Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend of celebrating, so let’s get right to it…

Wedding

On Saturday, Matthew and I attended Jillian and Patrick’s wedding at the InterContinental Cleveland.

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Both the ceremony and the reception were held at the InterContinental and I was amazed at how quickly the room transformed from the ceremony venue to a beautiful reception venue.

The food was delicious!

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We had New York Strip, grilled shrimp, truffle risotto, and grilled asparagus, plus a grilled Caesar salad, yummy passed appetizers (we made very good friends with the ceviché server), and tasty cake.

And there were some surprise guests during the dancing: the Tribe Hot Dogs!

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Here you can see me not at all maintaining my cool while dancing with Mustard. And Mom and I had to get a snap with our favorite lady hot dog: Onion.

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It was a lovely ceremony and a fun reception! Jillian is my (step)dad’s daughter and so it was even more special to see the love and pride he had in walking her down the aisle, giving a toast, and dancing the Father-Daughter dance.

Jeffrey’s 5th Birthday Party

On Sunday, we hosted Jeffrey’s 5th birthday party at our house. Jeffrey would want me to tell you that he doesn’t officially turn 5 until this coming weekend, though!

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The party was “space” themed and we certainly blasted off to a good time.

My dad was the grill master and made up tasty hot dogs and hamburgers from Pinzone’s Market Fresh Meats. The cake, cupcakes, and pastry tray for the grown-ups came from the always spot-on Michael Angelo’s Bakery.

My high school and college classmate Holly of Cupcakes by Holly created adorable sugar cookies

for the treat boxes.

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And the pièce de résistance: we surprised Jeffrey with a visit from the Euclid Beach Rocket Car.

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He was so shocked and took every single ride the car made while it was at the party.

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Both kids and adults had a blast (haha) riding around in this piece of Cleveland history.

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The Euclid Beach Rocket Car has it so many things I love: Cleveland nostalgia, fun music, that summery festival feel, and public spectacle 😉

And our driver Jen was so sweet, both before and during the party. If you’re looking to add some serious star power (I can’t stop the puns) to your next party, check ’em out!

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Even better than the Rocket Car was the chance to spend time with friends who have all been such a huge part of Jeffrey’s life and a huge support in ours these last five years (and longer).

I think our future astronaut had an out-of-this-world day!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a weekend filled with yoga and family time, so pretty much a perfect one for me!

Balance and Brews

On Saturday, I met up with my friend Anne for Balance & Brews at Saucy Brew Works. Balance & Brews is a one-hour, all-levels vinyasa class held at various breweries around town. After your class, you can stay and enjoy a beer (one beer included with your class) and mingle with your fellow yogis.

I always enjoy these classes, not only because I get a beer after, but because of the opportunity to practice in very different environments. At Saucy, we were right out on the brewery floor, with lots of noises, smells, and activity happening around us. It’s a great way to practice being focused and staying in the moment.

And your reward for all that focus is pretty great too!

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I tried the Don’t Stop Wit It Wit It, a Belgian Wit that is light, crisp, and perfect for summer sipping!

Check out Balance & Brews upcoming schedule, with classes at Masthead, Terrestrial, Great Lakes, Fat Head’s, CLE Urban Winery, and Market Garden.

Mother’s Day

The rest of the weekend was spent in various phases of Mother’s Day celebrating…

At school, Jeffrey made a Mother’s Day gift, themed on “Where the Wild Things Are.” Not only is it something I’ll treasure, but the pride he had in giving it to me was so sweet to see.

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Matthew and Jeffrey made pancakes for breakfast on Saturday morning and I even got a little treat from my “furry kids” too…

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Matthew found these adorable chocolate dogs at the Urban Farmer charity bake sale!

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Speaking of chocolate, he and Jeffrey also created a box of homemade treats for me: chocolate-covered strawberries and grapes! How sweet!

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We capped off our Mother’s Day celebrations with dinner at my parents’ house, complete with fabulous wine and some ridiculous triple crème brie.

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It was lovely and relaxed and a perfect weekend of feeling truly appreciated and loved!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

We weren’t about to let the chilly, damp, foggy weather get us down this weekend. Here’s what we were up to:

Azure Rooftop Lounge Summer Kick-Off

On Friday night, Matthew and I attended the Summer Kick-Off party at Azure Rooftop Lounge.

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Photo Credit: Orville McEachron Photography

Located on the 12th floor of The 9, Azure has stunning skyline views and an expansive outdoor space with bar seating, cozy couches, and some fabulous plant walls.

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We sampled some of the delicious food you can get at Azure, including Savory Ahi Tostadas, Shishito Peppers, Crab Cake Sliders, and delicious mini desserts.

We also sampled some of Azure’s signature cocktails, including boozy lemonade and strawberry mules.

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Azure Rooftop Lounge is now officially open for the season and is a fabulous spot for a summer cocktail (or two). Happy Hour is Monday-Friday from 3-6pm and includes $2 off cocktails and sangria, $3 off wine, $1 off beer, and $9 starters.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Summer Kick-Off at Azure Rooftop Lounge with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Cleveland Indians Game

Despite the weather on Saturday, we bundled up and headed to our first Cleveland Indians game of the season.

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We enjoyed the activities on the Family Deck and Jeffrey picked up his Tribe Town MVP kit, filled with fun Indians merchandise!

Even better, the Indians got a win over the Seattle Mariners! Despite the fact that it felt more like football weather, our first Tribe game of the season was a home run!

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Mommas and Margaritas

On Sunday, I hosted some of my mom friends for a Cinco de Mayo/Pre-Mother’s Day celebration. Appropriately titled, “Mommas and Margaritas,” we had margaritas, guacamole, salsa, hot corn chile dip (recipe here), and lots of laughs.

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I couldn’t do it without these ladies (and others in abstentia) and I was so glad we had a chance to celebrate an early Mother’s Day!

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Roses and Rosé at Heinen’s!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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  • 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.

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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.

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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!

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Alicia is super excited about the wine and cheese

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.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Oh, it was a weekend of eating! From Market at the Food Bank to our other weekend adventures, we enjoyed so much good food!

Biga Wood Fired Pizzeria

On Friday, we met up with Julia and Ben to help them get another entry in their Pizza Diaries series at Biga Wood Fired Pizzeria.

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.

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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).

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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!

Rosewood Grill 

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.

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I started with the Good Morning Manhattan, with Watershed Private Barrel Bourbon, orange marmalade, and sherry. Who says bourbon isn’t for brunch?!

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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!

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Or the Coo Coo 4 Cocoa Puffs, with boozy milk: a grown-up treat that will make you feel like a kid again!

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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.

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The Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with mixed berry compote will also satisfy your morning sweet tooth!

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On the savory side, the Fried Chicken Benny, with buttermilk biscuit, sausage gravy, egg, and hash browns…

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…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.

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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!

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And if you want decadence, look no further than the Chocolate Torte or Cherry Cobbler.

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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?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Market at the Food Bank!

Last night was filled with food, philanthropy, and friends, as we attended the Greater Cleveland Food Bank‘s Market at the Food Bank.

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Small bites from fabulous Cleveland restaurants fill the Greater Cleveland Food Bank warehouse. Some of our favorites included the brisket and pulled pork sliders from Landmark

…the Korean BBQ pork belly from Cleveland Marriott Key Tower

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…the sweet scoops from Mitchell’s Ice Cream

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…the spicy veggies from Townhall

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…and the cannoli from Mama Roberto’s.

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The event is always packed with some of our favorite chefs, as well as some of our favorite CLE-brities assisting as celebrity servers. It was great seeing John Selick from University Hospitals, Matt Fish from Melt Bar and Grilled, and Genevieve Larson from Strip Steakhouse. We also caught up with Jen Picciano from Cleveland 19 News and Leah Haslage from TV20 Cleveland.

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Of course, the real star of the evening was the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s Harvest for Hunger program. Being in the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s impressive warehouse helped to highlight the depth and breadth of the needs served by this organization. For every dollar raised last night, the Food Bank can provide 4 meals to the working poor, seniors, and children throughout our community.

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You can make a donation to the Harvest for Hunger campaign online.

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to help promote Market at the Food Bank. In exchange, I received two complimentary general admission tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy holiday weekend, filled with friends, family, and favorite traditions.

Cleveland Botanical Garden Easter Egg Hunt

I’m big on traditions, especially at the holidays. And as a parent, I love taking Jeffrey to the same event year after year because it really illustrates how much he’s grown.

The Cleveland Botanical Garden‘s annual Easter Egg Hunt is one of those holiday traditions for us.

From the egg hunt in the Hershey Children’s Garden (luckily we were in the second hunt and the rain stopped)…

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…to seeing the gardens in spring bloom…

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…to meeting the Easter Bunny…

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…to fun games and crafts, there’s so much to enjoy.

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We also got to experience the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s Amazing Butterflies, which is open through Sunday, April 28. Kids get to work their way through a maze and take a journey from caterpillar to butterfly, with tons of fun, hands-on elements.

This is definitely an annual tradition we will keep!

Easter Fun

The rest of the weekend was filled with more traditional Easter goodness, from dyeing eggs with friends on Friday…

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…to dinner with Matthew’s family on Saturday, to which he brought this sinfully good carrot cake (recipe here)…

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…to church and dinner with my family on Sunday…

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…it was a weekend full of good food, favorite traditions, and people we love.

Whether Easter, Passover, or just a regular weekend is what you celebrate, I hope you had a great one!

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Il Rione Pizzeria!

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was another fun weekend, with checking out some small local businesses and catching some theater too…

Junie B. Jones

On Saturday, we had the last show in this season of Playhouse Square’s Children’s Theater Series.

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The show was “Junie B. Jones,” a musical version of the book series. The show followed the adventures of Junie B., an inquisitive first grader. The songs were fun and accessible for kids and the story was light-hearted with a lesson.

We love attending the Children’s Theater Series shows and are excited for next season!

Elegant Ice Creations

Saturday afternoon, we had a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at Elegant Ice Creations workshop and handiwork.

Started by Aaron Costic, who began carving ice 25 years ago, the company has grown to an 8000 square foot studio that produces custom ice creations for special events, sports teams, business, and more.

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Aaron even won a gold medal for ice carving at the Turino Winter Olympics in 2006!

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Jeff Meyer, who gave us our tour, showed us some of the custom pieces waiting to be delivered…

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…as well as some of the custom ice cubes created there to make your cocktail just perfect.

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We also saw how the large blocks of ice are made…

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…and checked out a demonstration of the ice carving tools.

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What a cool (haha) local business!

Junker Fitness

On Sunday morning, I met up with a grade school classmate, Cindy, who invited me to check out a yoga class at Junker Fitness.

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Located in The Shoreway apartment building in Battery Park, Junker Fitness’s studio offers HIIT, yoga, and beach burn classes. They have a rooftop deck that overlooks Edgewater Park that is the perfect spot for summer yoga.

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Unfortunately, the weather kept our class inside on Sunday, but we still enjoyed a great flow, with lots of active stretching as well as vinyasa.

Junker Fitness also offers personal training that meets you where you are, both in terms of ability and location. Junker Fitness staff will travel to the gym close to you and work with you to build a program that suits your needs.

Plus, I had the opportunity to chat with the owners, Jack and his wife Stephanie, who are super personable, down-to-earth, and committed to becoming an active part of the community where the studio is located.

I can’t wait to head back to check out a rooftop yoga class…and I have some free class passes, so if you’re interested, hit me up in the comments!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a class at Junker Fitness. I received a complimentary class and class passes for a return visit. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Astoria

After our yoga class, I headed to brunch with the Junker Fitness team. We went to nearby Astoria, which was on my must-try list for awhile!

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While waiting for a table, we perused the market and wine shop and sipped mimosas, which is the best way to wait for a table ever!

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I had the seafood frittata, with a poached egg, potato and onion frittata, scallops, crab, and Hollandaise. Such a delicious brunch creation!

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I definitely want to go back and do a deeper dive into Astoria’s wine and charcuterie, too!

What a fun weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Flight Cleveland!

I’m just going on out lately on crossing things of my 2019 Blog Bucket List! This week, I met up with my friend Beth for drinks and nibbles at Flight Cleveland.

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Located in what used to be Latitude 41N, Flight has completely re-imagined the space. It is bright, airy, and comfortable. The bar area has funky vintage chairs and couches for lounging and the room off the wine shop has tables.

The wine shop is huge too, perfect for perusing the sips you fall in love with while at Flight.

Flight offers pre-made flights with every style from white to red to bubbly, as well as wines by the taste or glass. Beth and I each started with the Smooth and Easy flight.

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This is one box of wine I definitely liked! I tried some new wines and really enjoyed all the selections in the flight.

We also shared the “I Like Meat” and “I Like Cheese” boards because, well, we like both those things.

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The choices were interesting and tasty! Oh, and get an extra order of the “Try My Nuts.” The perfect salty/sweet snack!

Flight offers snacks, rather than full meal options, but we had plenty to nibble to keep us happy.

After my flight, I had to get a class of the M Cellars Brut Rose, which is a must-order for me anytime I see it.

Flight is not only a cute setting for drinks, but it offers an awesome and diverse wine selection, whether you’re getting a flight, a glass, or a bottle to take home.

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