Tag Archives: Lunch

Ladies Who Lunch

Nordstrom

It’s Christmas in Cleveland and holiday traditions are in full swing. One of my favorites, Christmas presents shopping with my mum. And not at just any mall, but the extra lovely Beachwood Place. It just seems to sparkle fancy, no? It’s a hike from where I live but we don’t mind, because it makes the day more of an occasion.

Part of our tradition, lunch and perhaps a festive glass of wine at Sixth & Pine in Nordstrom. I love going to Sixth & Pine on a day off from work because for an hour or two I can sit amongst glamorous Ladies Who Lunch, sip Chardonnay and pretend to be one of them. In my dreams.

And of course, the food is delightful. My salad was the daily special, Fresh Berry & Fig Salad with Goat Cheese – organic baby greens and arugula, fresh seasonal berries, dried figs, spiced candied almonds, goat cheese, vanilla bean vinaigrette. Sounds wonderful – and it was as it was – but unfortunately the kitchen forgot the almonds and the figs! Disappointing but they did take it off the bill, so that was something.

Nordstrom2

And of course there is no such thing as a girls’ day out that doesn’t include dessert. A weekly special – chocolate mousse with toffee crumbles, fresh whipped cream and peanut butter caramel sauce. Stop it, really. It was as decadent as you may imagine.

So yes, a fancy little afternoon for a girl usually to be found in yoga pants. I don’t imagine I’ll ever achieve ‘Lady Who Lunches’ status but it’s Christmas and so I believe that sometimes, miracles can happen :).

xo Beth

Advertisements

Superior Pho

Soup

For a few weeks there, Cleveland had such a lovely Fall. Bright and sunny and it almost felt like Spring. I’ll take it. But then just like that, we were hit with rain and grayness and this morning – snow! Mother Nature is on fast forward lately.

But rain and snow are not so bad when they inspire coziness, especially cozy dishes. Like soup! Light yet filling, warming and comforting. And with so many variations, you can almost never get bored. Above, a delicious chicken noodle soup sans recipe. There was enough for several days of enjoyment, only a certain scatterbrain left it on the stove overnight. That was a lot of beautiful soup down the drain :(.

But nevermind, for it gave us a chance to try Superior Pho for lunch the following afternoon. And that was a very good move.

Pho

All in all, we tasted:

Banh mi thit – Vietnamese sandwich on a crispy French roll with homemade pate, roasted pork, cucumber, fresh herbs and mayonnaise sauce.

Goi cuon – Summer rolls with shrimp, fresh herbs, vermicelli noodles, wrapped in rice paper skin, served with peanut sauce.

Pho tai chin – noodle soup with well done brisket and eye-roundsteak.

The Banh Mi was fantastic, a great combination of flavors packed inside crispy soft French bread. Summer Rolls are Summer Rolls, fresh and light. I love them, especially dipped in that dreamy peanut sauce. And Pho, served quick and piping hot, packed full of tasty meat and soft noodles. Topped with plenty of Sriracha, guaranteed to make your nose run run :).

So yes! Superior Pho, a bit hard to find although very easy to enjoy. A soupy few days for sure.

xo Beth

Birthday Feasting

 bday weekend

October is a big month for my family as my mum and sister enjoy birthdays just a few days apart. So this past weekend called for a joint celebration, mostly in the form of lots of togetherness and (delicious) food. Louisa trekked home from DC, I made breakfast, my mum lunch and my dad dinner. Happy Birthday(s) indeed!

We began our Saturday with Eat, Live, Run’s Maple Nut Baked Oatmeal which is the stuff my breakfasty dreams are made of. I love breakfast, I have a lot. Especially delicious once cut into squares, dropped into bowls and drizzled with maple syrup and cream. Oh yes, happy Fall.

bday weekend2

Although my dad is an incredible cook, for me there is one recipe that tops them all. In that case, I request it every Fall. And this Fall, my mum took over. Delia Smith’s Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Melting Cheese. I mean, pumpkin soup is amazing in most any form but this soup takes the cake for sure. Once served, little hunks of gruyere are dropped into each bowl, which is then topped with homemade croutons, fresh parsley, creme fraiche and another sprinkle of cheese. As you pull each delicious spoonful out of your bowl, little hunks of melty cheese come too, for a savory-sweet-creamy-rich-Autumn overload. It is heaven.

And finally, Jamie Oliver’s Upside Down Fish Pie. Served with lots of white wine and followed by one very giant carrot cake for dessert (the birthday girls’ favorite), compliments of our dear friend Kate.

A delicious Saturday! Our little family, good food, good wine, good friends, lots of presents and lots of laughter. How much fun is that.

xo Beth

Frasca Food and Wine

CO8

And now for our favorite part, the food. We ate lots of yummy dishes in Colorado (because what else is there in life?) but for the purposes of this post I’ll focus on one type in particular. Along Pearl Street in Boulder are three spots by the same creators: Frasca Food and Wine, Pizzeria Locale and Frasca Caffe. It’s pretty much a little stretch of heaven.

We’ll start with Frasca Caffe, where I enjoyed this indulgent breakfast one Saturday morning before a day at St. Julien Spa (tough life). The flakiest, lightly sweet, nutty-filled croissant paired with a creamy cappuccino and sprinkle of raw sugar. I love breakfast. In my world, this breakfast could not come closer to perfection :).

CO6 

Another day, well okay two other days, we enjoyed lunch at the Pizzeria next door:

Vesuvius – heirloom tomato-basil-mozzarella di bufala

Frittatine – pasta-prosciutto cotto smoked mozzarella

Mais – mozzarella-prosciutto cotto-sweet corn-crème fraiche-garlic chive 

This pizza knocked my socks off so much I ordered it twice. Mountains are great and all but I think I could move to Boulder based on that picture alone :).

CO10

And another two days still we dined at Frasca. It’s a show, from the service to the wine presentation to the staging of dishes. Course after course of imaginative food make for one very entertaining evening indeed. I cannot think of anything I love much more than that.

Dinner on night one:

Tonno – Hawaiian Big Eye Tuna, Munson Corn, Heirloom Tomato and Dill

Gnocchi – Spring Onion, Smoked Ricotta, Red, Yellow and Chioggia Beet

Marlino – Hawaiian Striped Marlin, Eggplant, Cherry Tomato, Zucchini and Red Pepper

CROSTATA DI P RUGNA – Golden Plum, Almond, White Chocolate, Brown Butter and Plum Sorbet

You know, just for instance!

So yes, we ate well in Colorado, with much thanks to Frasca and company. From the food to the wine to the company to activity, our Colorado vacation was very good. And now I’m ready to embrace Cleveland once again with renewed zest. Perhaps we can find some cuisine worth comparing :).

xo Beth

West Side Market + GLBC

West Side Market4

What a gorgeous weekend!

It may not feel like full-time Spring just yet but we definitely had a nice taste of what’s to come. And Mother Nature’s timing could not have been more perfect, as it’s been a long Easter weekend for many. So Friday seemed like the perfect day for a shopping trip to The Westside Market, to soak in the spring sunshine and shop for Easter feasting. And in sizing up the crowd, it seemed like most of the rest of Cleveland had the same idea too.

West Side Market

Of course, I adore the Westside Market. It’s vibrant and bustling and full of rich Clevelandy life. I also love food too much and there’s more than enough of that tucked into every inch! This was my first time visiting since the fire and it was great to see such a supportive crowd.

As much as I love it, between the multitude of vendors and customers it does get overwhelming quickly! In that case there are a few things that I like to make a beeline for before crowd anxiety gets to be too much.

  1. Pierogi Palace – peanut butter and banana pierogies
  2. Mediterra Bakehouse – olive farm loaf
  3. Rita’s – goat cheese stuffed olives
  4. Maha’s Falafil – spicy falafil and baba wrap
  5. Theresa’s Bakery – filled to order cannoli

West Side Market3

But if we do manage forgo the falafil, then popping across the street and into Great Lakes Brewing Company for lunch and a brewski is the very best West Side Market tradition of them all.

West Side Market5

And so that was Friday. Any other WSM favorites to add? I always welcome suggestions :).

xo Beth

New York City, Part I

NYC3

Oh New York.

I have a love/hate relationship with NYC because of course it’s impossible not to love a city full of every opportunity, dream, character and experience imaginable. But it’s intense and gritty and overwhelming too, all at the same time. But for a few days, NYC is always a lovely place to be. And this visit was no exception.

I met up with Amber, my old University roommate, for four days and four nights of fun in the big city. We managed to do about eight days worth of activity, which has left me very worn out but very happy too. What a post-vacation high! Let’s recapture the moments.

Our first night we met up at our hotel and decided to get the party started right away by heading to Times Square and seeing where the night took us. About 5 minutes off the metro we got roped into buying tickets for a comedy show. Suckers. So we had drinks at Jimmy’s Corner bar and headed over to another part of town for the late set. Although I was skeptical about what street tickets will buy you, it was HILARIOUS. Stand Up NY – I highly recommend it!

The next morning-ish, we began our day at the very adorable The Spotted Pig in Greenwich for lunch, which was perhaps my favorite meal of the trip.

NYC

And not just because I accidentally ordered what I’m pretty sure was straight bourbon in a glass and Amber an entire wine bottle size cider to drink. Just keeping things classy, like we do :).

Burrata with Creamy Merlot Beans & Roasted Treviso to eat. Plus a slice of banoffee pie to finish that made my tummy and taste buds smile a very happy smile.

We spent the afternoon shopping and exploring Greenwich and SoHo before rounding out our day with pho and drinks at a few very weird bars.

The next (rainy) day we were up and off to The Late Show to try and get tickets… but that was an epic fail as we got on the wrong metro, got off at the wrong stop and never even made it in time to put our names on the lottery list. But at least we were soaking wet and freezing cold at the end of it all. Boo hoo!

After warming up over some Indonesian food, we decided it was a good day for a movie and made our way over to Angelika Film Center. We saw the film No, a Chilean historical drama which probably makes us sound much more intelligent than we really are :).

NYC4

It seems a shame to be in NYC and spend a day at the movies but not when the theatre is so beautiful and the film so unique. It felt so New York! Plus, we were warm and dry which was pretty much all I could want out of life at that point.

We enjoyed a little New York pizza for dinner and then did two very fun bar hops, first to McSorley’s Old Ale House, NY’s oldest continuously operated saloon.

And next to The Back Room speakeasy which was the coolest thing ever! Well at least to a not-so-hip girl like me. To get there, we went through a random little gate, through a dark alley and knocked on a unmarked door. But when the bouncer let us in, we entered a beautiful 1920’s-style bar, complete with old velvet couches and gorgeous chandeliers. We drank yummy cocktails out of tea mugs and felt so underground :).

So I will bring you Part II next time, as I’m sure you’ve had enough of me for one day. Back soon!

xo Beth