One of the things that the Beloved and I have really gotten hooked on in the past year has been cooking-competition shows – namely Top Chef and Iron Chef America. She insists we’re not “foodies” but I think we’re closer to being them than not.
One of our favorite additions to Iron Chef has been the newest IC – Michael Symon. He’s personable and cooks in a style that we really like – typically taking everyday comfort food and putting a high-end cuisine spin on it.
We had pretty easy travel and arrived in Ohio on Friday night early enough that we were able to enjoy dinner at his restaurant Lola in downtown Cleveland. Lola was hip and urbane with a small, but really interesting menu and wine list.
We split a couple of appetizers – a shredded beef pierogie that had mushrooms and horseradish (very good) and a slab of bacon (think small bacon-steak) served with pickled tomatoes and toasty cheese that was phenomenal. For entrees, the Beloved had a black bass that was very good and I had a fantastic venison loin that was grilled to perfection and served in a red-wine chile sauce. Yum!
Overall, the food was excellent and the prices reasonable by high-end restaurant standards. The service started out a little aggressive – as if they were trying to turn the table over pretty rapidly (it was busy). But after we made it clear we meant to take our time and linger, they really backed off and let us enjoy ourselves.
A great way to kick off our long weekend.