Why? Terrestrial Brewing Company!

Last night, the John Carroll Cleveland Alumni Chapter hosted a happy hour at Terrestrial Brewing Company.

IMG_7912

Not only is Terrestrial Brewing a hot new brewery on the Cleveland craft beer scene, it’s also co-owned by Ryan Bennett, a John Carroll alumni from my class (you don’t need to know what year that is ;-)).

IMG_7920 (1)

Ryan partnered with Ralph Sgro, who worked at Platform Beer Co. previously, to open a small-batch, neighborhood brewery in the Battery Park Powerhouse. Terrestrial Brewing does very little distribution, but rather focuses on creating unique beers that draw people in to their bar for pints and conversation.

IMG_7917

For my libations yesterday, I enjoyed the Feisty, a Belgian blonde brewed with jalapenos that really had a kick. I also had the Space Chimp, a witbier with guava and passion fruit. The small-batch system at Terrestrial Brewing allows the brewer to be creative and experiment with different flavors and styles. Ralph even created a beer brewed with gummy worms!

IMG_7919 (1)

Terrestrial Brewing seeks to be a easy-going, neighborhood brewpub catering to the residents of the Battery Park area. It’s dog-friendly, as evidenced by the water bowl club (your pup can have his own water bowl with his name on it there).

It’s also a business that knows the value of partnering with other local businesses. The Terrestrial Brewing mug club features beautiful, hand-crafted mugs from The Glass Bubble Project. Terrestrial Brewing is also co-hosting Carnivore Christmas with Saucisson on Monday, December 11.

It was great to not only check out a cool new brewery, but also support another John Carroll alum. If you’re looking for unique beers in a relaxed atmosphere, head on over to Terrestrial Brewing!

***Disclosure: I  am the president of the John Carroll Cleveland Alumni Chapter. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Townhomes of Van Aken!

There is so much new development in and around Cleveland that it can be hard to keep track. Yesterday, I got to tour the new Townhomes of Van Aken, being developed by Vintage Development Group.

1497418066713__kwipfn02_2_

Located in Shaker Heights on Van Aken Boulevard between Sutton and Onaway Roads, these townhomes put you in a prime location to take the RTA Rapid downtown, to pop to University Circle, or to walk to Shaker Square or the soon-to-be opened Van Aken District amenities.

Plus, the townhomes are all built to be “green” and sustainable, which is not only great for the environment, but for your wallet too! You’ll receive a 10-year tax abatement when you purchase one of these townhomes, plus the first four units will receive a free solar system that can cover up to 80-100% of the energy load.

So, let’s talk about how pretty these townhomes are! They have tons of natural light, gorgeous finishings, and lots of closet space.

IMG_4911 (1)

IMG_4912

IMG_4913

IMG_4914

You can take a 3D tour here. Vintage Development Group is also the group that developed the townhomes in Battery Park and these new Townhomes of Van Aken promise to bring the same elegance of living to Shaker Heights!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Grapes and Ale!

On Friday night, Matthew and I attended a great summer event: Our Lady of the Wayside‘s Grapes and Ale fundraiser.

photo3 (2)

Held at Progressive Field, Grapes and Ale combines food, music, silent auction items, and, of course, wine and beer tastings into a fun strolling picnic. And what’s a picnic without friends to enjoy it with?!

photo4 (2)

There were saucy BBQ offerings from restaurants such as Famous Dave’s, Hot Sauce Williams, Battery Park Wine Bar, and 100th Bomb Group. I enjoyed the Famous Dave’s plate of sausage, a chicken wing, and cornbread. But my favorite nibble of the night was Battery Park’s BBQ beef brisket with ancho chile slaw. The sauce had a delicious sweet tang and the slaw added just the right amount of heat.

photo1 (2)

100th Bomb Group’s peach BBQ sauce and mango slaw were both tasty, but the ribs were way too difficult to eat while trying to hold a wine glass and maneuver through the crowds.

photo6 (2)

Speaking of holding a wine glass, there were over 50 different wineries represented in this year’s tasting, including the new Cupcake Vineyards wine truck, which was a very popular spot!

photo2 (2)

I stuck with “known quantities” for my wine choices (wines I know I love), such as Petite Petit, Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel, and Predator Zinfandel.

photo5 (3)

Matthew enjoyed some new finds in the craft beer area, including a surprisingly good Russian Imperial Stout from Leinenkugel’s.

The whole time, we were enjoying great music from Colin Dussault’s Acoustic Side Project, as well as taking in great views of Progressive Field.

photo7 (1)It was a fun night for a great cause, supporting Our Lady of the Wayside’s mission of “providing residential, respite, transportation, and day programming service for 500 children and adults with developmental disabilities.” Our Lady of the Wayside’s next fundraising event is the Amateur Golf Championship on Monday, August 11. Click here to register for the event!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote Grapes & Ale. In exchange, I received 2 complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Upcoming Events!

Can you believe it’s almost March? As we hopefully move toward Spring, here are some great upcoming events to help shake off the cabin fever:

Theater Ninjas [sic]

Thursday, February 27 – Saturday, March 15

78th Street Studios

Image Source - theaterninjas.com
Image Source – theaterninjas.com

Theater Ninjas latest production focuses on friendship. The action centers on three friends who are attempting their life-changing masterstrokes: Babbette’s book about the history of the outburst, Theo’s subversive roller-coaster theme song, and Frank’s budding auctioneering career. Tickets range from $10-$20. Click here to purchase tickets.

Second Annual Cleveland Kurentovanje Festival

Saturday, March 1

St. Clair Avenue between East 62nd and Addison Road

14079758-mmmain-620x260
Image Source – sterlescountryhouse.com

This cultural event, which connects ethnology, culture, arts, and people from all over Europe, has been celebrated in Slovenia for the past 50 years. The central figure of the carnival, the Kurent, is believed to chase away winter and usher in spring with its supernatural powers. The festival starts at 11am and activities throughout the day include a parade; lots of food, beer, and wine to taste; crafts for kids; and an after-party at Sterle’s Country House. Click here for more information.

Partners New Member Happy Hour

Thursday, March 6 at 6pm

Battery Park Wine Bar

Image Source - playhousesquare.org
Image Source – playhousesquare.org

Thinking about joining Playhouse Square Partners? This is a great chance to mix and mingle with Partners members and find out more about the organization. There will be complimentary appetizers, happy hour drink specials, and the first round is on Playhouse Square! Click here for more information.

Exhibition Opening Night: DIRGE: Reflections on [Life and] Death + Sara VanDerBeek

Friday, March 7 at 7pm

MOCA Cleveland

Image Source - mocacleveland.org
Image Source – mocacleveland.org

Join MOCA Cleveland as they celebrate the opening of their Winter 2014 Exhibition Season. The evening includes a talk from the artist, hands-on art making in the Family Art Studio, and a live performance from the Revolution Brass Band. Admission is free. Click here for more details.

Shake the Square

Monday, March 10 – Monday, March 17

Shaker Square

Image Source - shakethesquare.com
Image Source – shakethesquare.com

This week-long event encourages you to check out all that Shaker Square has to offer. Enjoy $33 prix fixe dinners at Balaton, Edwins, Fire, Sasa, and Zanzibar. You can also save 33% off at retailers Deweys Fair Trade Coffee, Fashions by Fowler, and Christopher Amira Salon and Spa. With a receipt from a participating restaurant, you’ll score free popcorn at Shaker Square Cinema. Click here for more information.

Cleveland International Film Festival

Wednesday, March 19 – Sunday, March 30

Tower City Cinemas

Image Source - clevelandfilm.org
Image Source – clevelandfilm.org

Check out the 38th annual Cleveland International Film Festival! There are a host of wonderful films to see and events to enjoy. Tickets are $12 for members and $14 for non-members. Click here for a complete line-up of films and click here to purchase tickets.

What upcoming events are you most looking forward to?

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend Theater Ninjas’ [sic] with two complimentary tickets. I was invited to the media preview of MOCA Cleveland’s Winter 2014 Exhibition Season, but declined due to scheduling conflicts. I am a member of Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Ohio Blogging Holiday Party!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win a Cleveland ornament in my blogiversary giveaway? Check it out!***

Wednesday night was all about bloggers, food, wine, conversation, and cookies at the second-annual Ohio Blogging Association holiday party. Since I’m celebrating my blogiversary this week and feeling reflective, I’ll tell you that being part of the OBA and attending the group’s events is one of my favorite things about blogging. We have such a great, supportive community of local bloggers!

IMG_4985

This year’s party was held at Battery Park Wine Bar. I like this spot anytime, but think they do a fantastic job with events. The wine bar has a side area that feels private from the rest of the bar and they will extend their happy hour pricing of $4 select beers and wines and discounted appetizers for an event. Matthew and I shared the fries, spinach and artichoke dip, and smoked chicken sliders, all for just $5 a piece.

IMG_4990

We did a cookie swap again this year, which meant everyone brought 4 dozen cookies to share and then you loaded up a container with a mix of everyone’s treats. I made Kahlua Chocolate Chunk Cookies. It’s a pretty easy recipe and makes a lot of cookies, plus the cookies are delicious!

IMG_4992

Some of Matthew’s and my favorite sweets of the evening were Kimberly‘s lemon poppyseed cookies, Lane‘s candy cane cookies, Sarah‘s espresso chocolate chip shortbread, and Julie‘s cherry limeade cookies. We all left with containers filled with treats to munch at home and hearts filled with laughter, fun, and warm holiday wishes (it’s the holidays and blogiversary week, so I’m allowed to be super cheesy).

IMG_5004

In attendance for the merriment were bloggers from:

Am I There Yet?

Clue Into Cleveland (and husband Scott)

Cooker Girl

Eat*Drink*Cleveland

Lane Baldwin Photography (and husband Nathan)

Nidhizzle and Cleveland Socialite

Ohio Festivals and man-gi-am-OH (and adorable new baby Max)

Poise in Parma (and husband Hans and PIP Mom)

ROJ Running

Run Swanson (and wife Katie)

Smitten…in Cleveland

SOS Associates

IMG_4994

The next Ohio Blogging Association meet-up will be on Friday, January 18 at 9pm at Noodlecat, when Poise in Parma, Clue Into Cleveland, Smitten…in Cleveland, and I co-host Karaoke at the Cat! All are welcome, not just bloggers, of course! Click here to RSVP and stay tuned to our blogs for more details.

***Disclosure: The bloggers listed above and I are co-hosting Karaoke at the Cat and splitting compensation for hosting. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Why? Upcoming Holiday Events!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Click here to enter to win 4 tickets to the Cavs game on December 5. Remember, you can tweet daily for additional entries!***

‘Tis the season, Cleveland! All over, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which means tons of fun goings-on around town. Read on for a sampling of all the festive fun:

Glow Wintershow 2012

Now through December 31

Cleveland Botanical Garden

Image Source – cbgarden.org

Even the name sounds magical! Glow has something for everyone: take a ride on the Garden Express train, listen to carolers, decorate a gingerbread house, check out the beautifully decorated trees and poinsettias, and go ice skating at the Rink at Wade Oval. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6.50 for children. For Glow times and tickets, click here.

Ohio City Holiday Festival

Saturday, December 1 at 11am

Market Square Park

Image Souce – facebook.com

Come down to Market Square Park and shop for Christmas trees and gifts, have your photo taken with Santa, raise a Christmas Ale and generally celebrate the season. Click here for more information.

Cookie Decorating Party

Saturday, December 1 at 2pm

Veggie U

Head out west to Veggie U for an afternoon of fun with the kids. Children can decorate a dozen cookies to take home, as well as extra cookies to be donated to a local nursing home, plus sneak in a visit with Santa! Tickets are $35 per child under 12. Call 419-499-7500 for reservations.

Playhouse Square Partners Night at The Santaland Diaries

Thursday, December 6 at 6:30pm

Playhouse Square

Image Source – facebook.com

Join Playhouse Square Partners as they attend the theatrical performance of David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries, the story of an out-of-work actor who takes a job as a Macy’s Christmas Elf. Tickets are $30 and include beer, wine, and light appetizers. This show is for mature elves only! Click here to purchase tickets.

White Christmas

Saturday, December 8 at 12pm

Cedar Lee Theatre

Image Source – twitter.com/cedarleetheatre

Head over to the Cedar Lee Theatre for a screening of this Bing Crosby holiday classic. Admission is $5 or 2 non-perishable food items, both to benefit the Cleveland Foodbank. You can purchase advance tickets online by clicking here or by taking your 2 non-perishable food items to the box office prior to the show.

John Carroll University Christmas Ale and Cookies

Wednesday, December 12 at 6pm

Panini’s Bar & Grill in Mayfield and Westlake

Image Source – jcu.edu

The John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter wants to celebrate the season with Cleveland-area JCU alums. Head to Panini’s in Mayfield or Westlake for food and fun. Cost to attend is $12, which gets you food, Christmas cookies, and one drink ticket. Attendees are also encouraged to bring new winter gloves, hats, etc. for donation to the JCU Labre Service Project. Click here to RSVP by December 8.

Ohio Blogging Association Holiday Party and Cookie Swap

Wednesday, December 12 at 6pm

Battery Park Wine Bar

Image Source – bigboldbeautifulfood.blogspot.com

Calling all bloggers and blog supporters to a fun evening of food, wine, conversation, and cookies! The Ohio Blogging Association is hosting its second annual holiday party and cookie swap at Battery Park Wine Bar. Happy hour menu will be available for the event, which includes $4 select beer and wine and discounted appetizers. If you want to participate in the cookie swap, bring 4 dozen cookies and a container to collect your treats to take home. For more details and to RSVP, click here.

Ale and Cookies and Ugly Sweaters

Monday, December 17 at 6pm

Bier Markt and Bar Cento

Image Souce – clevelandfoodbank.org

Join the Cleveland Foodbank’s YP Pantry group for some holiday merriment. From 6-9pm at Bier Markt and Bar Cento, just mention you’re with the YP Pantry and 15% of your tab will be donated to the Cleveland Foodbank. There will also be a canned goods collection, Christmas cookies to nibble, and a contest for the ugliest Christmas sweater. Click here to RSVP.

Stone Mad Chestnut Roasting Party

Monday, December 17 at 7pm

Stone Mad Pub

Image Source – unitedwaycleveland.org

Stop in at Stone Mad Pub for this yearly tradition, with live holiday music, carriage rides through Gordon Square, chestnuts roasted in the outdoor fireplace, and more festive fun.

Emerging Chefs Naughty Claus

Thursday, December 20 at 8pm

Speakeasy

Join Emerging Chefs and Chef Adam Lambert at Speakeasy for a unique holiday celebration. Chef Lambert will present five courses of naughty and nice treats, paired with holiday drinks. Put this event on your list and check it twice! Tickets are $60 and can be purchased by clicking here.

You can find more great holiday events on Positively Cleveland’s Guide to Celebrating the Season Locally and also find out about your chance to win a full-size leg lamp through their #HomeinCLE Instagram contest.

What holiday events in Cleveland will you be attending?

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Botanical Garden and Emerging Chefs to help promote their events. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary tickets to Glow and one complimentary media pass to Naughty Claus. I am a board member for the John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter and the Cleveland Foodbank YP Pantry. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Why? Red Hot!

Have you entered my “Cleveland Ethnic Eats” giveaway yet? You have until Friday, February 11 to enter!  Check it out!

The forecasters might be telling us how cold it’s going to be, but all over CLE things are getting red hot!  CLE businesses are preparing to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day in style.  We CLE-ers like our romance.  So much so that we have two holidays to celebrate it, one of which almost no one else celebrates – Sweetest Day, of course.  But this Monday is the big heart holiday.  So, whether you want a romantic day with your significant other or a fun night out with your friends (or, like me, both), here are just some of the red hot spots around CLE:

It's a red hots heart!

On Valentine’s Day, the Cleveland Orchestra is featuring Mitsuko Uchida in a recital of “romantic masterworks.”  The recital is the centerpiece for the “A Night for Romance” gala to benefit the Cleveland Orchestra Artistic Initiatives.  For more information of the recital and gala, click here

Sushi Rock on West 6th Street and in Beachwood is featuring a Wine & Dine Your Valentine Package.  $75 for dinner for two, plus a rose and chocolate-covered strawberries (one stop shopping, guys!).

Spa West is offering couples’ spa packages, which include champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and couples’ massages.  Relax and de-stress with your sweetie.

On Friday, February 11 starting at 9pm, Barley House is having a stoplight party for those craving a college mixer flashback.  Wear red if you’re taken, yellow if undecided, and green if you’re single.  Those dressing up receive Barley Bucs at the door.

Pickwick & Frolic is hosting comedienne Rachel Feinstein on Valentine’s Day.  For $39.95 or $44.95 per person, you get show tickets, dinner, champagne, and chocolate.  Perfect for a date or a night out with friends.

Metromix Cleveland and Reddstone are hosting a Red Party on Friday, February 11 starting at 9pm.  Open bar from 9-10pm, Pinnacle vodka tasting station, free appetizers and sweets, and photos with Drunk Cupid.  Get your red on in Battery Park!  Also, take a moment and vote for Metromix’s Most Interesting Couples in Cleveland (no, CLEguy and I are not in there).

The Greenhouse Tavern is offering a $65 prix fixe menu on February 13 and 14, featuring six courses of yummy-ness, plus a complimentary split of sparkling wine to take home.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. is featuring a special Valentine’s menu with the choice of filet or lobster and a chocolate mousse cake finish for only $21 or $24.

Light Bisto is offering a $100 per couple four-course menu paired with wine.  Note that the restaurant is closed on Sunday, February 13.

No matter how or with whom you celebrate, CLE offers some great choices to get red hot this Valentine’s Day.  Appreciating and celebrating romance is a great answer to “Why Cleveland?”

Why? Weekends!

I kicked off this weekend with CLEguy and CLEfriends with a happy hour at Reddstone that I won by dropping my business card in a drawing (I think that’s why I have business cards).

I’ve always enjoyed Reddstone and the Battery Park area in general.  Plus, some of the CLEfriends had never been there and I love introducing people to cool CLE places.  Our happy hour was in the upstairs room, along with another group that had also won a happy hour.  While food was to be provided at the happy hour, two pizzas and 30 chicken wings for nearly 50 people just wasn’t enough.  So, we ended up ordering an array of Reddstone’s appetizers – Macho nachos, crab and potato pierogies, sweet potato fries, and BBQ wings – all of which were very yummy.  Plus, Reddstone has a great beer selection – anyplace where I can order Chimay is good by me.  Overall, it was a fun night catching up with CLEfriends and enjoying one of CLE’s hottest neighborhoods.

From the trendy to the simply comfortable, on Saturday night CLEguy, a couple CLEfriends, and I ended up at the Kirtland City Tavern.  This is one of those places you’d drive right by if you didn’t know about it.  It’s also got that “everybody knows your name” feel to it.  And I have to say, the burgers are out of this world.  Gigantic, with a myriad of topping choices, and just delicious.  Starting off your meal with the homemade potato chips is a great way to go, too.  The beer selection leaves a bit to be desired, but they did have Dortmunder Gold and Commodore Perry IPA from Great Lakes Brewing Co. on draft.

To me, one of the best things about CLE is it’s ability to provide both the trendy and the simply comfortable locations.  From having a big night out to throwing on a pair of jeans and grabbing a burger to anything in between, CLE has a place that will fit your mood.  That’s another great answer to “Why Cleveland?”  What new answers did you discover this weekend?