Posts Tagged ‘restaurant review’
The Mister and I don’t always see completely eye to eye on culinary favoritism. Yes, we can both admit that something is “good.” And we certainly both recognize a good slice when we see it. But we’re not those couples who can go out to eat and share eachother’s entrees.
1.) His #1 choice might be my #7 choice and vice versa. Someone is always “settling.”
But more importantly,
2.) We don’t like to share.
We are going to be such incredible role models for our son, I know.
Anyway #1 also rears its ugly head when we are making restaurant decisions. We fall into the indecisive trap of wanting to make the other person happy, but also wanting to have a “favorite” meal ourselves. These conversations often lead to yelling, exasperation and normally resort to toddler-like behaviors — again, model parents, here.
While we can both agree on our favorite restaurants, we also aren’t millionaires and keep most night-out dinners to reasonable, close-proximity places that don’t charge 20+ for an entree.
Anyway, this weekend, we finally settled on a return visit to Gia Lai — and we may have actually found a place that sits in the top 3 on both of our go-to lists.
As explained on the website:
Gia Lai will be nothing short of an industry trendsetter rewarding diners who demand the best of all worlds. We transform authentic Southeast Asian cuisines made with fresh “from scratch” ingredients into tasty delights while transporting you to our vision of the modern day dining experience fit for an Emperor. Follow the spice road to our luxurious stocked bar and enjoy our hand-crafted signature cocktails gathered from all corners of the globe.
Not sure how I feel about thoe whole “emperor” bit – would he be wearing new clothes? — but, nevertheless, the place is quite delicious.
And so pretty!
Because we know pretty places make delicious food
I’ve now enjoyed the rice paper rolls more than once and the Mister and I agree they are some of the best we’ve had. See that? We’re agreeing.
I enjoy shrimp, while the Mister goes with pork.
Tip: Make sure to ask for a side of fish sauce — they are served with a peanut sauce that is quite delicious, but the fish sauce is better
For our entrees, I ordered a large bowl of the crab and asparagus soup. I’m doing us all a favor by not sharing the photo — completely unappetizing, totally delicious. The Mister ordered the traditional pho (again for a second time) – pronounced ’fu’ – like fun without the “n” (with beef) and said it’s some of the best he’s had.
Special tip: ask for extra siracha!
I can’t speak to the dessert. While it looked delicious, there was a frozen yogurt bar around the corner. Need I go on?
Clevelanders — make sure you check out Gia Lai – and you can thank me later for your avoidance of the “dinner decision” debacle.
After weeks of dropping hints and doing everything but finding a way to manipulate the Mister’s subconscious, I was finally treated to flour this weekend.
Thank you, Mama, for giving up your Saturday so that I could have a date with my husband. Our marriage thanks you.
Inspired by the rustic simplicity of Italian cuisine, Chef Paul Minnillo offers rustic Italian food to his new culinary venture in Cleveland, Ohio. From Flour’s larder, he creates his own house-cured meats, hand-crafted artisanal cheeses, pastas, neopolitan wood-fired pizzas and rustic Italian specialities. Flour seeks the freshest locally raised and homegrown products harvested at their seasonal peak.
Sounds lovely, no?
Wait till you see the food.
But first — check out the interior! I felt sexier simply walking in.
And trust me, I need all the help I can get.
After perusing the menu, I decided to start with the asparagus, while the Mister settled on the meatball skewer.
Seasoned with Parmesan and garlic chips, these asparagus spears were some of the best I’ve eaten.
And the Mister was quite pleased with his selection — so fun to eat!
Knowing I’d have to sample a dessert (and likely much of the Mister’s dish), I chose the lighter route with the ohio honey crisp apple salad, featuring
spiced almonds+smoked blue cheese (I subbed for mozzerella)+crisp prosciutto+aged balsamic.
It did not disappoint. The salty prosciutto was perfectly balanced with the sweet apple + almonds and the mozzarella rounded out the dish with a creamy finish. I am going to try and re-create this at home – delicious!
Luckily, the Mister’s pizza was portioned appropriately — meaning, more than enough for me to snag a few pieces.
flour isn’t kidding when they say their pizza is the real deal. Baked to perfection and wood fired, the crust was thin, but still doughy and soft — just the way I like it!
For dessert, we went with the waitress’ recommendation — apple crisp.
My only regret is that we didn’t order two — and that I saved the last bite for the Mister — now if that isn’t love, I’m not sure I know what is…
Thank you, flour, for making me look sexier for my husband and providing us with deliciousness. We’ll be back.
Clevelanders – Have you been to flour? Non-Clevelanders – what dish looks tastiest to you?
I could have sworn that I’ve posted about one of my favorite restaurants, Blue Canyon, before, but try as I might, I cannot locate a single mention.
Consider this my proclamation to you all that it is one of my favorite restaurants ever. Home of many birthday dinners and celebratory occasions, the Blue Canyon has a cozy and inviting atmosphere, much like an upscale, rustic retreat – and its food is even better. I’ve never met a dish I didn’t love.
The Mister and I have shared so many incredible dinners, laughs and conversations at Blue Canyon - in fact, we first talked about getting married “one day” over lunch on the restaurant’s beautiful patio!
So you can imagine my excitement when I learned the owner and chef, Brandt Evans was opening a new restaurant in downtown Cleveland.
From the website:
“Pure Life.” Not just words, but a philosophy. Chef Brandt Evans is proud to offer his latest vision – Pura Vida Restaurant, located in downtown Cleveland, on Public Square. Pura Vida offers a unique and inspired atmosphere serving dishes that Chef Evans says “live for today.” Chef Evans uses the finest and freshest local ingredients from a myriad of trusted sources – many of which are exclusive to Pura Vida.
The Mister and I met my dad, my brother and his girlfriend for dinner before an Indians game earlier this summer.
I could immediately tell that Pura Vida was going to be a bit different from Blue Canyon.
So modern and sleek! The lighting changed colors with the music, creating new ambiances with each fade in/out.
After enjoying a delicious summer salad featuring fresh berries, goat cheese and sunflower seed brittle, I realized I forgot to snap a photo.
Luckily, I still had my main course to capture.
One of the most innovative dishes I’ve had to date, what you see here is a “jar.”
Let me elaborate. Pura Vida offers several jar selections, which are served with grilled bread. Each jar is layered with different ingredients, creating the perfect combination of flavors and forming a unique “spread” to enjoy with the grilled bread. I chose the bbq tofu & vegan chorizo jar, which was also layered with grilled scallion pesto and roasted tomatoes.
It is a new goal of mine to sample every single jar that pura vida has to offer. This was so fun to eat and incredibly delicious.
So while pura vida looked sleeker and more trendy than Blue Canyon, they certainly have one major thing in common — mind-blowing food.
Now if only I could make up my mind on where to celebrate my next big occasion…
Take a look at Pura Vida’s extensive menu, what would you have ordered? What jar should I try next? IAnd how can I con the Mister to take me there for breakfast one morning this week?