Why? Holidays at Table 45!

I’m not usually someone who goes all-in on Christmas before Thanksgiving. But when I walked into Table 45 last night and saw their beautiful holiday set-up for our tasting dinner, I let go of all my reservations and started singing “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

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Starting November 18 through January 1, you can indulge in the 12 Cocktails of Christmas at Table 45. Themed on the classic Christmas song, these martinis are unique, delicious, and festive.

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Each comes with a nutcracker glass charm and are priced at $13. My favorites were:

  • Seven Swans A-Swimming (Kahlua, RumChata, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Cream)
  • Nine Ladies Dancing (RumChata, Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka, Gingerbread Syrup, Gingerbread Rim)
  • Ten Lords A-Leaping (Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka, Chambord, Cranberry Juice, Fresh Raspberries)
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming (Bulleit Bourbon, Grand Marnier, Sweet Vermouth, Orange Bitters)

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Table 45 is also offering A Christmas Story Cocktail, with Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka, Baileys, Goldschlager, Cinnamon Schnapps, Butterscotch Schnapps, and Cinnamon. It comes with a Leg Lamp ornament for $30.

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Table 45 has your holiday merriment covered on the food side too. You can enjoy Thanksgiving Brunch or Thanksgiving Dinner on November 28. Both are prix fixe at $65 for adults and $35 for children ages 4-12.

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You can also let Table 45 do your holiday cooking for you with Thanksgiving-to-Go, which serves 8-10 guests and includes a 22-24 pound turkey, seven sides, and two desserts for $225.

Table 45 will be offering a Children’s Magical Tea on December 7 and 14 for $45 per person. There will be face painting, cookie decorating, and delicious tea-time nibbles. I sampled some of the tea offerings last night and the desserts from Pastry Chef Stephanie will blow your mind.

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They’re sweet without being overly sweet, inventive, and just downright delicious! My favorite was this macaron with vanilla bean cream.

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Table 45 will also host Christmas Eve Dinner, Christmas Day Brunch, and Christmas Dinner. I got to try the Bistro Steak, which is offered at the holiday brunches, and is tender and flavorful.

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We also sampled the pork, which will be offered for Christmas Dinner and is a pretty great present to give yourself!

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Don’t miss the traditional toffee pudding either!

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Oh, and Pastry Chef Stephanie will be creating a gingerbread village in the lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel, which will be revealed on November 29.

There is so much holiday merriment happening at Table 45 that you can’t help but be swept up in the spirit(s) of the season! Don’t miss out!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary tasting of Table 45’s holiday offerings. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Nighttown!

Nighttown is a Cleveland classic, a celebrated jazz club that’s been open for more than 50 years. I’d been to a couple events there, but never just popped in for dinner, which I had the opportunity to do this week while celebrating my bestie Mariah’s birthday.

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The bar and restaurant have the feel of a neighborhood pub and you can tell that it’s frequented by regulars who are well-known by the staff. They have a great selection of cocktails, spirits, and wines to enjoy. I had an Old Fashioned that was simply made and simply delicious.

For dinner, I had the swordfish special with basmati rice, flash-fried cauliflower, and remoulade.

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Similar to the drink, the preparation was straight-forward and well-executed.

Mariah had the Halloumi Kebobs, with halloumi cheese, citrus couscous (Mariah substituted mashed potatoes), and chive oil.

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Delicious! I could serious live on halloumi.

Nighttown is participating in Cleveland Independents Restaurant Week through November 16, so you can get a three-course, prix fixe meal (only $33 for dinner) to try out something new. And you should definitely come for dinner and stay for the entertainment! Check out Nighttown’s awesome line-up of live performances here.

It might have been my first time dining at this Cleveland institution, but it won’t be my last. I loved being treated like a regular even on my first visit and look forward to actually making myself one at Nighttown!

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Why? Weekends!

Can you guys believe it’s November already? I definitely can’t! Here’s what the first weekend of the month brought…

Grunge Party

On Friday night, my friend Anne invited me to her law firm’s 20th anniversary party. Since the firm was formed in 1999, they decided to have a 90’s grunge-themed party.

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Never one to miss the opportunity to enjoy a good theme party, I snagged a Nirvana tshirt and flannel off Amazon, found some chokers and dark lipstick at Target, and channeled my inner angst.

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It was a really fun night and I was impressed that a group of lawyers could host a party with such a laid-back theme!

Playing With Fire

Saturday morning, Jeffrey and I caught an advance screening of “Playing With Fire,” which opens nationwide on Friday, November 8.

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The movie is about a group of smoke jumpers who end up having to care for three kids after a daring rescue. Predictable antics ensue. The movie was funny and heartwarming and featured some awesome supporting actors, such as Keegan-Michael Key and Judy Greer.

It’s definitely a great movie to see with your kids!

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***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the advance screening of Playing With Fire In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the screening.***

Brenna’s Birthday Party

On Sunday, Jeffrey and I were transported to jolly old England at Brenna’s Peppa Pig-themed birthday party. Alicia did an amazing job with the theme and everything from the decor to the food was spot on!

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There were donuts from Brewnuts, cake from Michael Angelo’s Bakery, and gorgeous linens from L’Nique Specialty Linen.

Plus, good friends, prosecco, lots of laughs, and so much fun celebrating this very special three year old!

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So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? The Best Party of the Year Giveaway!

The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland is throwing a party and they want you to know right up front that it’s going to be The Best Party of the Year!

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Held on Friday, December 6 at The Renaissance Cleveland, this party will take you back in time to the 1920s. You can dress as a flapper or someone dapper or just come as you are!

There will be food, cocktails, raffles and silent auctions, beer and wine pulls, and plenty of dancing and merriment. It will be one swanky affair!

Proceeds benefit The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland, which provides food and other health-related vital services to individuals and families in need in our community.

Tickets are currently on sale for $99 and can be purchased online. You can save $5 on tickets with code WHYCLE19.

Or you can enter to win two tickets to The Best Party of the Year 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 your favorite decade for a theme party.

2. Visit The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

4. Follow @hungernetworkgc 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 attend The Best Party of the Year with @hungernetworkgc and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/10/30/why-the-best-party-of-the-year-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 Sunday, November 3 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland to help promote The Best Party of the Year. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Jump Back Ball!

There are a lot of great fundraisers in Cleveland for a lot of great causes. But the one that is closest to my heart is Playhouse Square‘s annual Jump Back Ball.

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This event is put on by Playhouse Square Partners (I’m finishing up my sixth and final year on their board this year) and has everything you could want in an amazing party:

  • 2 bands, one rocking the Key Bank State Theatre stage and DJ Smoov rocking the late night party in the Key Bank State Theatre lobby
  • Unlimited cocktails and dinner and late-night eats from Driftwood Catering
  • Gaming tables, auctions, and activities throughout the theatre and lobby
  • Awesome decor created by Playhouse Square Partners
  • Dress like your favorite rock star from the past, like you’re going to the Grammy’s, or in your finest

All of this fun benefits Playhouse Square’s Community Outreach and Education initiatives, including Disney Musicals in Schools, the Dazzle Awards, and more.

This year’s Jump Back Ball theme is From Jukebox to Boombox and you’ll leap back on a musical journey through time on Leap Day, Saturday, February 29, 2020.

Tickets go on sale today at 10am. There are three ticket levels to fit your time and budget:

  • VIP tickets for $200, which includes an extra cocktail party at 6:30pm in the Connor Palace Theatre, with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and music from Sinatra CLE
  • General admission ticktes for $120 for Partners members and $155 for the general public
  • Late night admission tickets for $75, which include admittance at 9:30pm, the late night music and eats, and activities (limited number)

Ticket prices will increase as the event approaches (in fact, General Admission tickets increase by $10 tomorrow, October 30), so grab your tickets now to secure the best price!

I hope to see you at Jump Back Ball 29: From Jukebox to Boombox!

***Disclosure: I am the Communications Co-Chair for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy, fun, pre-Halloween weekend, so let’s get right to it…

Designer Dress Days

On Friday morning, I stopped by the 51st annual Designer Dress Days sale to benefit NCJW Cleveland.

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Held at the Mandel JCC, this sale has something for every fashionista, from exclusive designer labels to cashmere to furs to handbags.

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I scored an amazing deal on this stunning dress off the Celebrity/Influencer rack.

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It was donated by Kimberly of Modern Musings and I just cannot wait to wear it out on the town (perhaps to the event I’ll be blogging about tomorrow).

The sale is still on today, October 28, from 12-8pm and tomorrow, October 29, from 10am-7pm. And today, everything is 20% off the already amazing prices! So stop by and grab yourself some fabulous new finds for your wardrobe, all to benefit a great cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked by NCJW Cleveland to help promote Designer Dress Days. In exchange, I received complimentary admission to the preview day and compensation. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Burntwood Tavern Dia de los Muertos

On Friday night, I met up with my friend Lisa for dinner at Burntwood Tavern to enjoy their limited-time Dia de los Muertos menu.

We both started with the Perfect Margarita, served on the rocks with Patron, Grand Marnier, lime, and a salted rim.

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We shared the Pacos Nachos, with smoked pork carnitas, colby jack cheese, crispy jalapenos, peppers and onions, avocado salsa, pico de gallo, and queso blanco.

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Hearty and filling, these were delicious nachos!

For my entree, I had the Baja Fish Tacos, with beer-battered cod, cole slaw, queso rico, chipotle aioli, and rice & beans.

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The rice & beans were not your typical Mexican rice & beans, but they were tasty. And the fish was tender and flaky, with a nice kick from the chipotle aioli.

The Dia de los Muertos menu is available at all Burntwood Tavern locations through Sunday, November 3, with options from tacos to burritos to chicken tortilla soup. Over on Instagram, I’m running a gift card giveaway for $50 to Burntwood Tavern to check it out for yourself. The giveaway closes on Tuesday, October 29 at 11:59pm, so hop over and enter!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Burntwood Tavern to help promote the Dia de los Muertos menu. In exchange, I received two complimentary entrees and two complimentary margaritas. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Children’s Theater Series

On Saturday, we kicked off our fourth season as subscribers to the Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square.

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The first show was Jungle Book, a re-imagined version of the classic tale, with a great message about conservation mixed in. Every year, Jeffrey becomes so much more engaged in the stories taking place on stage!

While the season ticket packages are sold out for this year, stay tuned in March for when the 2020-2021 season is announced. This a great way to introduce children to live theater in a way that is friendly and accessible, while still challenging their imaginations.

Gesu Young Families Truck or Treat

Trunk or Treat events have become quite popular over the last few years with church groups and schools, where families can decorate their cars and let their kids trick or treat in an enclosed area.

The Gesu Young Families group hosted their Truck or Treat on Saturday night, but it turned into a Gym or Treat due to the weather!

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There was a DJ, pizza, and plenty of candy! Our Trunk or Treat design came from my friend Sarah who created this adorable Toy Story-scape and was kind enough to let me borrow it! It was definitely a hit with the kids!

Trunk or Treat was a fun night and a great precursor to all the Halloween action coming this Thursday.

Gesu Blue-Gold Game

On Sunday, we bundled up and headed to the last game of Jeffrey’s soccer season: the Gesu Blue-Gold game.

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All the Kindergartners played each other, enjoyed pizza and snacks, and generally celebrated the end of a fun season!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Flavors of Northeast Ohio!

I’ve been really fortunate throughout this blogging adventure to get to attend a lot of fabulous fundraisers. One that has been on my must-attend list for a long time was Flavors of Northeast Ohio to benefit the American Liver Foundation Heartland Division.

This unique event brings together several amazing local chefs, who are each given a table of guests for whom they create a multi-course dinner, paired with wine. The menus and tables are themed with the chefs’ creativity, making the evening a full sensory experience.

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But before you even enter the ballroom and take a seat at your table, you can nibble on delicious passed hors d’oeuvres from the participating chefs, enjoy a signature cocktail (this year’s was a painkiller from Porco Lounge & Tiki Room), and bid on auction items or participate in the wine pull.

My table was created and catered by Chef Chris Kafscak of Nomad Culinary. The theme was Game Night and the tablescape was filled with board game fun.

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For our first course, we slurped up some delicious game of Life “College Ramen,” which was much tastier than any ramen I ever made in my dorm room! This course was paired with Kendall Jackson Avant Chardonnay.

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Next up was “Professor Plum & Colonel Mustard in the Kitchen with the Salad,” a fun play on classic Clue characters in the name and a tasty salad too. This course was paired with Robert Mondavy Private Select Rye Barrel Aged Red Blend.

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Our next course was simply titled “Lox,” a high-scoring Scrabble word. In reality, the course featured salmon two-ways with a tasty faro, asparagus, and olive salad. This course was paired with Beringer Bros. Tequila Barrel Aged Sauvignon Blanc.

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From Candy Land, our next course was Gloppy’s Pierogi with Chocolate Red Wine Beef, paired with Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon. You had me at pierogi, but the tender, flavorful beef was delicious too!

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Our last course, themed on Sorry, was White Chocolate Cheesecake paired with Dark Horse Sparkling Brut. The game-board presentation of this dish made it almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

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All of this delicious food and culinary creativity helped to raise $116,000 for the American Liver Foundation Heartland Division and put the 15-year total for this Flavors of Northeast Ohio event at $1 million!

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I may have checked this off my must-attend bucket list, but I’ll certainly be attending this amazing event again!

***Disclosure: I was asked by American Liver Foundation Heartland Division to help promote Flavors of Northeast Ohio. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Progressive Dining at Legacy Village!

You probably know that Legacy Village is the perfect place to stroll and shop, but it’s also the perfect place to stroll and dine. Last week, I enjoyed a progressive meal at Legacy Village, taking advantage of three of their best restaurants.

I started with appetizers at The Capital Grille. The lounge is a great place to kick off your progressive meal with cocktails and appetizers. My favorite cocktail at The Capital Grille is the Blackberry Bourbon Sidecar, with Woodford Reserve, Cointreau, blackberries, fresh lemon juice, and thyme.

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My mom got The Bohemian, with Absolut Apeach, mixed berry cordial, champagne, and fresh raspberries.

For my appetizer, I chose the Tuna Tartare, with tuna stacked over fresh avocado with spicy sriracha. So delicious!

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Mom had the Lobster and Crab Cakes, served with corn salsa. Meaty, flavorful, and so good!

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After our appetizer course, it was a short walk to Wild Mango for entrees. Mom was feeling pretty full already, so she opted for the Spinach Salad, with strawberries, cucumber, goat cheese, sunflower seeds, and strawberry vinaigrette.

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I had the Honey-Glazed Sesame Chicken, with dark meat chicken, steamed broccoli, and short grain rice. I would highly recommend this entree!

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For dessert, I swapped my dining companion for Jeffrey and we enjoyed the Pure Dark Chocolate fondue at The Melting Pot.

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Jeffrey loved dipping all the delicious offerings into the chocolate! Messy, but fun!

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I also enjoyed a Chocolate Raspberry Kiss, with Godiva Chocolate Liquor, Chambord, coffee, and whipped cream.

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I’ve always wanted to do a progressive dinner and Legacy Village was the perfect spot for it, with lots of restaurant options to suit your tastes, all in close proximity to each other. You can park once, easily reach all your destinations, and enjoy a diverse taste of Legacy Village!

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village, for which I receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Aside from brunching, there was lots of other fun to be had this weekend! Here’s what we were up to…

Boo at the Zoo

One of our favorite Halloween traditions is attending Boo at the Zoo at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

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This year, Jeffrey is dressing up like a race car driver for Halloween, complete with a gas can treat bag and a wagon that I turned into a race car.

We cruised through the Zoo, stopping at the trick or treat street, the dance party…

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…getting encased in a giant bubble…

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…meeting characters…

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…and making our way through the hay maze.

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There was lots of fun stuff to explore and the weather was perfect! Boo at the Zoo continues on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 5-9pm through Sunday, October 27. You can purchase tickets online.

Annetober

On Saturday, I met up with my friend Anne to celebrate her birthday at the wineries in Geneva. This has quickly become a favorite spot to celebrate birthdays, with so many great places to go!

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We started at M Cellars, where the Brut Rosé and some tasty snacks were enjoyed by all!

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Anne brought these hilarious wine glass markers to keep our glasses in check throughout the day!

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I was also super excited about these glasses I found from Lulusimonstudio for Anne’s birthday present. They say “Partners in Wine,” which is perfect because Anne and I co-chaired Playhouse Square Partners together!

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Our next stop was Cask 307, which I had not been to yet.

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Despite not being a fan of chardonnay, I really liked the bourbon chardonnay there. The chicken and goat cheese flatbread is also delicious!

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My final stop with the group was Harpersfield Vineyard for some pinot noir on the patio.

The lovely fall weather, the tasty wines and food, and the fabulous company made for such a fun day! I hope Anne had as wonderful a birthday as she so deserves!

Red Wagon Farm

On Sunday, Jeffrey and I took advantage of the beautiful weather with a visit to the Pumpkin Festival at Red Wagon Farm.

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There is so much to do, from a corn maze to a hay ride through fields filled with fun scarecrows…

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…to a kids hay play area…

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…to picking out a perfect pumpkin.

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It was a great fall afternoon! The Pumpkin Festival at Red Wagon Farm continues every weekend through Sunday, October 27. Admission is free, but activities such as the hay ride and corn maze require payment.

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? The Winchester Music Tavern!

Yesterday, Jeffrey and I kicked off our Sunday Funday with brunch at The Winchester Music Tavern. Located on Madison Avenue in Lakewood, The Winchester is a music venue, bar, and restaurant all in one.

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The dining area is small and relaxed. We grabbed a table and I started out with the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. For only $5, you can pick your mix, hot sauces, and create a fabulous skewer to enhance your drink.

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The Winchester also offers bottomless mimosas or brunch mules for brunch libations.

Jeffrey chose the Winchester burger, topped with American cheese on a brioche bun, with a side of fries. He declared both the burger and fries to be delicious!

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I had the unique breakfast ramen, with red miso broth, bacon, and poached eggs. The broth was flavorful, the eggs were perfectly poached, and it was fun to try a unique spin on ramen.

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The Winchester’s brunch menu also offers traditional favorites, like eggs benedict, French toast, and chicken and waffles.

The Winchester offers brunch on both Saturdays (11am-3pm) and Sundays (11am-4pm). There are also lots of fun weekly happenings, such as Vegan Mondays, Turntable Tuesdays, Boozy Bingo and Modern Kicks Comedy on Wednesdays, Taco Thursdays, and Angry Hour (Punk Rock Happy Hour) on Fridays.

And of course, The Winchester is a concert venue. You can check out the complete line-up of musical acts playing at The Winchester here.

For your next weekend brunch in a laid-back location with tasty food, look no farther than The Winchester!

***Disclosure: I was invited to a complimentary brunch at The Winchester Music Tavern. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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