Monday, November 8, 2021

Thyme X Table

After buying a gift certificate for ourselves when we purchase one for my in-laws in December 2019, we finally made it in to Thyme Table Restaurant and Bar in Bay Village. The pandemic really delayed us getting there, but this certainly won't be our last visit there!

We immediately loved the cozy and chic atmosphere. It kind of reminded us of our favorite place that closed, The Black Pig. A great craft cocktail, beer, and wine list also won us over easily. 

We let our server select our appetizer from the couple that we had narrowed it down to. I could have made a meal from them alone! But he picked the Arancini with Blackberry Compote, Brûléed Cheese, and Marcona Almonds. Very nice dish, but no longer available on the winter menu. We were there just before the menu changed for the season.
Which leads to me to the next dish. I should have known better, because half of the components were out of season. But it just sounded good! Striped Bass with Creamy Polenta, Sweet Corn, Peaches, and Pea Shoots. It didn't arrive very warm, so that hurt the texture and flavor of the fish and polenta, but overall there was very little flavor and the fish was overcooked and dry. The whole thing ate pretty bland and it was disappointing. I did bring it up with our serve once he returned. 
Lucky for me, we were doing a bit of sharing and Mr. H had ordered the Roasted Vegetables and Risotto ($19) with wild mushrooms, asparagus, caramelized onions, creamy garlic risotto, and basil pesto with lightly dressed greens. It was fantastic, and we'll be recreating this dish at home soon! They changed the vegetables slightly, but you can still enjoy this dish on the new menu. 
Aside from the one disappointing dish, we really enjoyed our meal and the vibe of the restaurant. Service was good, despite it being very busy. They have a dedicated parking lot right next to the building. Highly recommend checking them out if you haven't already.

Thyme Table Restaurant and Bar
583 Dover Center Road
Bay Village, OH 44140
(440) 617-6964

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Small City Taphouse

Things are quiet over here these days. My new small business, Evy Lena Vintage, is keeping me busy during every spare minute that I have. I'm learning a ton, finding such joy in running my shop, and achieving goals that I set for myself. To put it is good. Like real good.

But that doesn't mean that Mr. H and I aren't still having some dining adventures. Now they just might include a thrift store stop or center around picking up winnings from an estate sale auction. Which is how we found ourselves in Sandusky one Saturday afternoon. 

I went to Twitter for your recommendations, and boy did you follow through! We looked at a few menus, and settled on Small City Taphouse for their Asian cuisine and extensive craft beer list.

Several items in the Appetizers section sounded good, so we went for the SAMPLER ($12) with 2 soft spring rolls, 2 crispy spring rolls, 2 toasted shrimp, 2 jumbo crispy shrimp, and 2 fried pork dumplings. 
A good way to try a little bit of everything. Our favorite was the Toasted Shrimp. Everything was good and we enjoyed it, but nothing was noteworthy. 

The second appetizer that appealed to us was the BANH MI WITH MEATBALL ($7), served with pickled carrot, cucumber, cilantro and pepper.
When it arrived at the table, it wasn't at all what we were expecting! Which is always kind of fun. I thought maybe it would be a slider, steamed bun, or crostini. It was tasty, but I was kind of missing a more traditional version if I'm honest. 

Lastly, they have a good amount of sushi on their menu, so we decided to share two House Special Rolls. I loved their use of chili crisp! 
We enjoyed our lunch and the casual sports-bar feel of the restaurant & bar, and even enjoyed a new-to-us stout so much that we bought a crowler to take home.
While we won't be making a special trip here, it's definitely a good spot to stop at if you're in the area. Family-friendly atmosphere, walkable area, and easy public parking on the street. 

202 Columbus Avenue
Sandusky, OH 44870
(419) 502-0099

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Happy Cows Group Share

The owner of Happy Cows Group Share reached out to me to share a little about her business and asked if I'd be willing to come in to check out their retail location in Seven Hills.

It is exactly the type of local business that I like to bring to you guys. They offer locally raised meat in convenient, affordable, and customizable shares.
They have bulk pricing, so you buy by the share, instead of by the cut. 
They also have an extensive line of locally produced pantry goods.
Including some of our favorite brands...
...and several that we hadn't heard of yet.

We were gifted a pound of their Ground Beef. Mr. H whipped up some homemade brioche buns for the first time, and wow that was a good Smash Burger!
We also took home Short Ribs...
...that Mr. H smoked...
...and seared...
...before turning it into Smoked Short Rib Steamed Buns. Yum, yum!
You should definitely go check out their retail store and meat shares. When you shop with them, you are supporting local farmers and makers and getting such quality products to feed your family. 

7529 Broadview Road
Seven Hills, OH 44131

Disclosure: I was gifted the meat in exchange for my honest review and sharing my experience on social media. All opinions stated are 100% my own. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Aqua di Luca Opens in Downtown

This post I'm catching up on from July (whoops), but we headed to the newly opened Aqua di Luca in Downtown Cleveland. Normally, we don't head right in when a new spot opens up. We like to give them time to settle in and fix any opening issues. But this was opened by the folks behind one of our very favorite restaurants in the city, Luca (and Luca West). So we made an exception. 

Plus, we wanted to celebrate a successful first month of my small business! That meant delicious cocktails from their bar. 

Sappy moment...this guy has been so supportive, encouraging, and involved in my starting my dream business. I feel pretty lucky to have him by my side, and there's no one else I'd rather celebrate with!
We started with the Sashimi Grade Tuna ($15) with honeycomb and spicy peppers. It's a simple dish, but one that I think is a not-miss if you're dining there. We were inspired to try making this at home.
We split the Cacio e Pepe ($10), but this dish needs some work before I'd recommend it. There was not enough dressing on the plate, and very little flavor to it. Iceberg lettuce needs assistance. 
Mr. H ordered the Salmone con Ravioli ($45) with Jumbo Lump Bluecrab and Lobster Ravioli. 
I had the Filet Mignon and Lobster Gnocchi ($55).
There were definitely some opening growing pains in food execution and service, but I have no doubt it will settle in to be a staple of Downtown Cleveland dining. The space used to be XO Prime Steaks, but you wouldn't recognize it from all of the gorgeous work they've done inside. Outdoor seating available, and a nice long bar for more casual dining.

I'll give it a little more time, but you bet that we'll be back!

Aqua di Luca
500 W St. Clair Avenue
Cleveland, OH

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Istanbul Grill

 Well, that was an unexpected two-month hiatus from the blog. But not surprising. I have NEWS! I started my own small business, selling vintage housewares on Etsy and Instagram. It's called Evy Lena Vintage, after my grandmother and great-grandmother, and it's been an "if money was no object, what would your dream job be" for a while. This pandemic and other recent big life events really put things into perspective for me, and I decided to stop holding myself back from chasing that dream. But it leaves very little time, energy, and interest for this space of the internet. So the posts will be fewer and far between as I navigate this new phase of my life. Thanks for coming along with me all these years.

In an effort to still complete the 2021 To Dine Challenge, Mr. H and I swung by Istanbul Grill in Avon the other night (I had some estate sale auction winnings to pick up, so win-win!).

This one had made it to the list because there used to be an Istanbul Grill (no relation) in Tremont that made this particular dish I loved, and this restaurant also had that dish on their menu.
We were greeted with seasoned bread and two dips, a cool yogurt-based one and a slightly spicy almost marinara-like one. A mix was Mr. H's favorite!
He ordered the Sultan's Delight "Hunkar Begendi" ($19.99) with tender cubes of lamb, red and green bell peppers in a tomato sauce, served over a creamy bed of pureed eggplant and cheese. The portion was huge, piping hot, and quite tasty. 
I was there for the Iskender Kebab with Yogurt ($19.99) of fresh Doner "Gyro" served with croutons and topped with a tomato butter sauce and a side of yogurt.
I remember liking the Tremont version a bit better (flavor of sauce, texture of pita), but this was very good too and I'd happily order it again.

We don't find ourselves out that way very often, but I'd pop in here again in a heartbeat. Open for lunch and dinner, has a kids menu, plenty of free parking, and lots of vegetarian options. 

35840 Chester Road
Avon, OH 44011
(440) 937-0733