Monday, June 17, 2013

Fun in the City

What a crazy last several days! The fun started on Wednesday, with the monthly gathering of the @CLEDinnerClub. This time, the group was at Hodge's in Downtown Cleveland, for probably one of my favorite CDC outings yet. It rivaled the three thrown by Chef Brian Okin (Fountain, Luxe, and Cork & Cleaver). The company was great, and we all had a fantastic time chatting over some interesting and delicious food. These events sometimes push you to try things that maybe you wouldn't normally order off of a restaurant's menu. For example, we had: bone marrow, seared foie gras, smoked quail (a favorite of the night)...
...and puffer fish (I just kept having flashbacks to our recent trip to the Newport Aquarium).
For many members of the group, this was their first time trying some of these items. The meal also included hanky panky, pork belly, deviled eggs, Thai watermelon salad, pork with some amazing cornbread croutons and cherries, and a sweet corn pudding for dessert. This dinner will be one to remember. Thanks Hodge's, and to Joe G. for coordinating!

Thursday night, a friend and I attended a Beer & Canvas event at Press Wine Bar that was being held by Goose Island Brewing while they were in town for their Migration Tour. I was invited to attend, and provided with two complimentary tickets, to check out the event. I've always wanted to learn more about the Wine & Canvas events that I've seen around town. Have you ever been to one?
The event had about 30 attendees, and an artist led us through an almost paint-by-numbers experience to create a piece that highlighted Goose Island's Sofie beer. My canvas started out like this...
...and I was a little skeptical that my non-artistic self could actually create anything that looked like it was supposed to. It took some concentration, and three beers, but here's my finished product...
It won't be hanging in our living room anytime soon, but it turned out much better than I anticipated! Overall, I loved the event and I would certainly attend another one. I also really liked Goose Island's Pepe Nero.

Friday evening, "R" and I headed to Lolita for an early bite to eat before checking out the Cleveland Wine Festival. It's been almost two years since I've been to Lolita, and "R" hasn't been since before we started dating. Yikes! We had an amazing meal. I had the Halibut special, and "R" had the Hanger Steak from the regular menu. I'd order that steak again in a heartbeat. The only thing that I didn't like about the experience was that my fish special was $34, and that was not disclosed. Now, we didn't ask, but the server should have included that in the description since the dish was about $10 more than any other entrée on the menu. Not cool. Then, we headed down to Voinovich Park for the Wine Festival. With the city skyline as the backdrop... was a perfect night to be down by the water sipping on wines. This event is always fun, and I encourage you to check it out next year.

Saturday, "R" took his employees out to an Indians game. It was our first of the season, and even though they couldn't bring home a win for us, it was still fun being at the stadium.
Best part of the night--- they handed out mini foam fingers that fit on one finger. I'm saving mine!

We wrapped up the weekend by searching for new kitchen appliances. The remodel starts this week! Goodbye, ugly crappy kitchen. The evening ended with us just sitting on our patio and relaxing with a beer and a breeze. It was a gorgeous night in Cleveland, one of those rare and perfect weather days. It was a great ending to a whirlwind week of fun. This time of year is just so energizing in Cleveland.

What did you do this weekend?

Disclosure: I was provided with two complimentary tickets to the Goose Island Beer & Canvas event. The Cleveland Wine Festival provided me with four passes to the 2013 event, two for me and two to give away. The opinions stated are 100% my own.


Beth @ CraveableCleveland said...

This post is making me jealous on many fronts. What a fantastic foodie few days!