Tuesday, June 30, 2009
We decided to just get a couple of appetizers and share so that we could sample several dishes. I'll be honest- the entrees just didn't sound as good as many of the hot and cold starters. We started with the Farmers Market Tomato Salad (local sourced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, kalamata olives, basil, olive oil, aged balsamic). The fresh mozzarella was firm and creamy, but the tomatoes were a little mushy. Overall, the dish was ok but it was probably my least favorite of the evening. We then moved on to two hot starters: Lobster & Lump Crab Cake (local sweet corn and black bean salsa) and the Goat Cheese Fondue (Lake Erie Creamery Goat Cheese, Seasonal Fresh Fruit, Toasted Bread Assortment). The crab cake was good and full of large chucks of lobster and crab meat, but I've had better. Now the fondue was the shining star of this meal. The thick, creamy goat cheese was so tasty and rich that I fully admit I was scraping the bowl. The only complaint that I have about this dish is that they only serve enough bread and fruit for about half of the fondue. We had to order extra bread just to finish the dish. There was no way that I was leaving half of that cheese behind! Finally, we ended the meal by splitting a Cheese Plate (on the cold starters menu) and The "Candy Bar" dessert (pretzel, peanut butter chocolate mousse, caramel, salted peanuts, chocolate covered pretzels). The cheese plate had a nice assortment of artisan cheeses and fruit. The interested aspect of this dish was the sesame seed spread, which our waitress informed us that most people won't even try this. It certainly looked a little odd, but it was a nice addition to the cheese in moderation.
I was not blown away by Melange, but I would dine there again. The atmosphere inside is quite different than the patio. The plush booths and funky lighting was very upscale but almost stuffy.
2101 Richmond Road
Thursday, June 25, 2009
3120 Superior Ave
Cleveland, OH 44114
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tonight, Spice of Life Catering will be preparing a specialty dish. They are one of my favorites. I can't make it tonight, but you should! For a complete list of restaurants featured, click here.
The Gardens is also offering "Cocktails in the Garden" this year. The good news- it's the same night at Gourmets in the Garden! What goes better with delicious food samples than a glass of wine or fun cocktail?! Click on the link above for a list of featured cocktails.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Hummos: Puree of chickpeas, tahini, and lemon topped with fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil.
Tabouli: A delicate mixture of parsley, onions, cracked wheat and tomatoes seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, lemon and herbs.
Baba: Puree of charbroiled eggplant, tahini, garlic, and lemon topped with fresh herbs and extra virgin olive oil.
Falaffel: Mildly spiced vegetarian patties made with chick peas, fava beans, parsley, and scallions. Fried in peanut oil and served with Tahini Yogurt sauce.
Dawali: Grape leaves stuffed with rice, chick peas, tomato, and parsley, topped with Aladdin's dressing, feta cheese and parsley.
Their hummos is excellent and very smooth, with just the right amount of lemon. My other favorite is the grape leaves, or "dawali". The small rolls are fresh and filling, and the Aladdin's dressing is one of the best dressings that I've had on grape leaves. There are several locations, so click here to find one near you!
Monday, June 1, 2009
We started with the BRAISED ANGUS BEEF SHORT RIB PIEROGIES served with Caramelized Cippolini Onion Jus. The angus beef was rich and savory and the pierogies' dough was heavenly, but the caramelized onion jus was overpowering and ruined the dish for me. We also sampled the HEARTH ROASTED BLUE HILL BAY MUSSELS with a Rustic Tomato and White Wine Broth. The broth was flavorful but the mussels didn't seem to absorb the broth as much as I would have liked. I almost didn't know that the dish was as good as it was until I took a spoonful of the broth. For my entree, I tried the FRESH LOBSTER PAPPARDELE (Chunks of Fresh Maine Lobster, Fresh Pappardele, Roasted Red Peppers, Haricot Verts, Light Cognac Cream Sauce), which was a little rich and heavy. The "chunks" of lobster were minuscule, but the haricot verts were a nice addition and added a slightly crunchy texture to the dish. Overall, it wasn't bad but I think that I would have been happier with the diver scallops or halibut dishes that I was eyeing up. One of my dining mates ordered the BASIL SEARED #1 HAWIIAN BIG EYE TUNA, served raw with a Potato and Leek Tart, Tomato Jam, Sweet Onion Coulis and Basil Oil. The fish was very fresh and tender. The basil leaves on top of the fish gave it a slight basil flavor, which was very light and complimented the tuna. The sweet onion coulis was flavorless and did not add anything to the dish. It should have remained in the kitchen. We finished with a Lake Erie goat cheese plate, Riesling Poached Granny Smith Apples with homemade cinnamon ice cream, and a Godiva White Chocolate cheesecake. The Poached Apples were unique and creative, but the cheesecake was only so-so. My favorite dessert was the cheese plate. The cheese boasted a "bloomy rind" that was soft and edible. Spread on a toasted piece of raisin nut bread and fruit jam, it was delicious!
While Pier W fell a little short, it is worth trying again and you can bet that I'll be back to give it another go. Maybe for their famous brunch this time...
12700 Lake Avenue
Lakewood, OH 44107