Category Archives: Wine

Why? Market at the Foodbank!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win a family 4-pack of tickets to see Timber! at the International Children’s Theater Festival at Playhouse Square? Check it out! Remember, you can tweet daily for additional entries.***

On Sunday, the Greater Cleveland Foodbank hosted its 20th annual Market at the Foodbank event. Every dollar raised at this event has the spending power to provide 4 meals to people in need. Last year, the Foodbank provided 45 million meals to the needy in our community.

So, obviously this event benefits a great cause. It also provides a fun evening of wine and food to enjoy. Here are my 10 favorites (in random order) from this year’s event:

1. AMP 150‘s speck-wrapped asparagus. Simple, but really tasty.

2. Sterle’s Country House‘s chicken paprikash, served with a smile by their new chef, Jeff Jarrett. I particularly liked the creme fraiche instead of sour cream.

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3. Bomba Tacos and Rum served up made-on-site guacamole with pumpkin seeds and goat cheese, complimented by their yummy plaintain and yucca chips.

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4. Pub Frato. Not only were their braised beef tacos delicious, but it’s rare to find a restaurant at one of these events that I had never even heard of before. Pub Frato bills itself as “Concord’s own gastropub.” Based on the food we tasted and the friendliness of the staff, I can’t wait to check it out!

5. Portside Distillery‘s Rusalka Vanilla Stout, plus the coolest beer pulls this side of Market Garden Brewery.

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6. The Clevelander sandwich from Sans Souci, which featured pork cheek, local swiss, Tony Packo’s pickles, and a mystery sauce of deliciousness.

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7. The amount of food and drink. Last year, a lot of purveyors ran out early in the evening. This year, there was plenty to go around!

8. The balance of sweet and savory offerings was also much more balanced at this year’s event, but there were still plenty of sweet treats to enjoy. Our favorites were from Mitchell’s, Fantasy Candies, and Lucky’s Cafe.

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9. The lobster, apple, and bacon bites from the Rusty Anchor at the Music Box. Not only were they good to eat, but I love something I can eat without a plate at a strolling food and wine event!

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10. The generosity of the attendees and participating restaurants to make Market at the Foodbank’s 20th anniversary the best one of these events we’ve attended!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Greater Cleveland Foodbank to help promote Market at the Foodbank. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary general admission tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to jessica z. (Comment #2) and Laura (Comment #5), who each won a $10 Bruegger’s gift card to thank a deserving teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week. You can still get in on Bruegger’s Teacher Appreciation special Big Bagel Bunch for $9.99 through May 8 by clicking here.

Also, have you entered to win tickets to United Way of Cleveland’s Rock the Catwalk fundraiser? Check it out! The giveaway closes tonight! Remember, you can tweet daily for additional entries.***

Wow, was it a gorgeous weekend in Cleveland! It was also a crazy busy weekend, so I’m going to update you on 2/3rds of my weekend activities today. Pop back on Wednesday to hear all about Market at the Foodbank.

On Friday evening, I met up with Kimberly for the Handpicked Bridal Event, held at MOCA Cleveland.

IMG_2817The modern and intimate atmosphere of MOCA was the perfect setting for this modern and intimate bridal fair. Everything at the event is literally “handpicked” by the planner, Baci Designer. This means there aren’t 27 different DJ’s or caterers or bakers vying for your attention. There are one or two of each category of vendor, handpicked to fit the vision of the event and be the best of the best.

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Check out the awesome lighting design from Something New Entertainment, which really helped set the scene!

Two of my favorite designers at the show had offerings that even a non-bride-to-be could appreciate. Destination Tree creates awesome keepsakes featuring “destination” signs with your own personal theme, such as Cleveland locations, places you’ve traveled, and more. And The Wandering Wardrobe is always a must-stop: I scored two adorable summer pieces for under $100!

As we left with our adorable macaron favors in hand, we wished we had been able to attend a bridal fair as unique as Handpicked when we were planning our weddings!

From there, Kimberly and I headed to a late dinner at Trentina. We both had been to Trentina for the tasting menu, but decided to go with the a la carte menu that night. Kimberly chose the risotto and I had two half-portions of pasta. The half-portions are a great way to either not have to choose between various delicious options or to give you enough room to also get an entree.

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I had the charcuterie ravioli in brodo and the modern ricotta knodel. I love how Trentina’s dishes have subtle, delicate flavors. You can taste every element, but it’s all very artfully and lightly done. The knodel was my favorite of the two dishes…light, airy, and completely delicious.

Of course, the service, wine selection, and atmosphere were spot-on as well. Trentina was a wonderful spot to wrap up our girls’ night out!

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On Saturday, we took Jeffrey to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with our friends Jason and Patty and their son Lincoln. It was a perfect day to be at the Zoo!

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It was so cool to see Jeffrey smile and get excited to see all the different animals! By far, his favorites were the elephants and the monkeys. I think this look of wonder on his face says it all!

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We spent three hours wandering the Zoo and could still have spent more time. I can’t wait for our next trip, especially since I still haven’t ridden the Circle of Wildlife Carousel!

Sunday morning, I met up with Alicia, Amanda, and Kimberly for brunch at Luxe. We’ve figured out that brunch meet-ups are easier to schedule than after-work engagements, plus who doesn’t love a bellini and pancakes on a sunny patio?!

Luxe has a brunch happy hour from 11am-1pm, when all mimosas, bellinis, and bloody Marys are half-price. What a great idea! I enjoyed the pear bellini and the apple pancake, which had a fabulously fluffy pancake wrapped around apples, ricotta, caramel sauce, and whipped cream.

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The patio was bustling yesterday with both humans and furry friends (Luxe has a pup-friendly brunch on the patio). It was great food, great company, and my first farmer’s tan of the year…not too shabby for a Sunday morning!

Like I said, stay tuned for my Sunday evening at Market at the Foodbank recap. For the moment, I still need to recharge from all the fun of this weekend!

How was your weekend? What did you do to enjoy the perfect weather?

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Handpicked Bridal Event. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary tickets. Matthew and I are members of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Sarah @ Cooker Girl (Comment #55), randomly-selected winner of two tickets to the Greater Cleveland Foodbank’s Market at the Foodbank fundraiser. If you didn’t win, you can still purchase tickets online.

Also, you have through today to enter to win a set of Aveda Rare Bloom makeup. Check it out and remember you can tweet daily for additional entries!***

This weekend was the perfect balance. I love when that happens (and it’s so rare)…when I get to do mom things and friends things and blogger things and home things and feel like a lot of different aspects of who I am are fulfilled.

The fun started on Saturday afternoon, when we attended a first birthday party for one of Jeffrey’s friends from Kindermusik. It was held at Lifetime Fitness and had tons of great stuff for the kids to do, including a bounce house! Seriously, what could be more fun than spending your afternoon in a bounce house? Well, seeing how much fun Jeffrey had made it even better!

PicMonkey CollageThe cake was from White Flower Cake Shoppe, so it was not only tasty but completely adorable. Look at the sweet little ladybug smash cake!

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I’m so glad Jeffrey is making friends and has such fun playmates and play dates!

On Saturday evening, I met up with my favorite yoga buddy Alicia for a special class at Inner Bliss Yoga Studio. Our friend Ylonda taught a class that combined three different Sanskrit chants, along with a powerful vinyasa flow and Ylonda’s cello playing during savasana.

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Photo Credit: Poise in Parma

Not only did the class provide a great workout, but it also simultaneously refreshed and invigorated my soul. If you practice at Inner Bliss, I can’t recommend Ylonda’s classes highly enough!

Being believers in detox to retox, Alicia and I went to grab dinner after class. We wanted to check out the new Bomba Tacos and Rum, but faced with a nearly two-hour wait, we decided to go back once some of the initial buzz dies down. We ended up at Rocky River Wine Bar and were not at all disappointed with friendly service, great wine, and tasty food.

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I enjoyed the duck flatbread, with duck confit, brie, caramelized onions, and cherries. But I even more enjoyed the chance to sit, relax, and catch up with a wonderful friend. What a great night!

On Sunday, I headed to the Ohio Blogging Association meetup at XHIBITION. This Ohio City store is about more than just clothing, it’s about a lifestyle. The store sells everything from men’s clothing to magazines and books to home goods to personal care products.

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We got a tour of the store and got to hear about the brands, buyers, and philosophy that make this unique and fashion-forward store the hot spot that it is. I have to admit that my initial reaction was that the clothing was too edgy for my (and Matthew’s) taste, but upon closer look, I found shirts, sweaters, and jeans from great designers that would make even a conservative dresser happy.

I loved the Baxter of California styling products and snagged some for Matthew. I’ll also be back for some of the Detroit Wick candles, made in repurposed bottles of Grey Goose, Dom Perignon, and more.

Aside from getting to explore the store, we were also treated to tasty brunch nibbles from Jack Flaps. We got to try the spicy and delicious breakfast bahn mi sandwich, the root vegetable hash, and mini waffles with lemon curd, berry compote, crushed Golden Grahams, peanut butter fluff, and bacon pecan crumble as topping options.

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Not only was the food tasty and creative, having Jack Flaps there was a reminder of how supportive Ohio City businesses are of each other. That is so great to see and definitely a reason why the neighborhood is thriving!

So, all in all, it was a perfect and perfectly balanced weekend! How was yours?

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the meetup at XHIBITION with other Ohio Blogging Association members. While in attendance, we received a $50 gift card to shop at XHIBITION, as well as complimentary food from Jack Flaps. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Market at the Foodbank Giveaway!

On Sunday, May 3, the Greater Cleveland Foodbank is hosting the 20th anniversary Market at the Foodbank, a food and wine tasting event, held right at the Greater Cleveland Foodbank.

Image Source - greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Image Source – greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Just a few of the restaurants serving up tasty bites that evening are BOMBA Tacos and Rum, AMP 150, Spice Kitchen and Bar, Trentina Restaurant, and Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream. There will also be plenty of wine and beer samples to enjoy!

Beyond just delicious food and tempting beverages, the event offers an opportunity to see the Greater Cleveland Foodbank’s impressive facility. It’s an up close and personal look at where the money raised that evening will go and gives you a sense of the immense need served by the Foodbank. Proceeds from Market at the Foodbank benefit the Harvest for Hunger campaign, which is one of the largest community food and funds drives in the country. Attendance at Market at the Foodbank, as well as participation in the great auctions and raffles that evening, go a long way toward achieving Harvest for Hunger’s fundraising goal!

Image Source - greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Image Source – greaterclevelandfoodbank.org

Tickets for Market at the Foodbank are on sale now. VIP tickets, which get you a signature wine glass and access to a VIP reception, are $175. General admission tickets are $100. You can purchase tickets online.

Or, you can enter to win two general admission tickets 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 the list of participating restaurants and leave a comment telling me which restaurant’s fare you most want to sample.

2. Visit the Greater Cleveland Foodbank and Why CLE? on Facebook, and leave a comment letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @CleveFoodbank and @WhyCLE on Twitter and 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 win tickets to @CleveFoodbank’s tasty #Market2015 thanks to @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-2l0

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

The giveaway will close on Sunday, April 26 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Greater Cleveland Foodbank to help promote Market at the Foodbank. In exchange, I will receive 2 general admission tickets for myself and 2 general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.*** jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Kayla (Comment #7), randomly-selected winner of two tickets to Handpicked: A Different Kind of Bridal Fair. Please check your email for details. If you didn’t win, you can still purchase tickets online.***

It was a fantastic weekend, spent enjoying the spring-like weather and doing spring-like things like celebrating the Indians home opener. While we didn’t have tickets to the game, we still sported our Tribe gear in support of the home team.

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I can’t wait to attend a game and see all the renovations to Progressive Field, especially the new The Corner bar and the expanded kids’ area!

We had lunch on Friday at the Winking Lizard, which is a great place to go during a Cleveland sports event. Jeffrey had grilled chicken and applesauce, while I had the spicier (and less healthy) boneless wings with spicy BBQ sauce. Our server was fantastic with Jeffrey and it was the perfect spot for a home opener meal.

On Saturday, I met up with friends Samantha and Deborah for a leisurely ladies’ brunch at Press Wine Bar. The pomegranate blueberry mimosa was a perfect springy start to the meal.

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I ordered the Press omelet, with prosciutto, goat cheese, and tomatoes. The flavors were mild, but each distinguishable. And I really loved the crispy, well-seasoned potato hash that came with the omelet.

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When our food arrived, I was brought the wrong omelet. Our server and the kitchen quickly brought the correct dish and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I wasn’t charged for my omelet due to the mix-up. Great customer care and tasty food will definitely have me returning to Press for brunch!

On Sunday, Matthew, Jeffrey, and I enjoyed an impromptu patio lunch at Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza. In fact, we were the first to use their patio this year. Sitting in the sunshine with a Fat Head’s Bumbleberry (one of my summer go-to beers) and a pizza topped with chicken, artichoke, and sun-dried tomatoes made for the perfect light lunch.

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From there, it was on to a milestone even bigger than the first patio beer of the season: Jeffrey’s first haircut! Based on a friend’s recommendation, we took Jeffrey to The Kids Next Door Salon, part of Ladies & Gentlemen Salon. From kids’ movies and snacks, to cute themed chairs, this was the perfect spot for a kiddo cut.

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We even got a certificate and a lock of hair to take home. Jeffrey was a champ and smiled through the whole thing. The only tears shed were on my part! He’s just growing up so fast! And he looks like such a proud little boy with his new cut!

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Later that afternoon, we enjoyed a walk though the Lake Metroparks and some ice cream at East Coast Custard. It was a perfect family day and a great way to enjoy the beautiful weather!

How was your weekend? Did you celebrate the home opener and enjoy the great weather?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Joanne (Comment #76), randomly-selected winner of two tickets to Our Lady of the Wayside’s Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre Contest. Please check your email for details. If you didn’t win, you can still purchase tickets online.***

It was a great weekend and the perfect mix of relaxation and busy-ness. On Friday, Mom, Gramps, Jeffrey, and I went to one of our favorite fish fry spots: Ridgewood Inn. A dive bar, for sure, but also one of the tastiest fish fries you’ll find.

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There aren’t many places that can keep 4 generations of customers happy at the same time. I ordered the beer-battered yellow lake perch and substituted potato pierogi instead of french fries. The fish was good, but it’s the pierogi that really steal the show at Ridgewood Inn. Pan-fried and smothered in onions, they are little pillows of Polish happiness. Gramps insists they taste like the ones his mother used to make, so you know they have to be good.

Saturday was a mainly around-the-house kind of day, with a little bit of yoga at Harmony Yoga thrown in the morning. That afternoon, we took Jeffrey up to Great Lakes Mall for his first visit with the Easter Bunny. As Jeffrey is starting to get to the “stranger danger” age, I wasn’t sure how it would go. Luckily, there were no tears and, after a couple minutes, he broke into his signature Jeffrey smile.

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It was a great first visit with his new furry, floppy-eared friend! I was glad we were allowed to take pictures with our own cameras too, so we have the whole progression of settling in and making friends with the bunny.

On Sunday, Matthew and I enjoyed a date afternoon. We started out with seeing “Dirty Dancing” at Playhouse Square.

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We got our tickets through the John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter. If you’re a local alum, the Chapter offers discounted tickets to various Playhouse Square performances throughout the season. Coming up on Sunday, April 25 is Beauty and the Beast and on Sunday, August 2 is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

I really enjoyed the production of “Dirty Dancing.” It was very true to the movie, in all its cheesy, romantic glory. And you could tell the audience were all fans of the movie, especially given the applause at classic lines like, “I carried a watermelon” and “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

After the show, Matthew and I headed across the street for an early dinner at Cibreo.

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I enjoyed the 1921 cocktail, with Prosecco, St. Germain, and local honey, which was sweet without being overly sweet. Matthew and I shared the bruschetta, with wild mushrooms, marsala, and Pecorino.

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Both the taste and the presentation were fantastic! For our entrees, I had the ricotta gnocchi, with duck, brodo, candied carrots, greens, parsnips, and Pecorino. The gnocchi were light and a great compliment to the rich flavor of the duck.

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Matthew had the chestnut ravioli, with leek cream, prosciutto, and cherry gastrique. The pasta dishes at Cibreo are smaller, meant to be part of a coursed meal. With an appetizer and dessert, I think they are the perfect size.

Which brings me to dessert. Matthew had the chocolate panna cotta, with white chocolate shavings and candied orange. I had the classic tiramisu. Both were delicious and great ends to a very tasty meal.

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We’re so lucky to not only have world-class theater in Cleveland, but a thriving neighborhood surrounding it that allows you to make the perfect date afternoon all in one place.

How was your weekend?

***Disclosure: I am a member of the boards of both the John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter and Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre Giveaway!

There are few things I like more than a good hors d’oeuvre. It gets the meal off on the right foot, it perhaps satisfies a craving not hit by your entree, and it’s usually communal food with the table, which I always enjoy. There is a definite art to creating the perfect hors d’oeuvre.

On Thursday, April 16, some of our best restaurants will compete for the title of Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre at an event to benefit Our Lady of the Wayside.

ClevelandsFinest Brown with Climaco

The event is held at The Terrace Club at Progressive Field, with fabulous views of the ballpark to get you in the mood for spring. That’s if you can tear your eyes away from the food! There will be a host of great restaurants competing, including Barrio, Tartine Bistro, Hodge’s, Spice Kitchen and Bar, and the Zack Bruell Restaurant Group. You not only get to taste all the food, but you get to vote for your favorites!

There will also be live music from Nate Jones, complimentary beer and wine tastings from Mill Street Brewery and Tom Gore Vineyards, and plenty of shenanigans from hosts Jen Toohey, Tim Richards, and Desiray Cross from Cleveland’s New 102.

This awesome evening benefits Our Lady of the Wayside, which provides services to children and adults with developmental disabilities in our area.

Tickets are $80 and can be purchased online. Or you can enter to win two tickets 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. Leave a comment telling me your current favorite hors d’ouevre in Cleveland and where to find it.

2. Leave one comment if you like Our Lady of the Wayside and Why CLE? on Facebook, letting me know you like both pages.

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

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

I want to win tickets to Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre Contest from @OurLadyWayside and @WhyCLE: http://wp.me/p1fb9r-2iv

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

The giveaway will run though Sunday, March 22 at 11:59pm and the winner will be announced the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre Contest. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? The Bom Truffles!

So, remember how I was all about meeting new-to-me creative Cleveland makers? Well, I had the chance to do just that last night at a fun, hands-on gathering organized by the Kappa Delta Cleveland West Alumnae Chapter.

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We met up to make homemade truffles under the guidance of Carolina from The Bom. Carolina’s tagline is that her truffles are made with love and alcohol…what could be bad about that?!

Carolina provided the dry ingredients for the truffles, which include cocoa, powdered sugar, pecans, honey, allspice, and ‘Nilla wafers. We selected our favorite alcohol of choice to mix in, after some careful sampling of course!

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I made Frangelico truffles, which have a tasty, almost Nutella-like flavor. You can use anything from liquor to wine to fruit juice to mix in your truffles. Carolina said her best seller of the truffles she makes is Kahlua.

We rolled out our truffles and then dipped them in a choice of milk or dark chocolate.

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There was also some taste-testing along the way and I’m very pleased with how my truffles turned out! Carolina also provided boxes to package up our creations, perfect for Valentine’s gift-giving!

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You can book The Bom for a private event like the truffle-making we did last night, you can stop by to see her at Third Fridays at 78th Street Studios, or you can order some pre-made truffles of your own. No matter how you do it, you’re sure to enjoy the chocolate decadence of The Bom’s truffles and you’ll be supporting a creative Cleveland maker, too!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Fahrenheit Happy Hour!

Last Monday, I met up with three of my favorite ladies for happy hour at Fahrenheit. Fahrenheit is a standard in Tremont, one of the first restaurants to open as the area was just starting to revitalize. I can remember friends taking me there for a “goodbye to Cleveland” dinner before I moved to DC for grad school in 2003. Since then, it’s always been a favorite spot.

The restaurant had undergone renovations since my last visit, so I was anxious to see the results. Most of the changes involve fresh paint and general brightening up, but the feel of the restaurant, bar, and menu are generally the same. I was happy to see many standard menu favorites, including the amazing pork shank, still on the menu.

We snagged seats at the bar and immediately dove into the freshly-cooked bacon provided as a bar snack.

IMG_1745This is my kind of bar snack! Happy hour libations include $4 red and white wines, $4 red and white sangria, a $5 tequila cocktail, and a $4 beer selection. I had the red wine, a Malbec, and found it particularly good, especially for the price.

Happy hour food selections range in price from $4 to $7 and include shrimp tacos, a burger with herbed goat cheese, a Cleveland cheesesteak, chicken wings, and more.

We started with the crisp (read: raw) vegetables with green goddess dressing, then proceeded to get a bit less healthy. I ordered the happy hour pizza, topped with Brie, Parmesan, goat cheese, maple and chives.

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It’s not just the camera angle, it was a huge pizza and only cost $7! I ended up with some to take home. The pizza was really tasty, too, with the maple adding a nice sweetness to the rich cheeses.

My happy hour compatriots enjoyed the cheesesteak and tacos and all were full and satisfied with such good food for such small prices. Happy hour at Fahrenheit is available in the bar area only from 5-7pm, Monday through Friday. The bacon and cheap red wine alone will have me coming back for more!

Where are some of your favorite places to happy hour?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win two tickets to CIFF’s Get Shorty Film Feast? Check it out! Remember, you can tweet daily for additional entries!***

How was your weekend? Did you enjoy our little January heat wave?

On Friday night, I met up with some moms that I met through Stroller Babes for drinks and conversation, all helpfully scheduled for post-kiddo bedtime. We met up at Billy’s A Cappelli Martini Bar. Matthew had been to Billy’s for dinner previously, but this was my first visit. I didn’t have anything to eat, but I did enjoy a couple of the wide variety of martinis.

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Billy’s has an extensive and creative cocktail list and the drinks and service were both quite good. They also have daily specials, including a reverse happy hour starting at 9:30pm on Fridays. That said, the vibe on Friday night was loud, clubby, crowded, and not exactly the relaxing martini bar experience I was hoping for. Matthew said it was not like that when he went for dinner, so maybe it’s exclusive to weekend nights? I’d love to give Billy’s another try to see if the atmosphere mellows depending on when you go.

Saturday evening, we had Matthew’s work holiday party, held at the club level of InfoCision Stadium at the University of Akron. There was an illusionist show, a DJ, and door prizes to make the evening festive and fun. The food was surprisingly good, including a mac ‘n cheese bar, with tasty mix-ins like Andouille sausage and bacon bread crumbs, and a mashed potato bar, with grilled onions and mushrooms, bacon, and more.

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I was in carb heaven!

Sunday brought a relaxed dinner with my parents at one of our favorite places for classic Italian fare: Mama Roberto’s. The food is always good and it’s a family-friendly spot. Jeffrey particularly enjoyed the jukebox and dancing with Grandma!

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For dinner, I had the new five-cheese tortelloni with basil pesto. Delicious! Matthew went with the classic Pasta Roberto, with sausage and hot peppers. On Sundays, all bottles of wine are $15, too!

PicMonkey CollageAnd we couldn’t pass up Mama Roberto’s Silver Spoon award-winning cannoli.

IMG_1640It was a great dinner at a place the whole family could enjoy! Hope you had a great weekend!

jenclesig_pur