Why? Cleveland Indians Terrace Club!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Kayla (Comment #2), randomly-selected winner of 2 general admission tickets to tonight’s Night Before 9: Out in Art! Please check your email for more details.

Also, wishing the happiest of birthdays to the most wonderful of husbands! Matthew, I love you so much and hope this day and the coming year bring you all the happiness you bring Jeffrey and me every day!***

On Tuesday, Matthew and I had plans to meet up with friends Nathan and Lane to enjoy one of the “Battle of Ohio” games, as the Cleveland Indians took on the Cincinnati Reds. Before the game, Matthew and I were invited to have dinner at the Terrace Club, which boasts great views of the field, as well as tasty food.

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Our dinner was a special part of the #SocialSuite experience for the night, as the Terrace Club wanted us to try a potential new menu item: the Terminal Tower nachos.

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Named for the downtown skyline’s most recognizable landmark, these nachos are layers of crispy tortillas, chicken, pulled pork, queso sauce, and pico de gallo, topped with a whole jalapeno. We really enjoyed this dish, especially how crisp the tortillas stayed, even with all the filling. While the nachos could use a bit more spice, overall they were quite tasty and plenty to share among a table. Watch the Terrace Club menu for this new item to be appearing at a future home stand.

We also sampled lots of the other appetizers (fried pickles and fried calamari were two favorites at our table). Matthew had the 50’s burger, which features double patties, swiss and cheddar, and bacon. I had the grilled chicken, avocado, and bacon sandwich.

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The food is really good, plus you get to enjoy it in a restaurant-style atmosphere, while not missing a moment of the game.

You can eat at the Terrace Club whenever you have game tickets; you just need to make a reservation. You can also host private events at the Terrace Club while the Tribe is on the road. Click here for more information on Terrace Club dining. This may be my new favorite way to take in a game…the food is a winner, even when the game is not!

Also, there are exciting changes coming to Progressive Field for next season, including a two-story bar, neighborhood-focused areas of the ballpark (e.g., Ohio City, Tremont), a remodeled and more open Gate C, and an expanded Kids’ Clubhouse! Check out the changes here.

***Disclosure: I was invited by the Cleveland Indians to attend dinner and a game as part of the #SocialSuite experience. As I already had tickets to that evening’s game, I declined the tickets, but attended the complimentary dinner with a guest. I was also invited to attend a press conference on the Progressive Field remodeling, but declined due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weapons of Mass Creation!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Today is your last chance to enter to win 2 general admission tickets to Night Before 9: Out in Art. This event is a kickoff for the Gay Games at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Check it out!***

Cleveland is filled with tons of creative, visionary people. So it’s no surprise that Cleveland hosts the premier art, design, and music fest in the country.

savethedate2014From August 15 through 17, the 5th annual Weapons of Mass Creation Fest will bring together musicians, artists, students, and more to learn from each other, network, and express their creativity.

WMC Fest will include 20 speakers, 20 bands, panels, workshops, a comedy showcase, a breakdance battle, and much more, all happening at the Cleveland Public Theatre.

Tickets are $100 for a three-day pass to all the creativity, fun, and learning you can handle. You can also purchase individual day or event tickets ranging from $10 to $55. Tickets can be purchased online.

WMC Fest is a truly unique Cleveland event that is gaining national attention and momentum. Check it out!

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Why? Weekends!

After Friday at Twilight at the Zoo, it was a busy Saturday and Sunday with friends and family! On Saturday, my friend Jen spent the night at our house on her way back to DC from vacation in Michigan. We were happy to provide a spot for her to spend the night, since that meant we got time to catch up with her.

We went for a tasty, casual dinner at Mama Roberto’s. The food is solidly good traditional Italian fare and the portions are massive!

I had the Pasta Roberto, with linguine, marinara, sausage, and hot and bell peppers.

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Matthew chose a special with tortellini, grilled chicken, and red pepper pesto.

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Jen had one of Mama Roberto’s highly acclaimed pizzas. Throw in a bottle of chianti, as all bottles of wine were $15 that night, and you had three very full, happy people.

But of course we needed something sweet, so we headed to Malley’s for dessert. Jen created what is my new favorite sundae: the on-the-menu Raspberry Delight (vanilla ice cream, raspberry sauce, and chopped nuts) with the addition of Malley’s delicious hot fudge. So good!

On Sunday morning, Jen and I met up with Lane for brunch. I introduced Jen and Lane, as they are both photographers, and I’m so happy they hit it off and have even been able to work together!

We brunched at Original Pancake House. I love the Dutch Baby pancake, which is a sweet and citrus-y cross between a pancake and a crepe.

After Jen hit the road (an all-too-brief visit!), we headed to Matthew’s dad’s house for a celebration of all the family’s summer birthdays. A cookout, a secret family recipe cake, and lots of fun time for Jeffrey with his cousins made for the perfect end to the weekend.

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How was your weekend?

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Why? Twilight at the Zoo!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Dan and timzaun! You have both won 2 general admission tickets and a parking pass to the WGAR 2014 Dollar Bank Country Jam. Please check your emails for further details. If you didn’t win, you can still purchase tickets online.

Also, you still have through today to enter to win tickets to Night Before 9: Out in Art. Check it out!***

Friday night brought one of my favorite summer events: Twilight at the Zoo, put on by the Cleveland Zoological Society.

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Where else can you hear 18 different bands, spanning genres from rock to swing to country to blues, plus get to see elephants, lions, birds, and other zoo critters at the same time?!

We started our evening in the VIP area. Twilight is an event where purchasing VIP tickets is definitely worth the extra investment. You get into the zoo an hour earlier than everyone else, plus you have closer parking and more extensive food and drink options.

We enjoyed ceviche, oysters, and carrot cake from Mitchell’s Fish Market, grilled filet and au gratin potatoes from Fleming’s Steakhouse, pasta and chicken marsala from Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and arugula, peach, and goat cheese salad and short rib sliders from AMP 150.

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We met up with Amanda and Scott and enjoyed our small bites and Sam Adams beers. While it seemed a bit early for Octoberfest beer, I really enjoyed that one (and with as early as the summer beers come out, I guess it’s inevitable to drink Octoberfest in August).

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While it did start to rain a bit early in the evening, all the bands were under tents this year and were able to keep playing despite the weather. Our favorites from the night were Wanted: The Bon Jovi Tribute Band, Joe Bell & the Swing Lizards, Craic Punks, and Shady Drive.

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We also peeked through the glass at the new Circle of Wildlife carousel, which is beautifully crafted and a very nice addition to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

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Good friends, good music, good food, and a good cause made for another great Twilight at the Zoo! This is a don’t-miss event, so mark your calendars for next August!

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***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Twilight at the Zoo. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Night Before 9 Giveaway!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win one of two sets of tickets to the WGAR 2014 Dollar Bank Country Jam? Check it out! Remember, you can tweet daily for additional entries.***

The Cleveland Museum of Art is a community partner of Gay Games 9 and is hosting a fabulous kickoff called Night Before 9: Out in Art on Friday, August 8.

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The Cleveland Museum of Art was established “for the benefit of all people forever,” and this event exemplifies the Museum’s spirit of inclusion. Night Before 9: Out in Art will welcome Gay Games 9 participants and their families and guests for a celebration before the games begin.

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The event will feature access to all the Museum galleries, food and beverages for purchase, and live entertainment from DJ Darrell Stout and Escort, a “disco orchestra.”

Escort Hi-Res Press Photo 6 copyThis is sure to be a high-energy welcome to the Gay Games 9 participants and a wonderful way to show them one of Cleveland’s finest institutions.

General admission tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling 216-707-6875. Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets to Night Before 9: Out in Art right here!

Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, or all four entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1. Check out some of Escort’s songs here and leave a comment telling me which is your favorite.

2. Leave a comment if you like the Cleveland Museum of Art and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both pages.

3. Follow @ClevelandArt and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you follow both.

4. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to kickoff @GG9Cleveland at @ClevelandArt thanks to @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-23b

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Thursday, August 7 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Museum of Art to help promote Night Before 9: Out in Art. In exchange, I will receive 2 general admission tickets to give away. I declined my own tickets to the event due to scheduling conflicts. Images courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? WGAR Dollar Bank Country Jam Giveaway!

We’re less than a month away from the WGAR 2014 Dollar Bank Country Jam, an all-day celebration of country music and fun at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.

Image Source - wgar.com

Image Source – wgar.com

This year’s Country Jam takes place on Saturday, August 23, with gates opening at 10am. The artist line-up includes great country music acts: Gary Allan, Easton Corbin, Rodney Atkins, Eric Paslay, Jack Ingram, Kelleigh Bannan, Ryan Kinder, John King, and The Caliber Band.

Aside from the concerts, there will be food and drink, tons of vendors, and lots of fun to be had! Tickets are $40 for general admission and can be purchased online through Mira Productions. Or you can enter to win tickets right here!

I’m giving away 2 sets of tickets to the Country Jam. Each set includes 2 general admission tickets and a parking pass (a $10 value). Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, or all four entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1. Leave a comment telling me which Country Jam artist you’re most excited to see.

2. Leave a comment if you like Mira Productions and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both pages.

3. Follow @MiraProductions and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you’re following both.

4. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to win tickets to the @995wgar Country Jam from @MiraProductions and @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-236

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, August 3 at 11:59pm and the winners will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Mira Productions to help promote the WGAR 2014 Dollar Bank Country Jam. In exchange, I will receive 2 sets of tickets and parking passes to give away. I declined my own set of tickets due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Brunch at Flour!

After a jam-packed Friday and Saturday, Matthew and I were ready to relax on Sunday. What better way to relax than enjoying a delicious brunch? We headed to Flour Restaurant for a blogger brunch preview, where we got to taste some of the best brunch menu items, from savory to sweet.

We of course started with Sunday Funday cocktails: a pomegranate mimosa for me and a “Moscow Intense” for Matthew.

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Chefs Matt Mytro and Paul Minnillo joke that they are a combination of “new school” and “old school.” Well, the combination works perfectly! Flour’s brunch takes classic breakfast favorites and gives them a gourmet Italian twist.

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Our first course featured the salmon pastrami with creme fraiche, argula, and crepes and truffled Parmesan tater tots with country gravy.

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Matthew really enjoyed the salmon, although it was a bit too strong for me. But we were in complete agreement on the deliciousness of the truffled Parmesan tater tots: crisp on the outside, moist on the inside, and packed with rich truffle flavors.

Next up, we got to sample house-made sausage, fried chicken, and a breakfast pizza.

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The sausage was spicy and not too fatty or greasy. The fried chicken was tender and juicy, served with buttermilk ranch and sriracha, which complimented each other well. The breakfast pizza featured pancetta and sunny-side-up egg. My favorite part of the pizza was the crisp crust made in Flour’s wood-fired pizza oven.

My two favorite dishes were the eggs Benedict and the Nutella-stuffed French toast.

IMG_4399The eggs Benedict had mortadella, perfectly-poached eggs, and just the right amount of Hollandaise to add flavor without making the English muffin soggy.

I usually have a tough time deciding between savory or sweet at breakfast and, on Sunday, I didn’t have to choose.

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The Nutella-stuffed French toast with peanut butter powder and stone fruit was sinfully decadent and would fulfill the most active breakfast sweet tooth.

Brunch is available at Flour from 11am to 2:30pm every Sunday. There’s a great variety of choices, from savory to sweet, best categorized as traditional with a twist. Kick off your next Sunday Funday at Flour…you’ll be glad you did!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary brunch preview at Flour with a guest. I also received a $25 gift card while at the brunch. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Weekends!

It was a double wedding weekend! On Friday night, we attended our friends Emilie and Mike’s wedding. It was held at the Grand Pacific Junction in Olmsted Falls. If you’ve never been, it’s an adorable area of shops, restaurants, a hotel, and more.

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Emilie and Mike had perfect weather for their outdoor ceremony! After the ceremony, we walked over to the Grand Pacific Junction Hotel for the reception. I got to catch up with a lot of my college sorority sisters, which always makes for a fun evening!

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While our conversations now tend to center around buying houses and having babies, it’s great that we can still stay close after all these years!

The dance floor at Emilie and Mike’s reception was one of the most packed I’ve seen in a long time! Everyone had a blast and you can tell how happy this couple is just by looking at them. Congrats, you guys!

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Saturday brought the second wedding of the weekend, as my roommate from freshman year in college, Sonia, married her Prince Charming, Chris.

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The ceremony was held at the Church of the Gesu, which is a beautiful church. I have fond memories of singing in their choir loft for some of the larger John Carroll University masses. Yes, this was another John Carroll wedding, but a completely different group of friends than Friday night’s affair.

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We all lived on the same floor in Dolan Hall in our freshman year. I can’t believe I met these girls 15 years ago!

The reception was held at Severance Hall, which is of course a gorgeous setting! We even got a brief break from the rain and enjoyed wine out on the terrace. What a lovely date night!

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I’m so happy for Sonia and Chris, especially since Chris is now an official resident of “the CLE,” as he likes to call it!

I say so often that John Carroll is a special place, but when you can spend time in one weekend with groups of friends you’ve known for 15 years and feel like no time has passed at all, you know the bonds you created there are truly something unique!

Part of our Sunday was spent stuffing ourselves at Flour Restaurant‘s brunch, but stay tuned tomorrow for more on that! Also on Sunday, Jeffrey turned two months old.

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The time is just flying! He is such a sweet little man: so happy and expressive! And we couldn’t love him more!

How was your weekend?

***Disclosure: I am a member of the board of the John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Jingle in July!

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Christmas in July and, for me, the same was true for Jingle in July! Jingle in July was the kickoff for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis, happening December 14 at Legacy Village.

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Jingle in July was held at Lilly Pulitzer. Guests enjoyed small bites and sipped on “Beach House” cosmos, while listening to a presentation on the latest fall trends and shopping Lilly’s colorful and comfortable chic resort wear.

PicMonkey CollageSo what is trending for Lilly in the fall? Bohemian styles, fringes and tassels, and tortoise shell, just to name a few! Lilly is also focusing on pieces that easily transition from season to season, allowing you to bring a bit of summer into your fall wardrobe.

Ten percent of all sales during the event were donated to the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio Chapter, the organization that sponsors and benefits from the Jingle Bell Run. It was a fun and fashionable evening!

As I mentioned, the Jingle Bell Run/Walk takes place on December 14. This is a festive event, with a costume contest for runners and the addition of a Family Fun Run this year. Registration is $25 and can be completed online. Through September 1, you can save 25% off your registration fee by using code LILLY when you register, so sign up soon and take advantage of the savings!

I hope to see you rockin’ the latest fall trends next season, as well as rockin’ some jingle bells on your running shoes in December!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Jingle in July event, which was a free event, open to the public. I did not receive any compensation for attending and my choice to blog about the event was my own. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

 

An Update on Gia Lai

***BLOGGER UPDATE: I have accepted Gia Lai’s apology and consider the matter to be closed. In my blog posts, the comments section, and on social media, I have said all I feel needs to be said on this matter. I understand there may be further opinions expressed in both support and disagreement, but I will no longer be replying to comments. ***

I just received this email from Gia Lai‘s operations manager. This is not the person I contacted, but rather someone who read the blog post. I’m reprinting the email in its entirety. I am not accepting their offer of a gift card, but am encouraged that they will be better training their staff as to how to handle these situations in the future.

This whole incident could have been avoided through better communication and knowledge on all parts. If I had known that the employees needed the booth, I would have moved. I was honestly trying to be as discreet as possible in my choice of where to breastfeed.

I’m hoping this closes the book on this. For my part, I am grateful for the apology and the staff training. I am also grateful for all the support from a lot of different corners of the Internet. We, as moms, do our best to take care of our babies. We’re not always perfect, nor are the situations and people we encounter. But at the end of the day, we’re all doing our best.

Dear Jen,

Please accept my sincerest apologies for the mistreatment of you and your son at our restaurant last night. We have no policy against breastfeeding mothers at the restaurant (nor should any public place of business!), so I was really surprised by your blog post this morning. What happened last night does not reflect the views of management of the restaurant and we are really disappointed by the behavior of our staff last night. It is our goal to accommodate all of our customers in any way that we can.

I don’t want to make excuses for our employees in anyway but perhaps explain our side of the situation. The booth were you sat we only use for employees to roll silverware and prepare table linens. The female shift leader who approached and asked if she could help you probably only came over to see if she could assist you, not knowing that you were breastfeeding. She turned away to give you privacy because it’s not what she expected when she walked over but in any manner should have said something kind to acknowledge your presence. I don’t think her intentions were to be rude but to give you and your child privacy that you and he deserve.

As for the second staff member, the dishwasher from the kitchen, came out to bring silverware to the table for the servers to roll. He did not go out to the table to approach you. He went out unknowingly only to do his job. He definitely should not have stood there.

We are all humans and sometimes our reactions are not what we intend them to be. Although this was an unfortunate situation for both parties, we will take this opportunity to better train all of our staff and make a pledge that it won’t happen to another mother at our restaurant. I’ve went ahead and refunded your money- you should see a credit in 5-7 days. I would also like to extend an offer to visit our restaurant again and if you are interested I will send you a gift card.

Again, my sincerest apologies. 

Sincerely,

Kelly Wherley

Operations Manager