Why? Washington Place!

Last week, CLEmom and I went out to dinner. When deciding on where to go, we had three requirements: (1) good food, (2) good drinks, (3) a nice patio. We ended up at Washington Place Bistro and Inn in Little Italy. I had been to Washington Place for the opening of their new patio, so I knew it was a fabulous spot to spend a summer evening. But, at the patio party, we didn’t eat food off the menu and I was dying to try some of the things I had heard about.

We caught the end of Washington Place’s happy hour, which runs until 6pm on the patio, 7pm inside. Certain drinks and appetizers are all just $5. From the happy hour menu, I chose the white sangria, a refreshing summer cocktail. We also ordered the goat cheese and chorizo strudel and the oxtail pierogies (not on the happy hour menu).

The strudel was out of this world. The phyllo dough was light and flaky. The filling blended creamy Mackenzie Creamery goat cheese and mildly spicy chroizo perfectly. Add in fresh thyme and micro greens and you have one amazing appetizer. And for only $5!

The pierogies lived up to my very high expectations. Ohio City Pasta truffled potato pierogies were topped with oxtail and mushroom ragout, onion, and horseradish creme fraiche. The pierogies were perfect – slightly crisp on the outside with a nice, firm dough and creamy filling. The oxtail and mushroom ragout was hearty, without overpowering the taste of the pierogi. We definitely cleaned our plates on the appetizer course!

CLEmom and I took an inordinately long time deciding on dinner, because everything sounded so good! For our entrees, I chose the dayboat scallops and CLEmom chose the hanger steak.

The scallops were seared and served with a carrot and pea risotto, covered with a citrus “lacquer.” The scallops were perfectly cooked and delicious. The risotto and lacquer are what really took this dish to the next level. The citrus and fresh vegetable flavors added a wonderful brightness to the dish. The sauce was light, but the citrus tang still came through and stood up to the risotto. One of my CLEtweeps, nicolekusold, went to Washington Place the next night and confirmed that the scallops are “sooo delish!”

CLEmom’s hanger steak was cooked exactly to her liking and was tender and flavorful. The asparagus and fries were the perfect accompaniments. On the side is a bleu cheese butter sauce – CLEmom feels the same way about bleu cheese that I do!

Despite being stuffed, we couldn’t pass up dessert! I had the Graeter’s Ice Cream trio and CLEmom had the lemon blueberry tart.

First, I loved the presentation of the ice cream, even though on a hot CLE day, I had to eat them rather quickly. The trio included chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip, and blackberry chocolate chip. Graeter’s blackberry chocolate chip is one of my all-time favorite ice cream flavors, so I was quite happy. The mini waffle cones are made at Washington Place and are light and sweet and delicious! This is a perfect fun summer dessert!

The lemon blueberry tart was also a great summer choice, with fresh flavors and a gorgeous and delicious creme anglaise on the plate.

One of the best things about the menu at Washington Place is the amount of local food – from Mackenzie Creamery goat cheese to Chef’s Garden vegetables to Graeter’s ice cream. Washington Place doesn’t just talk the talk. Their menu details the great local spots your food is coming from. And, at the end of your meal, there’s a place on your check to make a donation to Veggie U to help educate the next generation about the importance of local, healthy food.

Overall, Washington Place exceeded our requirements for good food, good drinks, and a nice patio. I will certainly be back to try one of the many things on the menu that tempted me!

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