Eat Out: Chinato

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.

detail of gingerbread house at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens
they did a nice job this year. lots of nice flowers
we ventured outside for just a bit as it was a blizzard



Eat Out: B Spot

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.

the beer can mural

Eat Out: Cincinnati

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.

Jack and Jenee
silly girls…and sean
me, mom and dad

Saturday, 11/10/12

Findlay Market

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.

waiting for everbody else
the tacos were very good.
…and of course the gelato was good.


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.

big beers. happy parents.

eating dinner inside

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.

Eat Out: Der Dutchman

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.

Eat Out: Noodle Cat

We went to the circus yesterday afternoon downtown and went to Noodlecat on Euclid Avenue and East 4thish after the big show.  Noodle Cat is The Greenhouse’s Jonathan Sawyer’s noodle shop that is right around the corner from the Greenhouse.  There is also a Noodlecat stand that opened recently at the West Side Market.

The restaurant is a bare bones, hipster sort of place.  Courtney and I got Sapporo on draft and the girls go sodas.  We had 4 different kinds of steamed buns: 2 each of pulled pork; fried chicken; tempura vegetable; and the chef’s special of the night: smoked sausage.  All were excellent, the tempura vegetable was my favorite.  We all ordered bowls of noodles also – I had spicy short ribs with beef broth and scallions, Sophie and Grace had chicken, Claire had spicy shrimp and Courtney had pork with a 6 minute egg.  Courtney’s pork had the best flavor.  Fun, quick and cheap place to go.  The steamed buns are especially good.

Happy to be out with everyone on a Saturday.
The girls.
Bowls of good stuff.
Slurping up their noodles.

Eat Out: Lure Bistro

We went out to Lure Bistro last Tuesday to celebrate Claire’s birthday.  We have been to Lure Bistro several times over the years, even when it was just called Lure and used to be in Bratenahl a longgggg time ago.  But alas we have never been there for Tuesday 1/2 price sushi night!  We tried to go in the summer but we couldn’t go in.  Go figure.  Courtney, Claire, Grace, Sophia and I went and had a great dinner…ordering nothing except sushi.  Except for Sophia, who is not a fan, who ordered a heirloom tomato salad with fresh mozarella ( a foodie to be… thank you).  The sushi was all very good.  Fresh made sushi is so much better than the quick take out that we usually get from various spots.  We thought we ordered a ton but we had no trouble finishing it.  We tried a couple different things including grilled eel with mango which was very good.  Can’t beat the price.  Will be back soon.  Finished the night with Dairy Queen cake.  Happy Birthday Claire!

not a very nice picture. it looked much more impressive in person. it was fun to be there and see all the tables order these huge platters of sushi.
happy birthday Claire! 23! yikes


happy sisters

Eat Out: Flying Fig

Courtney and I haven’t been out by ourselves in quite a while so we decided to go to Flying Fig. Flying Fig is a small place off West 25th that concentrates on local food and everyone say’s it’s a great place.  We stopped at Great Lakes Brewery first for a beer.  Even though it was a bit chilly out we still sat outside and enjoyed the weather and people watching.

relaxing on the patio at Great Lakes Brewery

At Flying Fig I ordered their house manhattan and Courtney had an ommegang.  We split an order of tempura green beans that came with pineapple and ponzu dipping sauces.  They were delicious.  Crunchy yet not greasy.  The salty and tangy ponzu sauce was very tasty.  Courtney had a beet salad and I had a fried green tomato salad.  My salad was perfect.  Tangy, crispy, crunchy green tomatoes, fresh local lettuce, fresh corn, blue cheese and a vinaigrette.  Definitely in my salad hall of fame.  We order half portions of entrees – which is a nice way to do things.  Courtney had polenta with ratatouille and I had herbed gnocchi with sous-vide chicken.   All very good but the fried green tomatoes definately won the prize.  Just as we were finishing up John and Mary called to see if we wanted to meet for a drink so we went down the street to Bar Cento and had a few.  Tony and MaryAnn happened to be walking by when were there so they joined in the few as well.  fun night.

Flying Fig on a beautiful evening
The West Side Market is 100 years old this year


Eat Out: Greenhouse Tavern

Courtney, Jack, Jenni and I went to the Greenhouse Tavern on E.4th last night before going to a concert at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  This is the third time we have been here and again had a great meal.  We sat outside as it was a beautiful evening and it’s always fun to watch the people walking around E. 4th.  We split three appetizers: chicken wings, local green beans with tomatoes and whipped feta and a fresh peach that came with an agradolce sauce and bacon.  They were all superb.  We always have the wings and they are the best, most unique wings anywhere.  The peach was also perfect and a fun new combination.  For seconds I had a small plate of pasta carbonara with fresh corn, Courtney had a salad of endive and blue cheese, Jack had a strip steak with pomme frites and Jenni had a pasta called roasted pepper cacciatore.  Again, all were excellent but Jenni’s pasta won the prize for sure.  Perfect little pasta nuggets, not sure what the shape was called, with tomotaoes, peppers, fennell and other stuff.  MMMM.

EatOnEdgecliff Rating: A all the way! (Don’t forget to get the chicken wings)

Jack and Jenni in the arcade on the way to E 4th Street.
dreaming of chicken wings
relaxing on E 4th Street
watching Sharon Von Etten with all the hipsters
beautiful night

Eat Out: Scotti’s

Scotti’s is an Italian place on East 185th Street that has been there for years.  I haven’t been there in probably ten years.  My Dad took Sophie and I out on Friday as everyone else was at Cedar Point and my Mom was out with friends.  We hoped to sit out on the patio but rain forced us to sit inside.  We had a really good dinner I’m happy to say.  We had salads with the house dressing.  Sophia had a pepperoni calzone that was nice and crispy, my dad had veal parmesean and I had chicken marsala.  The chicken was crispy and tender and the sauce was perfect with lots of mushrooms.  It also came with a side of garlic mashed potatoes that was tasty.  Scotti came and sat with us for awhile and talked volleyball with him as he coached his girls.  Will definately be heading back more often.

EatOnEdgecliff Rating: B+  (take credit cards and that might increase a bit)