I had already been to a few games this season, but this was the first of the season without Jeffrey. And while I love his excitement for the game, it was also fun to spend time outside of the Family Deck!
We got the District tickets, which include standing room space in The Corner, as well as a beer. What a great deal! And it was Dollar Dog night, which meant cheap eats, too.
We supplemented our dollar dogs with some pizza from Dante’s Inferno and quesadilla from Momocho. There are great local eats at Progressive Field!
Despite the heat, we had a great time and the Indians brought home a win, so that makes for a pretty great Friday night!
I love everything about Michael Angelo’s Winery! The setting is beautiful, the wines are delicious (the sparking rosé is my new favorite), and the food is so tasty!
I had the crab cakes, with apple garden slaw and lemon aioli. I also snagged nibbles of the crispy Brussel sprouts, calamari, and truffle fries, all of which are perfect for sharing with a group of friends.
This is the perfect spot for your next girls’ night out or a romantic date!
It was a busy, fun, outdoorsy weekend (yes, this is the right blog and I said outdoorsy). Let’s get right to it…
Matthew, Jeffrey, and I embarked on an overnight camping adventure with Matthew’s siblings and cousins and their kids. As you know (or can probably surmise), camping is a bit outside my wheelhouse. But Jeffrey was excited to go and I ended up having a really great time!
We spent the weekend on Matthew’s cousins’ property in Thompson. We made a bonfire and roasted hot dogs and s’mores…
…we took a creek walk and went waterfall sliding…
…we went canoeing…
…we watched fireworks…
…and just generally had a good time with family in nature. Tobey even joined in the fun!
Being that we’re not big campers, we needed some supplemental gear, which is where CampRents came in.
CampRents is a local company that rents backpacking and camping gear and can get you outfitted for everything from backyard camping to hiking the Appalachian Trail.
We rented a one-person tent (to add to our three-person tent), sleeping bags and pads, and a headlamp. Everything came cleaned, packed, and ready to go.
When we were done camping, we just packed everything back into the bag to return. This is an easy, cost-effective way to try out new gear or get yourself ready for an adventure that might not happen often enough for you to buy your own supplies.
All in all, I survived the great outdoors and even enjoyed it!
***Disclosure: I received complimentary rental items from CampRents. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
Yoga + Beer at Platform Beer Co.
On Sunday, after returning to civilization and showering, I headed to Platform Beer Co. for an hour-long vinyasa flow with a beer chaser taught by Alicia.
Alicia’s accessible, but still challenging, teaching style was the perfect thing to wake me up on Sunday morning (and get out some of the sleeping-on-the-ground stiffness). Plus, it’s always fun to practice outside, especially on such a beautiful morning!
After class, we stayed to chat and enjoy a beer. I highly recommend the Passionista Wit!
If you’re interested in starting your Sunday with a little detox to retox, Alicia is teaching another Yoga + Beer event at Platform on Sunday, August 18. Cost is $20 and includes an hour-long class plus a beer.
You can also trade your beer for wine when Alicia teaches Yoga on the Viaduct on Wednesday, July 31, with incredible sunset views and a social at Luca Italian Cuisine to follow. Cost to attend is $25 and includes an hour-long class, glass of wine, and appetizers. Both events benefit the Arthritis Foundation.
***Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest blog post from Lauren Reed about one of Cleveland’s most iconic spots: The West Side Market. Read along as she takes you through the history of the Market and some of her favorite vendors. I added a couple of my own photos.***
Just seven years ago, in 2012, we celebrated the Centennial of Cleveland’s West Side Market. As it stands today, the West Side Market is the oldest continually operating municipally owned market in Ohio.
Located in historic Ohio City, the West Side Market was originally built to replace Pearl Street Market. Once construction started in 1908, the market became one of the three public markets in Cleveland that served the growing immigrant population in the 20th century – and it is the only one out of those three that remains open to this day.
In late 1973, the market entered into the National Register of Historical Places. Much later in 2008, the West Side Market was named one of the “10 Great Public Places in America” by the American Planning Association.
Throughout the years, the West Side Market has done a terrific job at attracting and maintaining a solid base of consistent consumers. There are many vendors that pop into one’s head when they think of the West Side Market.
Some of the well-known favorites are Ohio City Pasta, Ooo…Fudge, Campbell’s Popcorn Shop, Pierogi Palace and D.W. Whitaker Meats.
I grew up with a ton of Italian influence on both sides of my family. Every time we go to the West Side Market, we always make it apparent that a visit to the Ohio City Pasta stand is a must! At their stand they have a variety of pasta types all accompanied with a variety of tastes and health benefits. My personal favorite is the assorted ravioli because it looks and tastes amazing!
Similar to growing up with an Italian influence, I am also surrounded by a very strong Polish denomination within my family. My grandma always says that no one can make pierogi like her mother did, but the Pierogi Palace is a close second! Everything at this stand tastes incredibly fresh and it is something that you can’t quite experience with frozen store-bought food.
The West Side Market is also home to a variety of healthy vendors with delicious options. Some of the most noteworthy include The Basketeria Organics and King Produce.
The Basketeria Organics is a vendor that sells solely organic fruits and vegetables. Within the same commodore, you will find King Produce which sells Ohio-grown fruits and vegetables in addition to their selection of tropical fruits.
The location of the West Side Market itself is gorgeous. Growing up in Cleveland you were supposed to understand and promote the “rivalry” between the east and west side of Cleveland. I grew up on the east side of Cleveland about 30 minutes outside of the downtown area.
As I grow older and am in my 20s, I have to say (regretfully) that the west side truly is the best side. ***Editor’s Note: Agree to disagree, Lauren. Mad love for both sides of town!***
The West Side Market is right next to the bridge that connects the west side to the downtown area. Within walking distance of the market are various restaurants, little getaway spots, and outside-of-the-box fun!
The future for the West Side Market varies on which vendors you ask. Some vendors blame the increase of rent for affecting the traffic of shoppers. Some vendors note that there has been a decrease in shoppers while others disagree.
The future of the West Side Market is ultimately in the hands of the consumers. Be sure to plan your next grocery trip or weekend plans around visiting the West Side Market and all of its wonderful vendors including two of my favorites Theresa’s Bakery and EuroSweets!
Oh my gosh, you guys. It’s JULY! When did that happen?! Here’s how we closed out the last weekend in June…
John Carroll Alumni Volunteer Summit
I spent a good part of my weekend up at John Carroll University attending the inaugural Alumni Volunteer Summit, which was truly energizing and inspiring.
The Summit brought together alumni volunteers from various university departments and areas of the country to share ideas, learn about the university’s vision for the future, and eat ice cream overlooking our beautiful alma mater’s campus.
We kicked off the Summit with a cookout outside of Murphy Hall, spent Saturday hearing from various departments within the university, and ended with a party on the Quad with a band and food trucks.
Matthew and I stuffed ourselves with pizza, mozzarella sticks, and truffle fries from Sauced Wood Fired Pizza (the firecracker chicken pizza is so good).
As one of the incoming members of the Alumni Association Board, the Summit was a great chance for me to connect with other Board members and get ready to once again give back to a place that has given me so much.
Dear Evan Hansen
On Saturday night, Matthew and I attended one of the final Cleveland performances of “Dear Evan Hansen.”
This deeply moving, funny, true, heavy, beautiful story made me laugh, cry, and think about loneliness, human connection, parenting, and so much more. I was so glad we had a chance to see it!
On Sunday, we met up with our dear friends (and some of Jeffrey’s godparents) Amanda and Scott for a toasty, fun summer day at Cedar Point.
Jeffrey is enjoying his new height and was able to ride Thunder Canyon for the first (and second and third) time this season.
From rides to lunch at Famous Dave’s to ice cream at Toft’s to fun with some of our favorite people, it was a perfect summer Sunday!
How was your weekend? Do you have big plans for the holiday week?
No brand epitomizes summer fashion like Lilly Pulitzer, which is what all the models wore, chosen from Lovely’s huge selection of the brand.
But before we got to the fashion show, we got seriously glammed up at Stella & Shay Beauty Bar in Westlake. From a fabulous blow-out to spot-on make-up, I felt gorgeous and pampered!
When I arrived at Lovely, the always-beautiful store was transformed for the party into a garden party of Lilly loveliness.
From sips to nibbles, you could relax and enjoy while shopping.
Then it was time for the fashion show! We each modeled three outfits and I totally loved all of mine!
This maxi dress is comfortable, can be dressed up or down, and is nicely fitted, unlike a lot of maxis.
This seersucker and lace combo is my new favorite piece of clothing! It’s perfect for someone who loves Lilly, but wants something more subtle than the beachy patterns.
And these shorts and tank with the poms just scream summer days!
I had a blast and I think all my fellow models did too, don’t you?
If you love these looks or are just looking to add some Lilly to your summer wardrobe, head over to Lovely Paperie and Gifts today…it IS the first day of summer after all!
***Disclosure: I was asked by Lovely Paperie and Gifts to participate in the Lilly Pulitzer Fashion Show. In exchange, I received complimentary hair and makeup at Stella and Shay Beauty Bar, a complimentary piece of Lilly Pulitzer clothing, and access to the professional photos from Emily Millay Photography. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
When the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner was announced, it was one of those events I immediately knew I wanted to attend. And while the ticket price might seem like a splurge, when you get 10 courses of phenomenal food prepared by celebrated chefs, plus wine pairings, you realize it’s a total steal!
We started the evening by getting a glimpse at the entire group of chefs, who clearly all get along so well!
Then we headed into Urban Farmer for the big event. We started with a cocktail hour with signature cocktails, as well as local beer and wine. Matthew tried the interesting Salt-Acid-Fat-Heat, with Tito’s Vodka infused with house-grown chili, Ardberg 10 year scotch, lemon, rosemary, and prosciutto and I had the light and fruity Spring to Summer, with Tito’s Vodka, aperol, grapefruit, lime, and Prosecco.
We also nibbled on passed appetizers. There was Duck & Pancetta Polpetta from Chef Brian Okin of Dinner in the Dark; “Hillbilly Crudite” from Chef Adam Bostwick of Polpetta; Curied Foie Gras on Toast from Chef John Selick of Sodexo, University Hospitals; Yukon Gold and Sartori Mini Pierogi from Chef Chris Quinn of US Foods; and Braunschweiger Mousse from Chefs Penny Barend and Melissa Khoury of Saucisson.
Our first course from Chef Karen Small of Flying Fig was a Crisped Spring Onion Crepe, with asparagus and wild shrimp, tarragon, red chili butter, lemon confit, and Heritage Lake Farm watercress.
This dish was springtime on a plate: delicate, light, and yet filled with distinct flavors.
Next was Roasted Summer Vegetables, with basil, smoked parmesan, and quinoa from Chef Justin Lucas of Urban Farmer.
The vegetables had a rich, smoky flavor and the quinoa added nice texture.
The third course was A Walk through the Chef’s Garden, with squash blossom, egg, nasturtium, asparagus, green tomato, oyster leaf, and turnip.
This dish was visually stunning, from the drop of “water” on each leaf to the perfectly runny egg nestled inside the squash blossom.
Next up was a play on a classic favorite from a hometown favorite: Chef Michael Symon of Lola, Mabel’s BBQ, and B Spot Burgers.
The Chicken Liver Matzo Balls, with summer truffles, were a gourmet and luscious spin on the classic comfort food.
Next up was what I found to be the most interesting dish of the night: Koji Cured Crispy Maitake, with wild greens and walleye bottarga from Chef Jeremy Umansky of Larder Delicatessen & Bakery.
Tangy, crispy, fresh, and delicious, this dish really showcased Chef Umansky’s unique ides.
The eating kept right on going with Ohio Wagyu Beef, with fritter, tomato chutney, carpaccio, beef fat tonnato, horseradish, rocket, quinoa, and maldon from Chef Vishwatej Nath of Urban Farmer.
What a tasty way to enjoy wagyu two ways!
Our final savory course was Lamb Loin, with napa cabbage, cannellini beans, tomato glace de viande, and celery root espuma.
From Chef John M. D’Amico of Chez Francois, this dish was so delicious, I was tempted to lick the plate. This celebrated chef rarely leaves his kitchen, so it was truly a treat to enjoy his food at this event.
We had two dessert courses, which is how I plan to end all my meals now. First was Raspberry Tea Mousse, with lemon poppy sponge, fig, lemon verbena, and rye crumble from Pastry Chef Kara Swortchek of Urban Farmer.
So many different flavors and textures at play in this bright, fruity dish!
Our final course was decadence defined and deconstructed: Dark Chocolate Toasted Rice Ice Cream, with black sesame almond chocolate cake, black sesame streusel, candied almonds, fennel caramel, coconut ginger cream, and pickled ginger chip, from Pastry Chef Annabella Andricks of The Dinerbar on Clifton.
Each course was expertly paired with wine, some local, some not. But I loved seeing some of my local favorites from M Cellars and Ferrante Winery make appearances!
It was a fun, delicious, long evening of incredible food, wine, and camaraderie.
We have an incredible food community here in Cleveland, certainly worthy of such an amazing Celebrity Chef Tour experience.
It’s finally starting to feel like summer, which makes me start to wonder if my summer wardrobe is ready for all the outdoor fun to come. Luckily, Lovely Paperie and Gifts has just the event to get everyone ready for summer garden parties and afternoons outdoors: the Lilly Pulitzer Summer Fashion Show and Shopping Event!
Taking place on Thursday, June 20 from 4-8pm at Lovely Paperie and Gifts, this event will get you set for the summer season! There will be special event promotions and giveaways; express gel manicures for $30 from Stella and Shay Beauty Bar; and a fashion show with the latest pieces from the Lilly Pulitzer summer collection.
Plus, you’ll get to hang out at Lovely Paperie and Gifts, which is one of the prettiest (and most dangerous – I want to buy everything there) shops in town. If you’re interested in one of the express gel manicures, you need to call 216-767-5277 to reserve your time and come with bare nails.
Nothing says summer like Lilly Pulitzer, so come get ready for the season!
***Disclosure: I was asked by Lovely Paperie and Gifts to participate in the Lilly Pulitzer Fashion Show. In exchange, I will receive complimentary hair and make-up from Stella and Shay Beauty Bar for the show, as well as one of the outfits I wear in the show. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
It’s rosé season! Personally, I don’t think it ever stopped being rosé season, but this light, fruity wine certainly reaches it’s peak consumption during the spring and summer months.
It’s perfect for patio drinking, day-drinking, and pairing with the lighter foods you’re cooking this season.
Last night, Heinen’s celebrated both rosé wine and roses, with an event that included a rosé and cheese pairing, as well as a flower arranging tutorial.
When we arrived, we were greeted with a glass of Bacio della Luna Pinot Brut Rosé. This sparkling wine was vibrant, crisp, and one of my favorites of the evening.
It was paired with a Caseificio Truf 3 Latti, a cow, goat, and sheep milk cheese with truffles. Creamy, dreamy, earthy yumminess!
We then sampled six non-sparkling rosés, each paired with cheese and all available at your neighborhood Heinen’s:
2018 The Palm by Whispering Angel, paired with Cypress Grove Lamb Chopper
2018 Confidencial Rosé, paired with Mayfield Road Creamery Plain Havarti-Holstein
2018 Rodney Strong Rosé of Pinot Noir, paired with Saint Angel Triple Crème Brie
2018 Alexander Vineyards Rosé of Sangiovese, paired with Ubriaco Prosecco Cheese (it’s bathed in prosecco, not unlike myself)
2018 Viallet Rosé, paired with Beecher’s Dutch Hollow Dulcet
2018 Diving into Hampton Waters Rosé (from Jon Bon Jovi’s winery), paired with Mackenize Creamery Chevre with Herbs de Provence
Of these wines, the Rodney Strong and Confidencial were my favorites. So, I learned I really like rosé of Pinot Noir! I also learned that rosé can be made from any red wine grape and that the trend as consumers is toward lighter-colored rosés, which does not necessarily mean better quality.
I love that Heinen’s incoporated local cheese from Mayfield Road Creamery and Mackenzie Creamery into the tastings. The store does a wonderful job at stocking wines and cheese that range from hyper-local to around-the-world.
For our floral arranging demonstration, we learned to always keep your flowers in cold water, cut them once you bring them home from the store, and create your arrangements by looking at them from the side perspective, which is what your dinner guests will see when they are on your table.
Of course, Heinen’s offers a lovely selection of fresh flowers to help you create the perfect centerpiece for your own Roses and Rosé party!
Spring has sprung, so if you need me, I’ll either be in the Heinen’s wine aisle or sitting on my porch sipping my rosé! Cheers!
***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Roses and Rosé event at Heinen’s with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
Biga is a favorite pizza spot for us. We love their selection of wood-fired, authentic pies, always focused on local, seasonal ingredients.
To make ourselves feel a little bit healthy, we started with the wood-roasted broccolini with lemon, parmesan, and garlic.
Then it was into the pies. We shared the Biga Pesto (homemade pesto, roasted tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and mozzarella); the Cerino (house made sweet sausage, roasted artichokes, red sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil); and the Ramp (ramps, bacon, garlic, mozzarella, and rosemary cream).
My favorite was the Cerino, which was well-balanced between toppings, sauce, and cheese and hit that “traditional pizza” taste on the head.
I’ll let Julia and Ben share more of our thoughts on the pizza, but suffice it to say, everyone left Biga feeling stuffed and happy!
On Sunday, I joined some fellow bloggers at a brunch at Rosewood Grill, which just rolled out their new brunch menu. We got an expansive taste of the menu and my biggest takeaway is how well-balanced it is.
There are plenty of sweet options, savory options, breakfast options, lunch options, salads, and decadent desserts. There’s something for every brunch taste, which is a tricky needle to thread.
I started with the Good Morning Manhattan, with Watershed Private Barrel Bourbon, orange marmalade, and sherry. Who says bourbon isn’t for brunch?!
Rosewood Grill treats brunch like a full meal, with appetizer and dessert options on the menu. Do not miss the Millionaire Bacon, crusted with brown sugar and cayenne!
Or the Coo Coo 4 Cocoa Puffs, with boozy milk: a grown-up treat that will make you feel like a kid again!
And I have two coupons to give away for a complimentary brunch appetizer at Rosewood Grill for the first two people to comment on this post!
If you’re into sweet brunch options, my personal favorite was the Brioche French Toast, with peanut butter mousse, bacon, strawberry, and Ohio maple syrup.
The Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with mixed berry compote will also satisfy your morning sweet tooth!
On the savory side, the Fried Chicken Benny, with buttermilk biscuit, sausage gravy, egg, and hash browns…
…the Sausage and Egg Tacos, with cheddar, peppers and onions, guacamole, and salsa roja, and the Short Rib Hash, with peppers, onions, sunny side up eggs, and creamy horseradish were all stand-outs.
If you’re looking for something lighter, the Maine Lobster Chop, with asparagus, roasted corn, cucumber, tomato, scallions, and herb yogurt dressing is the perfect summer salad!
And if you want decadence, look no further than the Chocolate Torte or Cherry Cobbler.
Rosewood Grill’s brunch offers something for every taste (and you should taste all of it!) The food is flavorful, incorporates a lot of local ingredients, and is elevated while still being approachable. Brunch is offered at all three Rosewood Grill locations (Hudson, Strongsville, and Westlake) on both Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm.
***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary brunch at Rosewood Grill. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
So, that was our weekend: tons and tons of fabulous, local food. How was yours?
You guys, I am just flying through my 2019 Blog Bucket List! This week, I finally got to Il Rione Pizzeria, which had so much hype, I was wondering if it could possibly live up to my high pizza expectations.
Spoiler alert: It surpassed them!
I met up with Alicia and Amanda for a proper girls’ night. We started with aperol spritzers, which were light and delicious and perfect for warmer weather.
We then shared the meat and cheese plate, with San Danielle prosciutto, coppa, and rosemary ham. Amanda proclaimed this was the best Italian bread she’d ever had and I concur. It was crispy, but still soft and chewy. So good!
We shared the clam pie, with middleneck clams, pecorino, garlic, and oregano, and the sausage pie, with red sauce, mozarella, sausage, roasted peppers, sauteed onions, garlic, and parmesan.
The pies had a thin, chewy crust and were loaded with thoughtfully-chosen, flavorful toppings. This was just damn good pizza!
Il Rione’s menu keeps it simple: the meat and cheese board, a few salads, and the pies. You can choose a “suggested pie” or build your own. I’ve learned my lesson after build-your-own flavor debacles to take the suggested route.
The restaurant is small and fills up quickly. Arrive early or prepare to hang out with a spritzer or two at the bar. Either way, you won’t be sorry you stopped in to this cozy, haute casual, thoroughly delicious spot!