Friday night we skipped the Halloween festivities and went downtown to partake in early voting and then go out to eat. The line at the Board of Elections was about forty minutes long. Compared to what I had seen on television it didn't seem like it was really that bad. Afterward we decided to go to Crop Bistro and have dinner.
Let me start by saying that the last time we went there the food was decent. It didn't blow me away, but I felt like I got what I paid for. I'm always willing to try a place again if the menu has some inventive things on it.
When we got there it was empty. This was obviously because everyone was either passing out candy, or supervising their children. My guess is that the restaurants were pretty busy on Saturday night since all of the Moms and Dads missed out on date night on Friday. So it was us and a few other tables of Halloween scrooges having dinner. Can you blame me, we get so many trick or treaters on my street you have to arm yourself with $100 worth of candy just to last the night. In a sense, I guess we took the candy money and spent it on ourselves. Does that make us bad people? I hope not.
For our starter we went with the Crispy Pork Belly with Onion Sticks and Ohio Corn Demi. I thought it was good. Perhaps it was a bit safe but it was exactly what I thought it was going to be. No surprises, good or bad.
For her entree Mrs. Dine O Mite opted for the Braised Lamb Shank and Butternut Squash Risotto. The Lamb Shank was an obsolutely huge Flintstonian piece of meat. So big, in fact, that we could have shared it. Again, it was exactly what she had envisioned (albeit on a smaller scale). It was a good dish.
I ordered the Adobo Pork Farms Roast Chicken with Pepitas and Pumpkin Hash. I thought it was good, but I don't think the chicken and the hash went together that well. Nevertheless, the plate was clean when the waiter took it away.
For us the desserts were actually the highlights of the evening. I had the Pretzel Un-Logic Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Pie with Pretzel Tuile and Malted Milk. Absolutely delicious. In case you're wondering a "tuile" is like a thin little cracker. This was sticking out of the pie. The malted milk was actually just malted milk in a slender shot glass. The pie had a very rich chocolate filling that seemed to tie together with the malted milk (a great way to wash down the pie) and it sat on a pretzel crust. I thought it was awesome.
She ordered the Rainforest Retreat Banana Cake with Ginger Ice Cream, Macadamia Nut Crunch, Tamarind Sauce and Burnt Sugar Bananas. Two extremely thoughtful desserts in one night. What are the chances? This dessert, too, was well thought out and just seemed to have all of the right components done very well.
The service was very attentive, but then again you'll have that when everyone else in Cleveland is busy with Halloween stuff. While I thought the starter and entrees were on par with what I expected; the desserts were Moxie-esque. I don't think anyone does dessert in Cleveland like Moxie. That being said, these two desserts were a definite Halloween treat.
Crop Bistro and Bar
1400 West 6th St.
Cleveland, OH 44133