But never mind, it was Friday and I think that means vegetables are out and wine is most definitely in :).

Umami Chicken Stew2 

Saturday we enjoyed a fun day out in Ohio City and at the Westside Market, all dressed up and looking lovely for Christmas. We gathered ingredients for that evening’s dinner: Rachael Ray’s Umami Chicken Stew, had a little lunch at Great Lakes (and a Christmas Ale?) and did some present shopping at the Made in the 216 Holiday Shoppe. I loved it! Local gifts are the best gifts, I say.

Later, dinner was delicious – overflowing with all kinds of unique umami flavors. Leftovers are plentiful.

Short ribs2

And finally, a lush Sunday night dinner of Short Ribs and Homemade Dumplings. The short ribs were fall-off-the-fork tender and the dumplings chewy gooey perfection. I could eat a million.

Then we *tried* to make Christmas cookies and I almost made myself cry. Lessons learned include: ‘Quit while you’re ahead’ and ‘Good cooks are not always good bakers’. Oh well – just a little something to keep that foodie ego in check :).

A lovely start to a month of December decadence to come.

xo Beth   

Fat Cats

Fat Cats

I have a new restauranty love that I’ve just got to share. Well, new to me and potentially some of you – Fat Cats has actually been around for years. 

Although when left in charge of the restaurant selection I’m always tempted to default to what I know and love, this Friday we were feeling adventurous. And so after a little research I chose Fat Cats, named by Bon Apetit magazine one of the best neighborhood restaurants in the country. Can’t argue that!

And now, I can see why. Casual cozy atmosphere with a gorgeous view of downtown, friendly service and scrumptious food. All in all our party of four enjoyed:

Appetizers: Butternut Squash Hummus and Charcuterie

(my) Entree: Shrimp with Red Curry – carrot, shiitake, zucchini, butternut squash ravioli, lime

Desserts: Morning Dew Apple Pie with cheddar crust and Lemon Crème Brulee

And a lovely bottle of Malbec to match.

Unique little twists on fairly common dishes – my favorite kind of menu. And the right amount of food, so we could taste lots without leaving stuffed. So now Fat Cats has quickly become one of my new choice restaurants in town. Let’s meet for dinner soon :).  

xo Beth