Why? Best of Cleveland Giveaway!

Cleveland Magazine is preparing to throw a party celebrating its Best of Cleveland award winners. On Satuday, October 13, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will be packed with the best of Cleveland food, drink, music, and more.

BOCinfluencer

Billy Likes Soda (Best Cover Band) and DJ EV (Best Local DJ) will be performing. You’ll also get to enjoy food and drink from winners like:

  • Daylight Donuts (Best Ice Cream Filled Donuts)
  • Masthead Brewing Co. (Best Pizza)
  • Polpetta (Best Meatballs)
  • Ginko (Best Sushi)
  • The Wine Spot (Best Wine Shop)
  • Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream (Best Ice Cream)
  • And many, many more

Your ticket also includes admission to the Rock Hall and the Power of Rock Experience.

Tickets are currently on sale online for $75 for General Admission and $110 for VIP (which includes an open bar wristband.) You can also save 20% off tickets by using code BESTOFCLE when you checkout.

Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets right here (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 which of the Participating Winners you’re most excited to see at the Best of Cleveland party.

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

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

4. Follow @ClevelandMag 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 party with the Best of Cleveland thanks to @ClevelandMag and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2018/10/04/why-best-of-cleveland-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 Tuesday, October 9 and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Cleveland Magazine to help promote the Best of Cleveland party. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary general admission tickets for myself, 2 general admission tickets to give away, and a promo code to share. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Put on Your Boogie Shoes Fundraiser – Costumes and Cocktails!

Want a fun way to celebrate Halloween while benefiting a great cause? Well, then Put on Your BOO-gie Shoes and head to the Hilton Cleveland Downtown on Friday, October 26.

https_cdn.evbuc.comimages50327204724082796151original

This event is put on by Charles Bowlus Charities. Charles Bowlus Charities was established in memory of Charles Bowlus, CEO and founder of ECRM, who passed away in August, 2011 from lung cancer, with the intent of keeping Charlie’s philanthropy alive. Its mission is to provide support for local organizations, who assist those individuals and families dealing with cancer, health & wellness, women, and children.

The beneficiary of this year’s Put on Your BOO-gie Shoes is the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center, which empowers individuals, educates the community, and advocates for justice to end domestic violence and child abuse.

DVCAC

Put on Your BOO-gie Shoes will be a fun Halloween party with live music from Faction (one of our favorite local cover bands), food, beer, wine, raffles and silent auctions, and costumes galore with a costume contest too.

General admission tickets are $85 and include a beer and wine bar and food. VIP tickets are $125 and include the above, plus liquor, valet parking, and VIP section access. You can purchase tickets online.

Don’t miss this fun way to celebrate Halloween, while benefiting a great cause. Oh, and tell me what Matthew and I should dress like in the comments…

***Disclosure: I was asked by Charles Bowlus Charities to help promote Put on Your BOO-gie Shows. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Urban Farmer!

Urban Farmer bills itself as Cleveland’s modern steakhouse, a title which fits it well. The vibe is more casual, cowboy punk than dark wood. There is a focus on locally-sourced, artisanal products. There is a playfulness at Urban Farmer that you don’t usually get from a steakhouse, particularly one that can deliver on taste in the way this restaurant can.

On Friday night, Matthew and I enjoyed a delicious dinner at Urban Farmer. We started with a glass of M Cellars Brut Rose, a sparkling wine almost exclusive to Urban Farmer and a display of the restaurant’s commitment to showcasing local products.

img_5597

For our first course, we enjoyed the Rabbit & Duck Pierogi with onion, jus, citrus cream, and quinoa. This interesting twist on a classic Cleveland menu item was rich and satisfying, with just the right amount of smoky, gamey flavor.

img_5612

We also feasted on the Braised Octopus with tonnato, ‘nduja oil, fennel, and lemon vinaigrette. These meaty pieces of octopus were deliciously prepared and dressed. I’m so glad to see more local restaurants serving a dish we fell in love with on a trip to Miami.

img_5606

We also shared the Beet & Squash Salad, with arugula, citrus, chevre, pistachio, and beet meringue “croutons.” A really tasty and original approach to a beet salad!

img_5605

Of course, the steak is the highlight at Urban Farmer, with New York Strip, Filet Mignon, and Ribeye as the standard offerings on the menu, and with options from grass-fed to grain-fed.

Matthew chose the grain-finished, bone-in, twenty-one day dry aged New York Strip from New Creation Farm in Ohio. The steak was perfectly prepared, tender, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

img_5609

Not that it needed any accompaniment, but the Ohio Wagyu Tallow & Bleu Cheese Butter and the Roasted Foraged Mushrooms made fabulous compliments to the steak.

img_5611

I chose the Georges Bank Scallops, served with pea risotto, pancetta, carrot, and lemon. Fresh, delicious, and with flavors that perfectly paired, this was an elegant dish!

img_5608

We also enjoyed some of the seasonal Corn Elote with smoked jalapeno aioli, cotija, and scallion. Seriously, if you can get there before this off the menu, do!

img_5610

And then dessert…Matthew chose the Eight Layer Chocolate Torte, which looked like a giant Andes mint and tasted even better.

img_5625

My desserts were all set ablaze tableside, with the Cleveland Cassata Alaska…

img_5624

and the Café Cleveland, which has Watershed high-proof vodka and walnut nocino, Cointreau, Kahlua, and La Colombe coffee.

 

 

Such showmanship and such deliciousness!

This is one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time from top to bottom.

img_5601

The friendly service, the commitment to local products, and the sheer craftsmanship of the chefs make Urban Farmer a fantastic place for a meal!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a dinner at Urban Farmer with a guest. I received a gift card toward our meal, as well as some complimentary items from the kitchen. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Taste of the Browns!

The last few years that we’ve attended the Greater Cleveland Food Bank‘s Taste of the Browns fundraiser, the food has been terrific and the venue has been stellar and everyone has been excited about helping out those in need. But the energy about the Browns themselves…it might have been a little bit low.

But coming off the big win last Thursday and the announcement of Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback, there was genuine sports excitement in the air on Monday night.

img_5456

Of course, the terrific food, stellar venue, and fantastic opportunity to help those in need still existed too.

img_5459

Every dollar raised at Taste of the Browns equals 4 meals for those with food insecurity. Chef Rocco Whalen, one of the honorary co-chairs of this year’s event, single-handedly raised $10,000 by donating two Fahrenheit food truck private parties during the live auction!

Of course, Taste of the Browns isn’t just about the Browns…it’s also about the taste! And taste we did!

We started out at B Spot Burgers with their Georgia Peach burger.

img_5462

Did you know that the B Spot in FirstEnergy Stadium creates a new burger geared to each of the Browns home opponents? This creation for the Falcons game is a winner for sure!

Check out this array of delicious nibbles, with an Asian pulled pork wonton from Pearl Asian Kitchen, tuna nachos from Heck’s Cafe, and steak with horseradish sauce from Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse.

img_5465

The miso-glazed pork belly from AMP 150 and the rosemary lamb chop with butternut squash from Johnny’s Downtown were both perfect for the now fall-like weather!

And we had a ball with these gigantic Salerno Family meatballs from Lago East Bank.

img_5469

Proving they’re more than just tacos, Barrio‘s sea scallop ceviche was a fresh, delicious treat!

img_5473

I also love when I find a new restaurant that I have to try outside of a tasting event. This year, that restaurant was Corktree Tavern, whose short ribs with goat cheese polenta and dried cherries was tender, flavorful, and an amazing amount of yum in a small bite.

img_5471

To the food, the cause, and the newly re-energized Browns, cheers!

img_5460

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Taste of the Browns. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Legacy Village Birthday Staycation!

When I was thinking about how I wanted to celebrate my birthday this year, I decided I wanted to do a staycation that included my favorite people and my favorite things to do. So, naturally I landed on Legacy Village.

On Friday afternoon, Jeffrey and I checked in to the Hyatt Place Legacy Village for some swim time. There is nothing Jeffrey loves more than a hotel pool!

img_5386

The Hyatt Place Legacy Village is the perfect place to stay for a staycation or for out-of-town friends. The hotel is modern and comfortable, with lots of thoughtful touches (my favorite were the reading nooks in the lobby.) There’s free breakfast, a fitness center, and the aforementioned pool, too!

Plus the staff is very sweet!

img_5387

Once Jeffrey was dried off and on his way to Grandma’s house for the night, Matthew joined me for dinner at The Capital Grille, just a short walk from the hotel.

img_5389

I’ve written several times about how The Capital Grille’s food is just incredible and this dinner was no exception. Matthew and I shared the pan-fried calamari with peppers with our bourbon cocktails.

 

For dinner, I had the tomahawk veal chop with foie gras butter and Matthew had the bone-in filet. Everything was prepared to perfection.

img_5394

Beyond that, though, the service at The Capital Grille is always on point. The servers know exactly when to chat, when to leave you in peace, what wine to recommend, and so on. That made our dinner not only delicious, but utterly enjoyable.

img_5393

Saturday was all about the girls at Legacy Village. In the morning, I literally walked across the street to meet up with friends at Barre3 and start my morning with a great workout.

From there, we went to Bar Louie and met up with more friends for brunch.

img_5404

From extra boozy mimosas to fluffy peanut butter pancakes, brunch was just the right balance to the workout.

 

We were lucky enough to be at Legacy Village during the Wildroots market, so we got to check out some great local, artsy shopping in addition to all the every day fabulous Legacy Village shopping options.

img_5403

Then it was time for some straight-up pampering with manicures and pedicures at Anthony Vince Nail Spa. I love how many color options they have there and with a huge staff and tons of pedicure chairs, the service is always fast (and friendly.)

After grabbing a cup of coffee at Starbucks to give myself a boost of energy before heading home, I realized that I chose the perfect location for my birthday staycation. From fancy to casual dining, working out to being pampered, and of course, shopping, Legacy Village had it all (and a great place to stay while enjoying it!)

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village to promote their events, for which I receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. I also received a complimentary one-night stay at the Hyatt Place Legacy Village. The idea for the staycation and, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

 

 

Why? L’Amour du Vin Giveaway!

L’Amour du Vin. The love of wine. Goodness knows I love me some wine. So, I always enjoy the L’Amour du Vin fundraiser to benefit the Arthritis Foundation on Wednesday, September 26 at the Avon Oaks Country Club.

untitled

L’Amour du Vin features small bites from some of the area’s best restaurants, like Bistro 83, Heck’s of Avon, Noodlecat, Emerald Necklace Inn, and Market and Wine Bar, Rocky River.

All of this delicious food will be paired with unlimited tasty wine samplings from a variety of vineyards representing wines from around the world. Plus, you’ll have a chance to bid on some fabulous silent auction items.

There is also a VIP Lounge, with exclusive wines, Brown-Forman cocktails, and special tastings from Gertz Culinary.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Arthritis Foundation, working to help conquer and cure arthritis, which impacts people of all ages.

Tickets are $75 for general admission and $95 for VIP admission and can be purchased online. Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets to L’Amour du Vin right here!

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

1.Check out the list of participating restaurants and leave a comment here telling me which you’re most excited to try.

2. Visit Arthritis Foundation Ohio and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both page.

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

4. Follow @ArthritisFdn 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 #LAmour2018 to benefit @ArthritisFdn thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2018/09/06/why-lamour-du-vin-giveaway-7

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

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

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Arthritis Foundation to help promote L’Amour du Vin. In exchange, I will receive two general admission tickets to give away. I declined my own tickets due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Tour de Bruell!

Every year, six of Chef Zack Bruell‘s restaurants host the Tour de Bruell, happening through September 3.

img_4641

If you purchase an entrée at all six participating restaurants, you are entered to win a private dinner for eight prepared in your home by Chef Zack Bruell.

Those overachievers who completed the Tour de Bruell by July 4 were entered into a drawing to win a progressive dinner through all six of the restaurants hosted by the Chef himself.

Last week, the winners of the progressive dinner, along with some very lucky bloggers…

img_4649

 

…gathered to eat our way through all of Chef Bruell’s restaurants on the Tour de Bruell.

We started at Table 45, located at the Intercontinental Hotel. Chef Bruell told us that this sleek, modern restaurant is his favorite from an aesthetic standpoint. Our course at Table 45 consisted of deliciously fresh sushi,

img_4634

as well as a cocktail called the Champagne Floh, made with champagne, Elderflower liquor, and local Floh vodka.

img_4637

From there, we boarded a chauffeured limo bus with the Chef (sidebar: sometimes being a blogger lets you do ridiculously awesome things) and headed to our second stop: Parallax.

Parallax is the oldest of the six restaurants and, if you asked me prior to this progressive dinner, my favorite (I think it still might be, but this night made it harder to choose). At Parallax, we enjoyed scallops that just melted in your mouth.

img_4642

Then it was off to our third stop: Alley Cat Oyster Bar. Alley Cat not only boasts an amazing seafood and fish selection, but also incredible views!

img_4644

This course consisted of ridiculous huge shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half shell, and a mini version of Alley Cat’s seafood charcuterie board.

 

Everything was fresh and delicious and the seafood charcuterie board was a unique twist on a common concept.

Halfway through the tour! We got back on the bus and headed to Chinato. Located right at East 4th and Prospect, this is the perfect stop before a game or concert downtown!

img_4653

The Bolognese sauce at Chinato has slow-roasted pork shoulder and is incredibly rich and flavorful!

Back on the bus for a short jaunt to Playhouse Square for stop five: Cowell & Hubbard. This restaurant prides itself on getting theater-goers to the show on time, while still providing the highest quality food and service.

img_4655

Our course here was trout that actually made me like trout!

Finally, we ended our evening on the most lovely, secret-garden patio at L’Albatros Brasserie, with a sensational cheese plate and grapefruit sorbet.

img_4661

It was truly a treat not only to experience all these restaurants, but to hear their history from Chef Zack Bruell himself. It’s also easy to appreciate his impact on the Cleveland culinary scene when you visit all the restaurants in one night. The sheer variety of cooking styles, menu, décor, and clientele served is impressive.

I’m so grateful I had the chance to tag along with the lucky Tour de Bruell winners. And the Tour isn’t over yet, so if you want to send your summer out with some great food, you have until September 3 to complete the Tour for a chance to win a private, in-home dinner. Trust me, the color commentary alone from Chef Bruell makes this a prize you’ll want to win!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Tour de Bruell progressive dinner. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Taste of the Browns Giveaway!

Fall is almost here, which means football season and one of the coolest food events in town: the 20th annual Taste of the Browns to benefit the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, happening Monday, September 24.

Taste_Browns_Celebrating 20 Years

This event combines Cleveland’s love for the Browns, the city’s celebrated culinary scene, and the chance to help those in need into one fabulous evening!

Your ticket includes wine and beer tastings, as well as delicious nibbles from over 25 of Cleveland’s best restaurants, like Fahrenheit, Johnny’s Downtown, Pier W, Deagan’s Kitchen & Bar, and many more.

Plus, you’ll get to mingle with Cleveland Browns player and alumni, pose for photo opps, bid on amazing silent auction items, and enjoy the beautiful Club Lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium.

TNFL_2018_Social Media Image_Stadium

Tickets for Taste of the Browns are currently on sale for $177 for general admission and $252 for VIP admission. You can purchase tickets online.

Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets 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 entry):

1.Leave a comment here telling me your favorite Cleveland Browns memory.

2. Visit Greater Cleveland Food Bank and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

4. Follow @CleFoodBank 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 @CleFoodBank #TasteoftheBrowns at @festadium thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2018/08/21/why-taste-of-the-browns-giveaway-7 

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, August 26 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Taste of the Browns. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary general admission tickets for myself and two general admission tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Taste of Legacy!

Legacy Village is a hub not just for shopping, but also for eating. Which is why the Taste of Legacy Village on Sunday, August 26 from 12pm-5pm is sure to be an awesome event!

Taste
This 15th annual event brings together restaurants and specialty food retailers to offer food samples. The Ohio Wine Producers Association will also be on hand to offer wine samples for $1 per sample.

The Taste of Legacy Village will also feature a Kids’ Zone with balloon artists, face painters, and games from the Cleveland Monsters and Cleveland Gladiators. You can also enjoy live music throughout the event from Saborit Latin Soul and Rockport and complimentary salsa dancing lessons!

Participating vendors include:

  • Bar Louie
  • Black Box Fix
  • BRIO
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • The Capital Grille
  • Giant Eagle
  • Granite City Food & Brewery
  • The Melting Pot
  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
  • Starbucks

Tickets and Taste Dollars (good for food samples only) are currently on sale online. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy the best of Legacy Village eating all at once!

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

jenclesig_pur

Why? Pastina Rustic Italian and Fahrenheit!

This year, the stars aligned to make deciding what to do for Matthew’s birthday really easy. On his birthday, Pastina Rustic Italian (which had been on our list to try) and Fahrenheit combined forces to create a delicious five-course dinner paired with wine.

img_4491

The dinner was not only a chance to eat amazing food, but also a chance to benefit the family of Mentor Police Officer Mathew Mazany, who was killed in the line of duty recently.

Our first course was straciatella, made in house, served with roasted eggplant, zucchini, and peppers.

img_4485

I loved this dish! The smoky roasted vegetables complimented the rich cheese so well!

Next up was chicken piccata, with a luscious lemon butter sauce with capers and artichokes.

img_4487

It was served on top roasted, smashed potatoes that I’m having dreams about still!

Now, if Matthew says his favorite course is a pasta course, you know you’ve done something amazing, because he will usually pick a meat course over anything else.

img_4493

The bolognese sauce was amazing, but the cavatelli was the real star: perfectly cooked, made in-house, tender but firm.

Our final savory course featured Chef Rocco Whalen’s famous short ribs, served over Pastina’s in-house fettucine with an Asian glaze.

img_4497

What a great way to showcase both chefs talents and emphasize that this event was all about combining forces!

We ended on a sweet note with pistachio gelato, made in-house from Sicilian pistachios.

img_4499

I was so impressed with the menu, the expert wine pairings, and the generosity of the chefs and the community that came together for this event!

We will definitely be back to Pastina (and we already knew we loved Fahrenheit)!

jenclesig_pur