Why? The First Tee of Cleveland Upcoming Events!

As Spring is finally upon us, it’s time to start thinking about outdoor activities, like golf. The First Tee of Cleveland is getting ready for spring with two great upcoming events.

On Thursday, April 4, the organization is hosting Taste of the Tee. This event is a unique partnership between four non-profits: The First Tee of Cleveland, Cuyahoga Community College, EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, and the Music Settlement.

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Taste of the Tee will feature:

  • A wine tasting by Sommelier Brandon Chrostowski, Founder, President, and CEO of EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute
  • Culinary creations from The First Tee of Cleveland’s Fit to a Tee participants along with Tri-C Culinary Arts students
  • Music performed by The Music Settlement students

Not only will you contribute to these great non-profits, but you will have a unique opportunity to see their work in action.

Tickets are $150 per person and are available online.

Then, on Saturday, April 6, join The First Tee of Cleveland for their Spring Open House. Families are invited to attend to learn about the programs offered, meet the coaches, and participate in fun golf activities. There will also be light snacks and beverages available.

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The First Tee of Cleveland offers programs for ages 6-18 that teach life skills, healthy habits, and core values through the game of golf. The Spring Open House takes place on Saturday, April 6 from 10am-noon at all of the First Tee of Cleveland locations: Washington Park, Meadowood Golf Course, Briardale Greens Golf Course, and Windmill Golf Center.

Support not only The First Tee of Cleveland, but other non-profits, then sign up for some of the First Tee’s amazing programs. Spring is here!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the First Tee of Cleveland to help promote their upcoming events. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to Taste of the Tee. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

It was a low-key weekend, which is exactly what I needed after just returning from a trip (and traveling again this week!)

Yoga Roots 30+ Social

On Saturday evening, I attended a social for everyone who reached 30 or more classes in the Yoga Roots fall challenge. Of 186 people who participated in the fall challenge, 27 of us reached 30+ classes!

Held at the home of studio owners Scott and Kim, the social was a great chance to celebrate reaching 30+ classes, meet other yogis, and see each other in something other than yoga pants! I was surprised how many of us didn’t know each other, just from being on different class schedules!

There were delicious nibbles from the studio’s neighbors: Gigi’s on Fairmount and On the Rise. I could eat Gigi’s bruschetta and On the Rise’s raspberry bars all day! And there were custom cookies from Sarah, one of the Yoga Roots teachers.

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I’ve talked before about really finding a home at Yoga Roots and Saturday night was just another example of why that is so true. Yoga Roots is genuinely a community, not just a studio, which is what keeps me coming back (and has me geared up for the spring challenge, too)!

Family Yoga

Sunday morning, we attended the monthly Family Yoga class at the Mandel Jewish Community Center. This has become one of our favorite family activities. Each month, the class is a bit different, but always explores mindful movement, breath work, and meditation in a way that’s fun for all ages.

This month, the kids participated in an obstacle course that involved my friend Robin and I being bridges in both down dog and plank as the kids crawled under us!

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So, we got some exercise in too! The next Family Yoga class takes place Sunday, April 14, with sessions at 10am and 11am. Cost to attend is free for Mandel JCC members and $10 for non-members. You can sign up online.

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On Sunday, my dad took Jeffrey to the I-X Center for the Piston Powered Auto-Rama.

A love for cars is something Dad and Jeffrey have shared basically since Jeffrey was born and seeing the joy they both get from sharing car experiences is so fulfilling.

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Jeffrey got to sit in the world’s fastest car…

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…as well as see dragons and robots, so the afternoon was a total win for him!

St. Patrick’s Day

We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at my parents’ house, with plenty of corned beef and Great Lakes Brewing Company Conway’s Irish Ale.

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It was a lovely, quiet weekend! How did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

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Why? St. Kitts!

I’m ba-a-a-a-ck. Literally at 1:30am today. And here I am, writing to you all. That’s true love, right?

Also, I figure the window on me talking about my vacation is closing, so here we go…

It had been awhile since Mom and I had traveled just the two of us. In fact, the last “girls only” trip was when we went to Scottsdale a couple months before Jeffrey was born. So the chance to get away together was much appreciated.

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Which means right off the bat, I have to give mad props to Matthew for holding down the fort (seriously, the literal fort is still standing) and my dear friend Mariah for helping out too.

So, now to the trip: As you may remember, my dad owns a tire business (Tireman USA) and this trip was part of an incentive program with Goodyear. When we first got to St. Kitts, we spent a day with the other Goodyear folks and incentive-earners working on clean-up and building projects at a local school.

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The group built picnic tables, re-tiled a kitchen, cleaned up classrooms, painted playground equipment, did landscaping, and packed nearly 200 bookbags stuffed with donated school supplies.

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It was surely a different way to kick off a vacation, but so worthwhile!

We stayed at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, which boasted amazing ocean and mountain views, beautiful pools, and delicious food and drink.

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Matthew and I honeymooned in St. Lucia and the topography of St. Kitts reminded me very much of that destination.

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Some of our favorite things we ate at the Marriott included the Chilean sea bass at Blu Seafood Restaurant, the St. Kitts BBQ Pizza from Pizza Shack, and the mushroom soup en croute at Royal Grill Steakhouse.

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We also explored St. Kitts and it’s neighboring island, Nevis, a bit. On St. Kitts, we went to a wonderful dinner at Marshall’s Restaurant.

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I had lobster jerk pasta and Mom had grilled local lobster tail, both of which were so fresh and delicious.

On Nevis, we saw the home where Alexander Hamilton lived as a child, which was a great piece of history and obviously much more popular because of the musical. They were actually playing the soundtrack at the house!

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We also had lunch at the world-famous Sunshine’s Bar.

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The walls are covered with celebrities who made their way to this beach shack restaurant for the Killer Bee cocktail, a rum punch that packs quite a sting!

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Nevis is a much quieter island than St. Kitts, with a smaller population and tons of wild monkeys running about.

We also went on a snorkel catamaran cruise off St. Kitts, which was a gorgeous way to see the island. The Caribbean waters are so clear that we could see tons of fish and turtles and coral, too!

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We ended the trip with a party on the beach with live music, a huge fire pit, and lots of fun!

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It was an amazing chance to get away, relax, do some good, and see a new place in the world! I am so glad to have gone, but also so glad to be back home in CLE!

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Why? Market District Giveaway!

I am one of those people who LOVE grocery shopping. Seriously. It’s not a chore. I LOVE it. So, you can imagine how excited I was to get to tour the brand new Market District in Westlake, which is enough to make anyone fall in love with grocery shopping.

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And at the Grand Opening of the new Market District, my grocery shopping was even more exciting because I got to do it with Food Network star Sunny Anderson!

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The new Westlake store is huge and packed with everything you need, from the everyday to the special. Market District prides itself on offering unique items, both in prepared foods and in groceries you can take home to use in your own recipes.

The dry-aged beef case is an example of these unique items, with amazing cuts of dry-aged beef, along with a knowledgeable butcher staff to help you select your meat and give you tips on how to prepare it.

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The seafood case also offers fantastic, fresh choices, with everything you need to create your own delicious Lenten fish fry at home.

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The bakery, cheese, and wine departments are stand-outs too, with not only incredible selections, but also staff that can help you find exactly what you’re looking for (and maybe something new).

The prepared foods section can make your weeknight dinners a breeze, with food prepared on-site by talented chefs.

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Speaking of making dinners a breeze, Market District has started its own meal kit service called Great to Go, with prepackaged, recipe-driven meals you can create in your own kitchen in a one-stop package.

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In case you get hungry while you shop, Wok Street offers grab-and-go sushi perfect for a quick lunch.

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Market District also heavily focuses on local products, including lots of Northeast Ohio craft beers, Pope’s Kitchen, Randy’s Pickles, Full Fork Premium Pasta Sauce, and more.

Beyond just selling local products, Market District is invested in the local community too. At the Grand Opening, Market District presented a $10,000 check to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to help kickoff the Harvest for Hunger campaign. Throughout the campaign, you can donate at check-out while at Market District (or any Giant Eagle store).

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Market District makes grocery shopping fun, exciting, diverse, and delicious. And to make you a grocery shopping lover like me, I have a $50 Market District gift card (good at any Market District, Giant Eagle, or GetGo) to give away!

Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1.Leave a comment and tell me your favorite thing for which to grocery shop for.

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

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

4. Follow @MarketDistrict 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 a @MarketDistrict gift card from @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/03/11/why-market-district-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 Thursday, March 14 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Grand Opening of the Market District in Westlake. I received a VIP tour of the store, Market District gift card, and swag bag for myself, as well as a Market District gift card to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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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 one of my favorite annual fundraisers. I love a good appetizer and I love any reason to be at Progressive Field! And this year is sure to be even bigger and better, as the event celebrates its 25th Anniversary!

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Cleveland’s Finest creates a friendly chef competition between some of Cleveland’s best restaurants for who will be crowned as having the Finest Hors d’Oeuvre. The winners are voted on by attendees, who are the real winners, since we get to eat all the delicious appetizers!

The event takes place on Thursday, April 11 at the Terrace Club at Progressive Field. Participating restaurants include Corleone’s Ristorante and Bar, Cleveland Chop, Punch Bowl Social, Tartine Bistro, Mallorca Restaurant, and more.

Plus, there will be desserts from Cupcake Cravings, Simply Michele’s, and Simply Elegant Catering; wine tastes; beer samples from Saucy Brew Works; live music; hosts Tim Richards, Jen Toohey, and Desiray Cross from Star 102; a silent auction with awesome prizes; and lots more foodie fun!

Tickets are $80 and all proceeds benefit Our Lady of the Wayside’s mission of supporting over 900 children and adults with developmental disabilities through a wide range of services from transportation to housing to employment.

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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. Head over to my Instagram page at @whycle for more ways to win!

The giveaway will close on Monday, March 11 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!

Hey, hey, it’s March! We welcomed the new month with a fun weekend out and about in Cleveland.

Home Cooking

But before we were out and about, we were in and cozy. On Friday night, I made BBQ chicken mac ‘n cheese (recipe here).

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Before I made the mac, I cooked the chicken wrapped in foil packets at 250 degrees for 2 hours. This made the chicken tender and perfect to fork shred, which was the exact right consistency for the mac ‘n cheese.

Pair this with Matthew’s homemade Old Fashioned and you have a perfect little Friday evening meal!

Children’s Theater Series

On Saturday, we had the third of four shows in the Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square. This one was “Emily Brown and the Thing,” about a little girl and her stuffed rabbit who have many adventures after bedtime.

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We didn’t know the story going in and found the show to be engaging and funny. I love taking Jeffrey to see live theater, especially in the incredible theaters at Playhouse Square!

Lunch in Ohio City

From there, we headed over to Great Lakes Brewing Company for lunch. I always enjoy going to the brewpub because, while you can find Great Lakes beer all over, there’s always something special on tap at the pub.

I tried the Imperial Buzzcut Nut Brown Ale, brewed with honey and hazelnuts, and Matthew had the same. We both really enjoyed this smoothy, nutty beer!

To eat, I had the Fitzgerald burger, with bacon, smoked cheddar, Edmund Fitzgerald BBQ sauce, and onion straws.

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Flavorful and juicy, this was one delicious burger! The fries were particularly good, too!

Matthew had the Sweet & Salty Pork pizza, with smoked pulled pork, cucumber, green pepper, onion, mozzarella, goat cheese, garlic oil, and orange lavender honey.

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He ate the entire pizza (!), so my guess is that it was quite tasty!

Jeffrey loved his chicken fingers, too! The brewpub atmosphere for a weekend lunch is wonderful for kids, too!

From there, we had to stop to get dessert at Mitchell’s Ice Cream!

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The Buckeye Sundae was the perfect sweet treat. Jeffrey is pretty much all of us when it comes to Mitchell’s…

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What a fun family day!

***Disclosure: I received a gift card from Great Lakes Brewing Company as part of my partnership with Lyft. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Sprinkle

On Sunday, I attended a Sprinkle for my dear friend Mariah, who is expecting a little girl in May. While Mariah has two boys already, it was so fun to fete her new arrival with lots of pink clothes and toys.

I also had to snag her this adorable onesie from Anne Cate!

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We had a great ladies lunch, with bellinis, homemade pesto and chicken, salad, fruit, and pastries from Luna Bakery & Café.

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It was a lovely way to celebrate a lovely lady!

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So that was our weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Weekends!

Aside from Jumping Back Across the Pond, we had some other fun things going on this weekend…

Lunch and a Movie

Jeffrey didn’t have school on Friday, so we met up with his best buddy and little brother for lunch and a movie. We started at Yours Truly at Shaker Square. It’s delicious diner-style food makes it a great choice for a wide age range.

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The kids enjoyed chicken fingers, cheeseburger, and grilled cheese. I had a most tasty tuna melt (my favorite sandwich) on grilled rye and my friend had the Tuscan chicken wrap.

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Quick, yummy, and friendly…Yours Truly is always a favorite stop.

From there, we took the kids to see “How to Train Your Dragon 3,” which we all agreed was our favorite of the series!

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What a fun little Friday afternoon!

Paczki Party

If you live in Cleveland, you’ve heard about paczki, a Polish donut-like treat that’s popular for Fat Tuesday. On Sunday, Michael Angelo’s Bakery and Winery hosted a Paczki Party that combined Polish paczki and pierogi and polkas with Mardi Gras-themed elements.

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The paczki were plentiful and delicious, with traditional flavors like apricot, prune, and poppyseed, as well as more modern flavors like strawberry mousse, custard, and peanut butter.

There were also kids crafts and face painting, which Jeffrey really enjoyed.

Michael Angelo’s has some of the tastiest paczki you’ll find and this was a great way to get a head start on enjoying them.

Cleveland Yoga

It’s not really a surprise that I spent time at a yoga studio over the weekend, but on Sunday night I ventured from my home studio to take a class at Cleveland Yoga in Beachwood.

Ylonda, one of my first yoga teachers, teaches there and had promised to play her electric cello during savasana at her classes this week. I couldn’t miss that combination!

Ylonda is an accomplished cellist, a challenging yoga teacher, and an all-around amazing soul. I always leave her classes feeling physically and emotionally charged up! It was the perfect way to end the weekend and get motivated for the week ahead!

How was your weekend? What do you do to recharge for the week ahead?

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Why? Jump Back Ball!

Saturday was the annual Jump Back Ball put on by Playhouse Square Partners. This year’s theme was Jump Back Across the Pond and the guests came decked out as everything from royalty to musicians to wizards.

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The VIP Party had the royal family make an appearance…

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…including the Queen’s corgi (in reality, Murray, who belongs to Beard and the Broad).

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We also enjoyed specialty cocktails from Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Pope’s Kitchen, high tea inspired appetizers from The Driftwood Group, and music from North Coast String Quartet.

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Then it was off to the main event, with more great food and drinks, music from Abby Normal & the Detroit Lean on the main stage and Faction on the late night stage, and tons of fun British-themed photo opps, all created by Playhouse Square Partners members.

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This was our eighth Jump Back Ball and I’m amazed how, every year, we have such an incredible time at this truly unique, fun, epic event!

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Oh, and did I mention it’s all to benefit Playhouse Square’s community outreach and education initiatives, such as the Dazzle Awards and the Disney Musicals in Schools program?

What a bloody brilliant evening! Stay tuned for next year’s theme announcement and ticket sales kickoff in Fall 2019!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote Jump Back Ball. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. I am also the co-chair of the Communications Committee for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Tails and Cocktails!

Have you ever wanted to learn more about the animals, educational programs, and research being done both at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and beyond?

The Cleveland Zoological Society is launching a new speaker series called Tails and Cocktails that brings together experts from the Zoo and the Northeast Ohio community with, well, you for a fun and educational evening. Each event includes small bites, cocktails, and a speaker, themed on a certain subject.

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The first Tails and Cocktails takes place on Wednesday, March 20 from 6-8pm at the Zoo. The subject is “Gut Reaction.” The talk focuses on how scientists are working with sloth bear and orangutan diets to animal welfare and health, and how to apply these findings to human diets.

The speaker for Gut Reaction is Andrew Loudon, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Science Research Fellow. Guests will enjoy fermented food and drinks provided by Spice Kitchen and Bar and Terrestrial Brewing.

The other events in the Tails and Cocktails series are:

Tickets for each Tails and Cocktails event are $10 for Zoo members and $15 for the general public. You can purchase tickets online.

This fun and educational speaker series is a great chance to learn more about the work being done at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and its applications to our own lives, while enjoying cocktails and food and a relaxing evening out.

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Tails and Cocktails. In exchange, I will receive complimentary tickets to two of the Tails and Cocktails events. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week Bring on the All Stars!

We all know that there are tons of great restaurants in Downtown Cleveland and that this summer Cleveland is hosting the MLB All Star Game. So, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance combined these two things for their Restaurant Week kick-off event, entitled Bring on the All Stars.

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This 4th annual Restaurant Week kick-off event will be held on Thursday, February 28 from 5-7pm at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade. You will be able to sample dishes from over 20 restaurants participating in Restaurant Week, who will be competing for the Judge’s Choice Award that night.

There will also be live cooking demonstrations from restaurants like Adega, Johnny’s Downtown, and Hodge’s; Cleveland sports mascot appearances; a DJ; and fun giveaways.

Participating restaurants in the Bring on the All Stars kick-off event include Blue Point Grille, Luca Italian Cuisine, Pizza 216, and Southern Tier Brewing Company. Click here for a complete list of participating restaurants and a schedule of cooking demos.

Tickets are currently on sale for $35 early bird admission through this Friday, February 22 (the price goes up to $45 after that). You can also purchase VIP tickets for $100 for 1 ticket or $150 for 2 tickets. VIP admission includes valet parking, open bar, access to the VIP Lounge at the event, and access to the Jack Casino Library Lounge after the event. Click here to purchase tickets.

This is the perfect way to help narrow your choices for where to eat during Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week (happening March 1-10) and enjoying the All Star food and fun that downtown has to offer!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary general admission tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my  own.***

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