Courtney and I went to Taste of Tremont yesterday afternoon as it finally cooled off some and we had the afternoon free. Although it was our first time there it was the 11th annual event where they close all of Professor Street and all the Tremont restaurants, bars, churches and others sell small portions of food and drinks. We went early and there were already thousands of people there. Great food, great bands, lots of different beer gardens and great people watching. We didn’t eat much. We had some crispy fried asian shrimp with a sweet dipping sauce and then even though there were gourmet delights of every kind I couldn’t resist the stuffed cabbage and pierogi from the Croatian church. They were perfect – no rice just meat and 1 cheese and 1 kraut pierogi. Lots of stuff going on in the neighborhood. Claire is possibly looking to move down there – I hope she does so we have a good excuse to go more often.
Went to taco tuesday at Parragon tonight. Can’t beat $1 tacos. Not bad tasting either.
Friday was a ridiculously long stressful day at work…. and my birthday to top it off. The only thing that got me through was knowing that Courtney and I were going to L’Albatros in the evening. We were going to go to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens before dinner to have a cocktail and view the orchid show but I was stuck on a conference call and didn’t get out of the hospital until six.
L’Albatros is Zack Bruell’s french bistro restaurant. Bruell is by far our favorite Cleveland chef. We have been to L’Albatros quite a few times over the years, especially enjoying it in the summer as its patio is perfect. We quickly made our way to the bar where I had a Maker’s Mark manhattan and Courtney had a Palm on draft. We made our way to our table about 30 minutes later. We ordered a nice bottle of white burgundy which is our celebratory wine of choice these days… especially when eating French bistro food. Courtney had a chopped salad full of sous vide chicken, blue cheese and other goodies. I had the spiced carrot soup which was nice and creamy and garnished with roasted almonds. Both were excellent. Courtney had the salmon and lentils for an entree and I had a platter of raw oysters. We have dreams about the salmon and lentils. It is so simple: roasted salmon, perfectly cooked green lentils and a bit of Bearnaise sauce. It is always so good. Perfection. We decided to skip dessert as we were on our way to the Cleveland Museum of Art for some more drinks and culture.
Courtney and I went out this past Friday night leading into the long holiday weekend. After work we went to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, the Cleveland Art Museum and then out to dinner at Chinato on East 4th.
This is our third visit to Chinato and it continues to be a favorite. We sat in the bar for awhile before we went in for dinner watching the snow storm outside. I had a Crown Royal Manhattan with some lovely liquor soaked cherries and Courtney had a Great Lakes Christmas Ale.
We split a tuna crudo – little pieces of raw tuna with a little bit of pesto, a little bit of Parmesan and they were fresh and delicious. We split a mushroom salad which was shaved raw mushrooms in a vinaigrette with lots of lemon and good parmesan. Very different and very tasty. We also split an order of fried artichokes.
Courtney had some sort of fish that I forget what it was called – sort of like monkfish that was served with a parsnip polenta and I had salmon served with white beans and braised escarole. Excellent dinner as always.
Courtney and I stopped at B Spot for lunch yesterday afternoon at Eaton while out shopping. B Spot is Michael Symon’s casual burger joint. I always thought it was a counter service place but it turns out it is a regular restaurant. We sat at the bar and I had a Bell’s Best Brown ale – yum- and Courtney has a Great Lakes Christmas ale. The space is nice even though it’s in a mall. There’s a great mural of beer cans on the wall with a big B in the middle. I had a bacon cheeseburger, Courtney has a thin lizzy and we split an order of onion rings. The burgers were great – nice and fresh, and buns were excellent – buttery brioche. There were different sauces to put on the burgers and dip the rings in. We especially liked the homemade ketchup.
We went on a road trip to Cincinnati last weekend to visit Jack and ate at some nice places.
Friday, 11/9/12: Moerlein Lager House.
As we were staying on the Kentucky side of the river, we walked across the Roebling Bridge on a beautiful night to go to Moerlein Lager House which is right on the river between the two stadiums. The place, just recently opened this year, was packed and was huge. We had a 7:30 reservation but had to wait a bit as there was ten of us. Everyone had some of their beer which was very good…had already been drinking a lot already thanks to Embassy Suites Happy Hour. We split a platter of pretzels with cheese and mustard and a plate of fried pickles and jalapenos. I had a grilled cheese with short ribs in it – very good. Lots of food had by all and all very good. A very nice place to go with a spectacular view…would be nice to go in warm weather as they have seating outside as well.
We went to Findlay Market for a quick lunch as we had a big Embassy Suites breakfast and we were planning an early dinner. Findlay Market is a few miles north of downtown Cinci in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood which is an area the city is trying to re-vitalize…similar to Ohio City / W.25th street area here in Cleveland. It looks like they have a longggggg way to go though as it appears to be in the middle of ghetto. The market was cool though…a smaller version of our West Side Market. The place was packed as it was a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon. We walked around a bit, found a table, found the beer sample guy, had some tacos and gelato and sat in the sun.
We went to the Hofbrauhaus for dinner on Saturday which is in Newport, Kentucky just a mile or so from our hotel. We went early as we know it is always crowded. We got there around 5:15 and were told the wait would be an hour. The good news is that they have a great outdoor beer garden to wait in and it was a great afternoon to sit outside and have a beer…a big beer.
We eventually made it inside for dinner. We didn’t get to sit in the main room where the polka band was playing, we would have had to wait another hour. But dinner was good…not great…but a fun place to go.
We went on a trip to Amish Country on Saturday. We went mostly to go to our favorite furniture store as we wanted to buy the end tables we have been waiting to buy for 10 years, but as everyone knows, the real reason to go to Amish country is to go to Der Dutchman. There is nothing better on a cold raining Ohio Saturday afternoon, (really any afternoon), than eating broasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and another side of stuffing just because. Sophie and Grace claim they have never been before, which I think is questionable, and whined and moaned the whole way down. But after the delectable Der Dutchman they were already counting down the three months we have to wait to come pick up our new end tables to come get some more delicious Amish goodness. Good stuff.