Wednesday, April 26, 2017

One Eleven Bistro in Medina

An outing with the CLE Dinner Club last week took me out to Medina again. This time, it was to One Eleven Bistro.

It's a very comfortable and casual atmosphere, with a focus on local ingredients and Chef Anthony Scalaro's sophisticated, gorgeously plated, and diverse menu. I was quite smitten with the stunning West Side Market canvas on a back wall. They really do love to highlight Ohio, and feature one week every month that crafts a special menu around one locally grown produce item. They always seem to be hosting fun events and themed menus, so check it out.

For our group, we had a special four-course menu.

Duck Confit Flatbread with a cherry gastrique, candied walnuts and crumbled bleu.
A touch dry for me, this was my least favorite course, but it was still enjoyable. The combination of duck, a sweet element, and bleu cheese always works, in my opinion.

Local Greens with dried fruits, crispy root vegetables, and a raspberry vinaigrette.
Which ended up being my favorite course of the night. I wanted to bottle that dressing, and loved the technique of frying the beets and getting them not a bit greasy. It added a great crunchy texture to the salad, and Chef Scalaro talked us through how to do it at home.

Seared Pork Tenderloin with creamed corn, smashed yukons, pepper relish and cuitlacoche.

Another highlight in the meal, this dish was simple but interesting, thanks to the relish and cuitlacoche.

Chocolate Mousse Tart with cocoa nib, pistachio, coffee syrup and caramel tuile (tuile not pictured).
This meal left me wanting to drive back to Medina for another visit. That's always a good sign.

One Eleven Bistro
2736 Medina Road
Medina, OH 44256

Friday, April 21, 2017

Recipe: Blackened Cajun Mahi Mahi

I haven't shared a recipe in quite a while, but this one is worth sharing. Mr. H has been doing a lot of cooking in our new home, and this one stood out the other day. We adapted it from here.

Blackened Cajun Mahi Mahi (serves 2)


Blacked Cajun Spice Rub
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Blackened Cajun Mahi Mahi
(2) 8 oz. Mahi Mahi filets
1 Tablespoon oil
1 avocado, sliced
lime wedges for serving

Make the spice rub by combining all the dried spices in a small bowl, and stirring to combine.
Heat a medium size skillet over medium high heat.
While it is heating up, coat the fish filets in the spice rub on all sides.
Add the oil to the hot pan, and cook the fish until preferred temperature (typically 3-4 minutes per side).
Plate fish.
Top with sliced avocado and a wedge of lime.
We served ours over wild rice and with asparagus. Oh yeah, and this beer...
I am totally loving the Grandes Lagos lager from Great Lakes Brewing Company (Cleveland). It's a perfect light, summery beer that's made with hibiscus flower. It balanced the spice from the rub perfectly.

A couple of days later, I followed a video tutorial that GLBC posted to Instagram for a "Lagosrita" with 2 oz. tequila, 1 oz. blue agave nectar, 1 oz. fresh lime juice, and 4 oz. Grandes Lagos.
It was DELICIOUS! Perfect for sitting on the porch on a sunny day, and this will be in regular rotation this summer.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Ticket Giveaway: 2017 Silver Spoon Awards Party

The 23rd annual Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party, to benefit the Arthritis Foundation, is a strolling food and wine tasting event and one of Cleveland’s finest social and culinary evenings. Taking place on Wednesday, May 3rd, it highlights our city's best of the best, and it's one of those events that you don't want to miss.
Guests will sample delicious signature dishes from more than 40 of Northeast Ohio’s best restaurants and several international wineries. All participating restaurants are 2017 Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Award winners and finalists. This includes some of my favorites, like:

- Alley Cat
- Cork & Cleaver
- Graffiti
- L'Albatros
- Luca
- Pier W
- Salt+
- The Plum Cafe & Kitchen
- Toast

I could go on and on. This is one event where you seriously have to pace yourself. So many good restaurants packed into one space! I couldn't attend last year, and I truly missed it. Event proceeds fund critical arthritis research and support local services for the 1.3 million Northeastern Ohioans with arthritis and related diseases.

It is being held at the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum again from 6-9PM. The event also includes an exclusive VIP Lounge, a fabulous silent auction and exciting raffles. Complimentary valet is offered for all guests. Tickets are $100 for General Admission, or $150 for VIP. In VIP, you get to experience special dishes, signature cocktails, a late night after party, and other surprises. You can purchase tickets online here, and use Promo Code BITEBUFF for 10% off your ticket price for either level.

Or, you could win two General Admission tickets here! The random winner will be selected on Monday, April 24th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

Disclosure: I was provided with two General Admission tickets to give away, and two VIP passes to attend, in exchange for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Koko's Bakery

Mr. H and I knocked another stop off of my 2017 To Dine Challenge list on Sunday by popping in to Koko's Bakery in AsiaTown.
When you walk in the door, you're immediately greeted by this impressive and mouth-watering case of pastries and buns.
You grab a tray and make your selections, before making your way over to the counter to pay. Where then you are tempted by this bright and colorful selection of desserts.
They also have sandwiches, rice bowls, a lengthy list of bubble teas, and smoothies that you order at the counter. The shop is much larger than I imagined, and there are plenty of tables for dine-in. There is also a small lot in front, so parking was easy and free. It's in the same building as Han Chinese Kabob and Grill, and Map of Thailand.

We had just finished Easter brunch, so we were only interested in a couple of items to-go. We selected a Pork Bun ($1.75)...
...and a Ham and Cheese Bun ($1,75) to split for lunch on Monday.
We also took home a 3-pack of BBQ Pork Steamed Buns to make later. Both of the buns we had so far were very good. The dough is so light and airy, and they certainly made me want to go back!

Koko's Bakery
3710 Payne Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ticket Giveaway: Market at the Food Bank 2017

One of my favorite springtime events is coming up on Sunday, April 30th. Market at the Food Bank to benefit the Harvest for Hunger Campaign of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.
Attendees get to wander to Food Bank's warehouse, while sample food and beverages from more than 50 purveyors from 6:00 - 8:30PM. The event allows the organization to show off their impressive facility, and all that they do to serve the hungry in this community.

This year, the restaurant lineup includes some of my favorites like:

- Nomad Culinary
- The Plum Cafe
- Strip Steakhouse
- Zack Bruell Restaurant Group

You're guaranteed great bites from those folks, and many others. I always find a new-to-me restaurant at this event too.

The evening also includes a silent auction, raffles, live entertainment, Cleveland celebrities, complimentary valet parking, and more. General Admission tickets are $100, and VIP tickets are $200. VIP is worth the splurge, to get one hour early entry and first crack at the best food. You can still purchase tickets online here.

One lucky reader will get to attend by entering a ticket giveaway! Just use the form below for multiple ways to enter. You can also tweet daily for additional entries. The random winner will be drawn on Monday, April 17th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck!

Disclosure: I was provided with four General Admission tickets in exchange for this giveaway post and a review post after the event. I am a former employee of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. All opinions stated are 100% my own. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Larry's Tavern

During the Old Brooklyn Restaurant Month, we stopped in to Larry's Tavern on State Road for the first time.
They clearly have a lot of regulars and we stood out like a sore thumb, but everyone could not have been nicer to us. We were greeted by the owner, Larry, himself. He bought us a round of beers, and stopped by our table with some eclairs that were being passed around. Our bartender/server was super sweet, and another patron popped over to our table with the eclair bucket again later. I haven't felt that welcomed in a neighborhood bar before.

It was 60 cent Wing Night, so we shared some and they were good, solid wings. Nice and crispy, well sauced, and generous on the meat. Pictured are the Garlic Parmesan. There was even a bonus wing in there!
We also decided to split their version of the Roman Burger, called The Fox.
A decent bar burger, and it came with a choice of fresh cut fries or steak fries. Unlike Pearl Road Tavern's before that, these steak fries were cooked perfectly and I happily enjoyed them.

I was pleasantly surprised by our experience, and I'd stop in again. Just be prepared for the scent of cigarette smoke in the air. Rumor is that they are serving a good breakfast on the weekends, so we may have to check that out sometime soon.

Larry's Tavern
4716 State Road
Cleveland, OH 44109