Tag Archives: Restaurants

Lago, Katz Club Diner and Marotta’s

Katz Diner

A weekend full of good food, fun company, lots of sunshine and lots of outdoor time is rather close to perfection if you ask me. Lucky for me, this weekend was just that :).

Starting with a Friday night dinner at the new Lago. I’d been to Lago at it’s old location in Tremont a few years ago and remember it being delicious, so I was eager to try out their new version in the Flats. Admittedly, the first impression was not great: It’s got a nightclub-lounge feel now, which is not exactly my desired restaurant atmosphere. And the menu and wine list are quite cluttered, making them a little hard to navigate. But beyond that, our olives and cheese were good to start and my main: LOBSTER GNOCCHI – Ricotta Gnocchi, Tomato, Sweet Corn, Basil, Truœffle Cream Sauce was just as divine as it sounds. Soft gnocchi, generous hunks of lobster, sweet corn and earthy truffle. Whoever dreamt up that combination has captured my foodie heart. We also had a nice visit from their sommelier after expressing some disappointment with our first glasses of wine and ended up with a really lovely bottle: Podere Sapaio 2009. All in all, I really enjoyed our meal and hope they do well in their new spot.

Saturday morning I found myself in breakfast heaven, with a thick stack of Katz Club Diner blueberry pancakes. Crispy on the outside, fluffy-light inside, full of juicy bursts of blueberry. Plus real maple syrup and a good cup of coffee and I couldn’t have been more content. Love that spot.

Acacia Preserve

With full bellies, we took a gorgeous stroll around the new Acacia Reservation – an old golf course turned trail across from Beachwood Place. An easy way to soak up some afternoon sunshine and enjoy the great outdoors.

Gordon Park

But then it was so nice, (and how much longer does that last?) we had to make one more outdoor stop: Lakefront Reservation to gaze at our extra sparkly Lake.

Followed by a long nap and a delicious piping hot, extra chewy pizza to-go from Marotta’s for supper.

Mitchell's

And finally, a little Mitchell’s to shut it down. Don’t worry, that monster wasn’t mine  – although it makes for a pretty picture!

So yes, good food, fun company, lots of sunshine and lots of outdoor time. I could get used to you Cleveland :).

xo Beth

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Cleveland in July

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So far so good for a stay-at-home month in July. My bank account thanks me, I’ve been able to revisit a few CL favorites and I’ve come to appreciate a whole bunch of new-to-me spots around town as well.

All have been a blast and I’m really happy to finally take advantage of attractions in the backyard of my hometown after spending much of the last 10 years elsewhere. It sure makes me appreciate how many resources CL has to offer, especially considering the amazingly low cost of living.

Now of course you can’t get up to all that fun without some fuel, so I’ve been eating all kinds of delicious food too. Although Cleveland or beyond, what’s so new about that :).

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This week, Melt for mushroom grilled cheese, garlic tomato soup and hoppy pints of IPA, Lucky’s for the curried tofu Canoewreck, salty-sweet pecan crusted bacon (heaven) and the best homemade toast and jam. At home, barbequed everything, including sockeye salmon, Rick Bayless chicken tacos with tomatillo salsa and huevos rancheros with the leftovers. Plus Dairy Queen soft serve vanilla with crunch coat – because no matter how much of a grown-up foodie you’d like to be, you should never resist a classic summer treat :).

Oh and really giant lobster tails from Heinen’s, of which I ate a whole one all by myself and I don’t feel even a little sorry.

June travels were so much fun. Cleveland in July has been pretty scrumptious too.

xo Beth

Happy Fourth, Cleveland

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Friends, Happy Independence Day weekend. I hope you’ve had a blast! Even though I’m bummed that my first summer back in Cleveland has been a rainy-wet mess, it’s not put much of a damper on summertime fun. This weekend has been filled to the brim with good food, fun activities and the people I love the most. What else could a girl ask for?

It all began July 3rd, when we decided to pop downtown and see the Tall Ships. Poor planning maybe, because none of the ships were actually sailing by the time we arrived…and none were actually accessible for touring either. But never mind! It was just neat to stroll around the lake, enjoy a little people watching and soak in a good evening. Plus, seeing a few of the docked ships through a metal fence is almost the same thing, right?

Afterwards, we walked up to the Cleveland Convention Center and took in views of downtown from the lovely new green space. So nice! I can hardly believe it’s built on a roof. I’d call it a must-see if you haven’t taken advantage yet.

And after all that walking, a delicious late-night Happy Hour dinner at Lolita, which totally knocked my socks off. Mussels in a chorizo, garlic and parsley broth with crusty French bread for $5, burgers with bacon, fried egg, cheddar and onion for $5 and $4 glasses of wine. I was starving, dinner hit the spot and our bill was less than $30. How amazing is that! Thanks Michael Symon.

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July 4th itself, we welcomed my little sister Louisa back to Cleveland with a yummy BBQ at my parent’s house. The above shrimp dish to start, followed by grilled steak and mushrooms, corn on the cob, scalloped potatoes and a big bowl of salad. Plus a red, white and blue berry pavlova to finish. Served with good wine, always wine. Not a bad way to mark the occasion, if you ask me :).

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And Friday night a delightful-as-always family dinner at Spice. Cocktails, mushroom beignets and polenta chickpea fries to start, because we can’t have a meal at Spice without them. Wine and pan-seared walleye for the main event and shared plates of strawberry-rhubarb panna cotta and a skillet of blueberry corn cake with crème fraiche ice cream to shut it down.

Feeling pretty thankful for life in the US and all it can offer on this very delightful Holiday weekend :).

xo Beth

L’Albatros + Crop

Memorial Weekend

Happy long weekend! But more importantly, Happy Memorial Day – and thank you very much.

Although the oddly cool temps were not exactly the kick-off to summer I might prefer (swimming anyone?), it was a wonderful weekend as my big brother Richard came to visit from Chicago. Of course, lots of delicious food was involved!

Friday dinner at L’Albatros

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I’m able to check another of my CL Bucket List with this meal, as we began with some delicious vino and a few selections off their incredible cheese board. If you like cheese and you have not partaken in L’Albatros’ yet, do yourself a favor and get there immediately! It is the best in all of Cleveland.

After a late night airport pick-up and very late night drinky catch-up with Rich, Saturday morning involved a whole lot of sleeping in, followed by a looong walk in the Metroparks. The cool sunshine was gorgeous and the park very full of happy faces.

And in the evening, a drink at Market Avenue Wine Bar and dinner at Crop. It’s got to be one of the best places to take out of towners. Where else can you find such a breathtakingly beautiful building turned restaurant?  And of course the food isn’t bad either :).

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Selections included: Truffle popcorn, Pan Seared Scallops – Potato Cake, Asparagus, Veggie Hay, Tarragon Butter Sauce and Basked Alaska – Rich Chocolate Cake, Mitchell’s Coffee Ice Cream, Toasted Italian Meringue, Dark Chocolate Sauce FTW.

Sunday dinner was enjoyed closer to home…and so we’ll recap that meal next time. Here’s hoping your holiday weekend was similarly full of good food and even better people.

xo Beth

Tartine Bistro

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Tuesdays are my favorite of the weekdays, as they’re full of lots of things I love. First, a 6PM yoga class with my old and dear friend Stephanie at Heartlight Yoga. As yoga classes go, it’s gentle and relaxing and best of all, the most amazing stretch. I always feel a foot taller afterward, which is saying a lot from someone who’s already 5’10 :).

And once that glorious hour is up, we head to post-yoga dinner and enjoy a different kind of treat. There’s lots of great restaurants in the area, casual enough to show up to in yoga pants (very important). The other week we stumbled on a little gem in Rocky River that is the new love of my restauranty life – Tartine Bistro.

Although the interior is very charming, we opted to dine on the patio because it’s just that time of the year. Plus, it’s adorable! Brick pavement and lots of little white lights.

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To drink, 2007 Chateau Gonin Bordeaux, rich with notes of truffles and chocolate. Normally I don’t remember what wine I drink, just if it was delicious. But this one was so wonderful, I just had to take the name for future use.

And then we shared:

Beet salad – braised pistachio, goat cheese, honey vinaigrette. Light and bright and refreshing, the perfect dinner-on-a-patio salad.

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The ultimate show stopper – wild mushroom goat cheese, wilted leeks, black truffle oil. Since mushrooms and truffle oil are two of my top favorite foods of all time, combining the two onto one glorious, melty pizza is practically heaven on a plate. This smells divine, tastes even better.

So yes, Tuesday is my favorite of the weekdays :). A little bit extra now.

xo Beth

Spice Kitchen + Bar

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Saturday was a glorious day, for my dear friend Jackie was home for the weekend to celebrate Easter with her fam. And in the evening she managed to sneak out long enough to meet for a delicious dinner and major catch up at Spice Kitchen + Bar. Speaking of friends, Spice just happens to be owned by my very best friend Emily’s brother Ben. So much love in one meal! I almost can’t handle it.

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Except of course I can :). We always have an awesome meal at Spice and I was excited to share it with Jackie during her visit to CL. We both enjoyed a lovely glass of wine to start, Zin for Jackie and Sauvignon Blanc for me, per our waiter’s recommendations.

There are two appetizers that are just way too delicious at Spice, their polenta fries and mushroom beignets with honey goat cheese creme fraiche (yes). And so of course we had to indulge in at least one. Above you’ll see the Polenta Chickpea fries with spicy remoulade. Crispy on the outside, creamy soft inside and served piping hot. They are insane!

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And for dinner, the evening’s special: Pan-seared walleye over vegetable curry and jasmine rice. Hands down my favorite dish I’ve ever had at Spice. True to the very best that curry has to offer, this dish was rich but not heavy, so incredibly flavorful and satisfying. I was tempted to lick the plate.

A delightful evening – awesome Cleveland food, lovely out of town company. A very blessed Easter weekend indeed :).

xo Beth

West Side Market + GLBC

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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

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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.

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

xo Beth