Friday, October 23, 2009

My All Star Cleveland Fall Lineup

To say that the last couple of months have been busy is an understatement. The steady amount of travel coupled with absolutely mind bending projects, has left me with very little time or energy to update this blog.

Thankfully, we aren’t quite at the George Jetson era where you take a pill for dinner to satiate your appetite. I still have to, and thankfully so, eat real food. I can’t think of a better way to unwind mentally than sitting down at a favorite eatery and enjoying fall’s bounty. These are the best things I’ve eaten in the last couple of months.

Thyme the restaurant in Medina
Chipotle Cream Steamed Mussels with andouille sausage, tomatoes, and focaccia bread

The serving size was huge, the chipotle cream (notice I didn’t say chi-poltee) was so good I would have taken a bath in it. I don’t know who does their bread, but it’s the best focaccia I’ve ever had (and I don’t even really like focaccia). There’s a salt on top of it that makes it absolutely addictive.

Moxie the restaurant in Beachwood
Honey Crisp Apple & Nueske’s Bacon Salad – candied walnuts and adam’s reserve cheddar vinaigrette $8

Chef Bennet has done it again. I’m not a big salad guy, so when I see something out of the ordinary like this I have to order just out of curiosity. The apples are shaved really thin and create a voluminous pile of “salad”. Drizzled on top of the salad is the vinaigrette with a generous amount of bacon and candied walnuts sprinkled on top. Usually I look forward to the bacon and candied nuts, but the cheddar and apples steal the show. If you go, you have to try this before the season’s over.

fire food & drink at Shaker Square in Cleveland
Lobster Thermidor – potato cakes with warm spinach, bacon lardons with mustard vin $24/$48

I asked our server Mark (who’s one of my favorites in the city), what the deal was with this, and he said he couldn’t really explain it that well, but it’s just really, really good. I’m always game for some that’s just really good, so if it’s two “reallys” I had to give it a try.
“Really really” doesn’t do this dish justice.

Once again my impeccable food karma didn’t let me down. The half portion is pretty big (half a tail), there’s no way I could have tamped a whole one down my esophagus. The buttery lobster meat is topped with this crispy mustard topping, that when mixed together with the lobster meat, is like a savory edible type of crack. I could have done without the potato cake and just had another helping of the spinach. The saltiness of the bacon, , (which also has crack-like qualities) is mixed with the spinach. As a side note: Chef Doug Katz said they smoke the bacon themselves in the tandoor oven. He said we were more than welcome to purchase some if we wanted to. Good to know. If you go, don’t miss this one.

3 birds in Lakewood
S’mores – warm chocolate fudge cake, graham cracker cookies, house made marshmallows, caramel sauce $7

For the life of me I can’t remember the name of their pastry chef, but as far as I’m concerned she’s right there with Kate O’Donnell at Moxie. Whoever she is, this girl has come up with a mean lineup of desserts.

You’re probably thinking, “S’mores? Been there. Done that.” Unless you’ve been here and eaten this – then you haven’t.

Served deconstructed, this dessert is separated along a narrow plate. The graham crackers are actually these thin shortbread cookies that, when topped with the fudgy cake and other components, make a very rich and delicious bite. A glass of milk might actually come in handy. We had always wavered a little bit on dessert when coming here in the past, but the desserts this summer and fall have been very interesting.

Although I’ve been busy we typically get a chance to go out once or twice a week. We’re coming up on that part of the year where all there really is to do is cook and eat. But that’s not a bad thing, is it?

No comments:

Post a Comment