Why? Get Refreshed Giveaway!

How often do you take a whole day for self-care? To recharge, to get inspired, and to connect? Northeast Ohio Parent wants you to commit a day, busy mommas, to Get Refreshed 2020!

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Sometimes it can be so hard to carve out time for ourselves, but it’s always so worth it! Taking place on Thursday, April 30 at Studios at 78th Street, Get Refreshed 2020 includes yoga, inspirational speakers, lunch, pampering services, giveaways, shopping, an art walk, cocktails, and more.

The speakers for the day are Maribeth Leschinsky of Maximize Bliss, Liz Ferro of Girls With Sole, and Gina Kelly of Gina Kelly Health Coach.

Whether through movement, hearing a much-needed message, getting a much-needed massage, or connecting with like-minded women, Get Refreshed 2020 promises to be a day that will leave you and everyone in your life better for you participating in it!

Tickets are currently on sale for $60, but you can enter to win a complimentary ticket right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1.Leave a comment here telling me why you need to Get Refreshed!

2. Visit Northeast Ohio Parent and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Visit my Instagram page and complete the steps with the Get Refreshed 2020 image for an additional entry.

4. Follow @neohioparent and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to Get Refreshed with @neohioparent and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2020/02/21/why-get-refreshed-giveaway 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Wednesday, February 26 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Northeast Ohio Parent to help promote Get Refreshed 2020. In exchange, I will receive one complimentary ticket for myself. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Thyme Table!

I had heard so much good buzz about Thyme Table, so I was excited to meet up with my friend Beth for dinner there this week. I got even more excited when I was greeted in the parking lot by this awesome Lisa Quine mural.

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I love Lisa’s work and I love this punny message, too!

Beth and I snagged seats at the bar (Thyme Table is small and popular, so you might end up there, but it’s still a great experience either way) in the last moments of happy hour, which goes until 6pm.

Thyme Table’s happy hour includes select wine, beer, cocktails, and appetizers for $5. The Lobster Tots were included on the happy hour menu, which made them even more irresistible.

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The Lobster Tots have lobster meat, bacon, scallions, cheese sauce, chipotle aioli, and cilantro. So decadent and so delicious!

I didn’t order my cocktail from the happy hour menu, but it was worth it. I had the Friends with the Bartender, with bourbon, grilled pineapple, mint, and ginger.

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Beth chose the BBQ and Beer Braised Short Ribs for her entree, wild cheddar grits and garlic broccolini. Perfect comfort food for a winter night!

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I had the Crispy Chicken Confit, with sweet potato puree, roasted Brussel sprouts with bacon, and mustard jus.

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The chicken was juicy, with just enough crisp to the skin. And the sides were a perfect compliment. The jus added a mustard tang, without being overwhelming.

From the drinks to the food, Thyme Table delivered and I can see why this cozy, tasty spot is getting such a fan following.

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Why? Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre Contest Giveaway!

Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest to benefit Our Lady of the Wayside is always a fun and delicious night for a fantastic cause. I love a good appetizer and I love seeing local chefs have some friendly competition with each other!

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You can sample tons of tasty small bites, then vote on who should be awarded the Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre title. There is also live music from Elite Dream Band, wine and craft beer samples, silent auction items, and amazing ballpark views.

The event takes place on Thursday, April 2 at the Discount Drug Mart Club at Progressive Field. There are 14 participating restaurants, including Cleveland Chop, Tartine Bistro, Mallorca, The Woods, and Zak Bruell Restaurant Group.

Tickets are $80 and all proceeds benefit Our Lady of the Wayside’s mission of supporting over 1,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities. For Our Lady of the Wayside’s clients, nursing care isn’t an option, at an annual unfunded cost of $650,000. Cleveland’s Finest Hors D’Oeuvre Contest will support Wayside’s nursing program.

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Tickets are available online or you can enter to win two tickets to the event right here! Here’s how to enter:

1.Leave a comment here letting me know which participating restaurant‘s hors d’oeuvre you’re most excited to sample.

2. Visit Our Lady of the Wayside and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Visit my Instagram page and follow the instructions on the Cleveland’s Finest image for an additional entry.

4. Follow @OurLadyWayside and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to win tickets to @OurLadyWayside #ClevelandsFinest2020 from @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2020/02/18/why-clevelands-finest-hors-doeuvre-contest-giveaway-5 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, February 23 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Our Lady of the Wayside to help promote Cleveland’s Finest Hors d’Oeuvre Contest. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the event for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

It was a fun and festive weekend, celebrating both Valentine’s Day and my mom’s birthday. Let’s get to it…

Valentine’s Day

Jeffrey didn’t have school on Friday, so I got to have a Valentine’s day-date with my best buddy. We started with breakfast at Original Pancake House.

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There’s nothing that Jeffrey likes more than a stack of chocolate chip pancakes!

Then we headed to Busy Bee’s Pottery and Arts Studio for some pottery painting. Busy Bee’s allows you to walk in, select a piece, and paint it however you choose.

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Jeffrey chose this water cup with various sports on it, which is pretty on-brand. He got to paint it in his own style and it will be fired and ready to pick up in a week.

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What a fun activity! I had such a lovely Valentine’s Day with my best date!

Columbus

On Saturday, Jeffrey, my parents, and I headed down to Columbus for a long-weekend road trip. My mom’s birthday was on Saturday, so I wanted to do something to celebrate her special day. Being the awesome grandma that she is, she couldn’t think of a better way to spend her birthday than doing things that Jeffrey enjoys.

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We started at Legoland Discovery Center.

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Jeffrey and my dad spent most of the time there building and racing LEGO cars, which was a great way for them to bond.

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From building to exploring the cities of Ohio built out of LEGOs to rides, Legoland Discovery Center has tons of hands-on fun for LEGO enthusiasts of all ages!

After Legoland, we took a short walk over to McCormick and Schmick’s for dinner. Being Valentine’s weekend, the restaurant was packed and the service and the kitchen were less than stellar. But the manager definitely helped smooth the bumps in the road. And the food and drinks were very tasty.

Mom and I each chose a drink that was prepared tableside, because we so fancy like that. I had the Overcast, with bourbon, crème de cassis, orange bitters, and chocolate foam. Delicious!

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While I didn’t get any entrée pictures because we basically inhaled them after the long wait, I had the sesame-crusted tuna, which was so good. I’m a sucker for good side dishes and the wasabi mashed potatoes and black pepper sauce brought the heat to this dish!

We all shared the Chocolate Bag for dessert: a bag molded out of dark chocolate and filled with white chocolate mousse and berries. Yum!

The next morning, we took a mandatory dip in the hotel pool. There is nothing more exciting for a kid than a hotel pool, I swear!

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We stayed at the Hilton Columbus at Easton, which was beautiful inside and located in close proximity to everything we wanted to do while we were in town.

Sunday morning, we grabbed breakfast at SuperChefs, a superhero-themed restaurant that was as fun as it was tasty.

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I had the croissant breakfast sandwich, with eggs, candied bacon (yes, please), and mixed green, served with a side of delicious hash browns.

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Jeffrey had this gigantic pancake stack. The look on his face says it all!

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Then it was off to COSI for an afternoon of science fun.

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Jeffrey was thrilled with the recently-opened DC Superheroes exhibit, where he could channel his inner Justice League hero.

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I was thrilled that our admission was free with our Great Lakes Science Center membership, as the two museums have membership reciprocity. What an awesome deal!

From futuristic superheroes…

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…to prehistoric dinosaurs, there was so much to see and do at COSI!

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Then it was time to hit the road home, with a mandatory stop at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn on the drive back.

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Yes, I got a bag of cheddar and caramel corn. No, I amazingly haven’t eaten it yet.

It was such a fun road trip and a great chance to get away to celebrate Mom’s birthday. I always have a great time in Columbus, from the food to the activities!

So, that was our weekend. Jeffrey still has one more day off school, so we’ll be fully back to reality tomorrow! How was your weekend?

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Why? Anastasia Galentine’s Package!

Last night I celebrated one of my favorite holidays, Galentine’s Day, with my original galentine: my mom!

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We started with dinner and drinks at Bin 216. Bin 216 is offering a special Galentine’s Cocktail Menu through the run of Anastasia at Playhouse Square. There are select wines, beers, and cocktails.

Mom had the lemon drop and I had a Kentucky mule.

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Then we shared a selection of small plates, including the Neopolitan flatbread, the spinach and artichoke dip, and the special of the day: crispy Brussel sprouts.

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So delicious! We capped off the meal with the decadent apple tart.

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Then it was off to see Anastasia, a beautifully staged and costumed show. And the lead actress’s voice blows the doors off the Connor Palace Theatre.

We had single seats, but since we don’t talk during the show, it wasn’t a big deal! We just caught up at intermission and after the show.

What’s more fun than drinks and a Broadway show with your galentine? Playhouse Square knows that combo makes the perfect night out, so through the run of Anastasia, you can score single seat tickets, each of which will be paired with a drink voucher for a complimentary drink from the Bin 216 Galentine’s Cocktail Menu.

It’s a great deal on a great night out with your galentines! Click here to purchase tickets.

***Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote the Anastasia Galentine’s package. In exchange, I received complimentary tickets and drink vouchers. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? B Spot Burgers!

You probably already know that B Spot Burgers offers delicious, well, burgers. But next month, B Spot is rolling out a revamped menu of non-burger offerings. Jeffrey and I got a sneak peek at the new menu items that are diverse and delicious.

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In the appetizer category, B Spot is adding two different kinds of chicken wings, as well as classic guacamole and tortilla chips. The wings are available with a flavorful mild dry rub or a spicy jabanero glaze.

There are also two new salad offerings: chickpea and farro and the sunny side. Anything is better when you put a fried egg on top, right? These salads are hearty, but healthy!

B Spot is also adding three new kielbasa sandwich options, all made with kielbasa from the West Side Market. There is a Cleveland classic: the Polish Boy.

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There will also be Reuben-Style and Pulled Pork kielbasa sandwiches.

My favorite was the Polish Boy, made with Cleveland Kraut!

A trio of new sandwiches are also being added to the menu in March. The Pulled Pork was my flavorful favorite of the bunch.

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The Turkey and Pastrami are also delicious and packed with quality meats and toppings.

And last but not least, some decadent new milkshake choices: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel, Blueberry (Jeffrey’s surprising favorite), and Creamsicle (my favorite.)

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B Spot is upping it’s non-burger game with these new options, so stop by and discover another side of B Spot!

***Disclosure: I was invited with a guest to a complimentary tasting of B Spot’s new menu. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend, with lots of buddies, beverages, and brunches, so let’s get right to it…

100th Day of Kindergarten

On Friday, Jeffrey’s class celebrated their 100th day of Kindergarten. All the kids had to make a project using 100 of something they love, so Jeffrey built a roller coaster with 100 LEGOs.

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He was so proud of the project, plus his class made special 100 day t-shirts and crowns, too. I can’t believe the school year is more than half over!

Griffin Cider House & Gin Bar

On Friday night, I met up with Amanda at Griffin Cider House & Gin Bar for some low-key cocktails and catching up. We happened to run into our friend Kate, too!

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Griffin Cider House has an expansive gin selection, but if gin isn’t your thing (and it’s not mine), there are still plenty of great cocktail choices, like this bourbon apple cider that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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It’s a chill spot that’s perfect for hanging out with friends!

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

On Saturday, I gathered some of my favorite ladies for a Galentine’s brunch at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.

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From bottomless mimosas to delicious food, this was the perfect spot for our celebration. I had the shrimp and grits, with andouille, poached eggs, and a truly spicy and flavorful hot sauce.

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The grits were the perfect texture and this dish had a lot of great flavor!

I also highly recommend a side (or two) of the focaccia bread, which was served piping hot in a mini cast iron skillet.

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Most of all, it was a great morning spending time with some of my girls. I am so lucky to have friends from a lot of different areas of life. Around the table were ladies I met in high school and college and through blogging and motherhood. They all blend together so well and it just makes getting everyone together such a joy!

Blu the Restaurant

On Sunday, I was back on the brunch bandwagon at Blu the Restaurant. My dear friend Anne is heading to Honduras on a mission trip this week, so after her missioning Mass, we wanted to take her out to brunch to send her off well.

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We shared the spicy hash, with barbecued potaotes, jalapeno, poached egg, and spicy hollandaise to start. Everyone agreed these were the tastiest potatoes they’ve ever had.

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We also shared the mimosa bottle service, with blood orange, orange, and pomegranate juices.

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For my entrée, I had the stuffed peppers, with veal and pork stuffed peppers and marinara, topped with fried eggs. I liked the brunch twist on this traditional Italian dish!

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Jeffrey had the Yaya’s Pancakes, which were somewhere between a biscuit and a muffin in terms of shape and texture, and were entirely devoured!

This was a great spot for brunch and I definitely have my eye on a few other menu items for the next time we go back!

I snuck in a bit more food fun this weekend at the soft opening of Proof in Tremont, so stay tuned for that later this week…

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Why? Antoine Dunn Giveaway!

What are you doing on Valentine’s Day? Part of my plans definitely include listening to Cleveland-based artist Antoine Dunn‘s new album, “Everything,” which drops on Valentine’s Day.

“Smooth and soulful are words that describe Dunn, the man and his music. Dunn’s sound channels a timeless style, embodied by Donnie Hathaway, Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder, and Ray Charles—all sources of inspiration for his music. Contemporary artists such as John Legend, John Mayer, Alicia Keys, and Adele round out the myriad of styles from which he draws.” – source

You can preview the new album now here and pre-order for the Valentine’s Day release. I’m seriously hooked just on the snippets I’ve heard so far!

Beyond that, you can see Antoine Dunn perform live at Playhouse Square on Sunday, March 15. Tickets are currently available online and you can save 14% on tickets with code VDAY through February 14.

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Or you can enter to win two tickets to the concert right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, or all three entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1.Leave a comment telling me which song on the album preview is your favorite.

2. Visit Harvey Marie Records and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @iamantoinedunn and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

The giveaway will close on Tuesday, February 11 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

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Why? Zhug!

The newest hot spot in Cleveland Heights is Zhug, featuring a delicious menu of Middle Eastern small plates. Even on a Tuesday night, this relaxed space was packed with energy.

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My friend Melissa and I checked it out for her birthday dinner and were delighted with the flavors and unique options. Melissa is a vegetarian, so we stuck toward those menu choices, although I couldn’t resist the braised lamb, with crispy carrots, dates, cocoa, and pecorino.

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This sauce was rich and flavorful and the crispy carrots added the perfect amount of texture and slight sweetness.

Melissa and I shared the harissa peanut hummus, which is one of the top three hummus dishes I’ve ever had!

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We also enjoyed the crispy Brussel sprouts, with pine nut and pomegranate…

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…and the whole roasted cauliflower, with golden raisins and almond chimichurri.

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I love small plate concepts, where I can taste and share a lot of different bites! Everything we ordered at Zhug was loaded with flavor and surprising twists that added Middle Eastern flair to the dishes.

This welcoming, bustling restaurant is perfect for a date night, where you can explore different tastes together, or for a girls night out. Whether sharing for two or for a group, you can explore a range of different options all in one meal.

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Why? M Cellars!

It’s no secret that I love visiting Ohio wine country, especially M Cellars. Not only are they a small business that is relentlessly committed to quality, they are also committed to supporting other local small businesses in the products they use in their tasting room. To put in simply, they’re doing it right and putting out tremendous wines in the process.

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I recently had a chance to talk with Matt and Tara Meineke about what makes M Cellars so special. First, if you have the chance to visit the winery and meet Matt and Tara, you’ll instantly see why I vibe so much with M Cellars. They’re a young couple who took on this passion project and are balancing the business along with raising two young girls, making time for each other, and just being charming, lovely people to talk to.

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The vision for M Cellars started on Matt and Tara’s trips to Niagara on the Lake. They fell in love not only with the wineries, but with the wine-making styles they discovered in that region. Matt started experimenting with making wine at home and in 2007, they were able to acquire the land to start M Cellars. They planted grapes with the guidance of the agriculture program at Ohio State University and, since 2015, M Cellars wines have been crafted entirely with grapes grown on site.

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M Cellars is truly a labor of love and a family business. You’ll find Matt down in the cellar making the wine or out and about talking to wholesale buyers to increase M Cellars footprint.

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And you’ll find Tara behind the counter at the tasting room or sharing M Cellars’ story on social media. They’ve taken their personalities, passions, and strengths and poured them into different aspects of the business to make it work.

Matt and Tara pride themselves on M Cellars offering something distinctive and different than the typical Ohio wines. Through their years in business, they have stayed true to that mission, not trying to overreach, but rather excelling in their niche.

One of the distinctive varieties of wines you can find at M Cellars are sparkling wines, which are not typical for Ohio vineyards. Sparkling wines are labor-intensive, but Matt and Tara have a passion for them and work to produce some amazing ones, including the Brut Rosé, which is my favorite of the wines that M Cellars offers (maybe…I really like the Meritage too…and the Pinot Noir.)

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There are many ways you can experience the distinctive difference of M Cellars wines. You can visit the tasting room, which is cozy and homey and gives you the opportunity to try and buy several varieties of M Cellars wine.

You can visit one of the several fabulous Cleveland-area restaurants and bars that carry M Cellars wine, including Urban Farmer, Quintana’s Speakeasy and Bar, Adega, Table 45, Lola, The Flying Fig, Toast, Spice Kitchen and Bar, Craft Collective, Beach Club Bistro, and Bistro 83.

Or you can join one of M Cellars’ wine clubs, which offer everything from bottles shipped to you monthly to more hands-on, tasting-room driven clubs with exclusive events and tastings.

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You’ve heard me mention M Cellars a lot on the blog and it’s because I’ve never failed to have a stellar experience whether in the tasting room or enjoying one of their wines at home. But getting to know Matt and Tara has only increased my love for the winery. There’s nothing better than supporting a small, local business that is committed to quality, to growing and strengthening the region, and to having fun while doing it.

Cheers to M Cellars!

***Disclosure: I was asked to tell M Cellars story. In exchange, I received complimentary wine. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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