Why? Weekends!

Hope you found fun ways to stay cool on this toasty weekend! Here’s what we did:

Camp Curiosity

On Friday, Jeffrey wrapped up a week of Camp Curiosity at the Great Lakes Science Center. We chose the Race to Space camp, which centered around celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

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The kids made astronaut helmets and patches, moon models, and more. They heard from speakers from NASA Glenn and learned so much.

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Jeffrey had a wonderful time and grew in his knowledge of and love for all things space-related.

Indians Game

On Friday night, Alicia, Amanda, and I went to the Indians game.

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I had already been to a few games this season, but this was the first of the season without Jeffrey. And while I love his excitement for the game, it was also fun to spend time outside of the Family Deck!

We got the District tickets, which include standing room space in The Corner, as well as a beer. What a great deal! And it was Dollar Dog night, which meant cheap eats, too.

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We supplemented our dollar dogs with some pizza from Dante’s Inferno and quesadilla from Momocho. There are great local eats at Progressive Field!

Despite the heat, we had a great time and the Indians brought home a win, so that makes for a pretty great Friday night!

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Michael Angelo’s Winery

On Sunday, I met up with some Playhouse Square Partners friends for a Sunday Funday at Michael Angelo’s Winery.

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I love everything about Michael Angelo’s Winery! The setting is beautiful, the wines are delicious (the sparking rosé is my new favorite), and the food is so tasty!

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I had the crab cakes, with apple garden slaw and lemon aioli. I also snagged nibbles of the crispy Brussel sprouts, calamari, and truffle fries, all of which are perfect for sharing with a group of friends.

This is the perfect spot for your next girls’ night out or a romantic date!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Think Pink at Opal on Pearl Giveaway!

‘Tis the season for rosé! I don’t know about you, but I’ve gone all in on this refreshing summer wine.

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Which is why I’m so excited about Think Pink! at Opal on Pearl. On Thursday, July 25, this event brings together two great Old Brooklyn businesses at the lovely Opal on Pearl for an evening of rosé and chocolate.

Lilly Chocolates and Confections will provide both sweet and savory bites created by Chef Amanda Montague.

 

Tony Mellon of Opal on Pearl will expertly pair these bites with rosé wines from all over the world, expanding your rosé palate beyond the usual California or Provence choices.

There will be six tasting stations that you can enjoy at your own pace, while you take in the ambiance of Opal on Pearl.

Tickets are $45 each and space is limited to 50 people. You can purchase tickets online. Or you can enter to win two tickets to Think Pink! 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 whether you like rosé or chocolate better (tough choice, I know!)

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

3. Visit @whycle on Instagram and follow the directions with the Think Pink! image to complete an additional entry.

4. Follow @opalonpearl1 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 Think Pink! at @opalonpearl1 with @LillyChoc thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/07/18/why-think-pink-at-opal-on-pearl-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, July 21 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Opal on Pearl to help promote Think Pink! 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? Bottle and Bottega!

Last night, Matthew and I had a fun date night at Bottle and Bottega Cleveland West. I always think activity-based dates are great because they not only give you something to talk about, but they give you a glimpse into your partner’s (perhaps hidden) talents.

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We had the choice between two paintings for last night’s class, which was something unique from other wine and paint events I’ve attended. Our instructor Erika went between the two paintings, instructing our classmates through the painting of their choice.

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Erika made the painting easy, with step by step instructions and plenty of space to add our own artistic touches.

It was neat to see the progression of our paintings. Despite all starting with the same “template,” everyone’s paintings took on their own unique style.

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Matthew’s architecture skills and ability to be detailed and deliberate definitely served him well in his painting. And mine, well…I had a lot of fun at least!

We packed snacks and wine for our painting adventure. Bottle and Bottega provides wine glasses and bottle openers to make your packing lighter.

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Bottle and Bottega offers not just canvas painting, but also wine glass painting and wood pallet painting, too.

They even have Paint Your Pet or nude model figure painting. Something for everyone!

It’s a great spot for a date night, girls night out, birthday or bachelorette party, or corporate outing. Check out the upcoming class schedule or book a private party. Unleash your creativity, with the help of a little wine, at Bottle and Bottega!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary class at Bottle and Bottega Cleveland West with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Zoo Clues and Brews!

On Wednesday, August 21, the Cleveland Zoological Society‘s The Herd (the young leaders group) is hosting a super fun, after-hours scavenger hunt through the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

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Team Ostrichological Signs!

Zoo Clues and Brews, presented by Great Lakes Brewing Co., allows teams to join in a friendly competition of finding the answers to clues by exploring animal exhibits and interacting with Zoo staff. Through the Scavify app, teams can upload answers and photos and see in real time how other teams are progressing through the scavenger hunt.

There are prizes for the winning team and most spirited team, so think of a fun team name, as well as costumes or tshirts, hashtags, and real time posting throughout the event to show your enthusiasm.

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The event will also include the chance to purchase raffle tickets for additional giveaways. You’ll enjoy complimentary small bites from Driftwood Catering, as well as beer, wine, soft drinks, and water.

Registration is now open for this great evening of after-hours animal excitement! A team of six people costs $240, a team of four people costs $160, and a team of two people costs $80. Click here to register your team!

All this friendly competition benefits the Cleveland Zoological Society and gives you a great chance to interact with members of The Herd, too! Hope to see you on the hunt at Zoo Clues and Brews!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Zoo Clues and Brews. In exchange, I will receive a complimentary 6-person team registration. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Playhouse Square Partners at Bin 216!

Last night, Playhouse Square Partners celebrated the end of our (fiscal) year with our fifth annual wine tasting night at Bin 216.

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This event has become both a staple and a favorite for the organization. This year’s theme was South American wines and we enjoyed five courses of small bites and wines that were perfectly paired.

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Our first course paired Leyda Sauvignon Blanc with Asparagus & Egg Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette.

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You really can’t go wrong in my book with either asparagus or Sauvignon Blanc!

Our second course paired Tilia Chardonnay with a Seared Scallop over Sweet Corn Purée and Herb Oil.

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This particularly chardonnay was very oaky and on its own was not my favorite, but when paired with the food, it was quite good.

Our third course paired Root 1 Carmenere with Devils on Horseback.

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This peppery, delicious red wine was perfect by itself, but became even more delicious when paired with the chorizo-stuffed dates of happiness. (This was my favorite course, can you tell?)

Our fourth course paired Catena Malbec with Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Chimichurri.

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Much like the first course, this course paired two can’t miss items for me: Malbec and chimichurri.

Our fifth course paired El Enemigo Bonarda with Marinated, Smoked, and Grilled Portobello Mushroom Risotto.

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The risotto had a delicious, smoky taste to it which matched the wine nicely and added a depth of flavor you don’t always get with this kind of dish.

All in all, it was a delicious evening trying some new-to-me wines. Bin 216 is a great pre- or post-theater stop, with ambiance (check out that view of the beautiful Ohio Theatre lobby), delicious food, and great wines.

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And if you’re interested in getting involved with Playhouse Square Partners, we’re starting our Jump Back Ball 29 planning on Thursday, July 11 at Market Garden Brewery. You don’t have to be a member to attend. Click here to learn more and RSVP.

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

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Why? James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner!

When the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner was announced, it was one of those events I immediately knew I wanted to attend. And while the ticket price might seem like a splurge, when you get 10 courses of phenomenal food prepared by celebrated chefs, plus wine pairings, you realize it’s a total steal!

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We started the evening by getting a glimpse at the entire group of chefs, who clearly all get along so well!

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Then we headed into Urban Farmer for the big event. We started with a cocktail hour with signature cocktails, as well as local beer and wine. Matthew tried the interesting Salt-Acid-Fat-Heat, with Tito’s Vodka infused with house-grown chili, Ardberg 10 year scotch, lemon, rosemary, and prosciutto and I had the light and fruity Spring to Summer, with Tito’s Vodka, aperol, grapefruit, lime, and Prosecco.

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We also nibbled on passed appetizers. There was Duck & Pancetta Polpetta from Chef Brian Okin of Dinner in the Dark; “Hillbilly Crudite” from Chef Adam Bostwick of Polpetta; Curied Foie Gras on Toast from Chef John Selick of Sodexo, University Hospitals; Yukon Gold and Sartori Mini Pierogi from Chef Chris Quinn of US Foods; and Braunschweiger Mousse from Chefs Penny Barend and Melissa Khoury of Saucisson.

Our first course from Chef Karen Small of Flying Fig was a Crisped Spring Onion Crepe, with asparagus and wild shrimp, tarragon, red chili butter, lemon confit, and Heritage Lake Farm watercress.

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This dish was springtime on a plate: delicate, light, and yet filled with distinct flavors.

Next was Roasted Summer Vegetables, with basil, smoked parmesan, and quinoa from Chef Justin Lucas of Urban Farmer.

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The vegetables had a rich, smoky flavor and the quinoa added nice texture.

The third course was A Walk through the Chef’s Garden, with squash blossom, egg, nasturtium, asparagus, green tomato, oyster leaf, and turnip.

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This dish was visually stunning, from the drop of “water” on each leaf to the perfectly runny egg nestled inside the squash blossom.

Next up was a play on a classic favorite from a hometown favorite: Chef Michael Symon of Lola, Mabel’s BBQ, and B Spot Burgers.

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The Chicken Liver Matzo Balls, with summer truffles, were a gourmet and luscious spin on the classic comfort food.

Next up was what I found to be the most interesting dish of the night: Koji Cured Crispy Maitake, with wild greens and walleye bottarga from Chef Jeremy Umansky of Larder Delicatessen & Bakery.

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Tangy, crispy, fresh, and delicious, this dish really showcased Chef Umansky’s unique ides.

The eating kept right on going with Ohio Wagyu Beef, with fritter, tomato chutney, carpaccio, beef fat tonnato, horseradish, rocket, quinoa, and maldon from Chef Vishwatej Nath of Urban Farmer.

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What a tasty way to enjoy wagyu two ways!

Our final savory course  was Lamb Loin, with napa cabbage, cannellini beans, tomato glace de viande, and celery root espuma.

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From Chef John M. D’Amico of Chez Francois, this dish was so delicious, I was tempted to lick the plate. This celebrated chef rarely leaves his kitchen, so it was truly a treat to enjoy his food at this event.

We had two dessert courses, which is how I plan to end all my meals now. First was Raspberry Tea Mousse, with lemon poppy sponge, fig, lemon verbena, and rye crumble from Pastry Chef Kara Swortchek of Urban Farmer.

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So many different flavors and textures at play in this bright, fruity dish!

Our final course was decadence defined and deconstructed: Dark Chocolate Toasted Rice Ice Cream, with black sesame almond chocolate cake, black sesame streusel, candied almonds, fennel caramel, coconut ginger cream, and pickled ginger chip, from Pastry Chef Annabella Andricks of The Dinerbar on Clifton.

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Each course was expertly paired with wine, some local, some not. But I loved seeing some of my local favorites from M Cellars and Ferrante Winery make appearances!

It was a fun, delicious, long evening of incredible food, wine, and camaraderie.

We have an incredible food community here in Cleveland, certainly worthy of such an amazing Celebrity Chef Tour experience.

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Why? Twilight at the Zoo!

One of the biggest parties of the summer is coming to Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Friday, August 2. Of course I’m talking about Twilight at the Zoo!

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Photo Credit: Dale McDonald Photograpghy

 

Cleveland Zoological Society‘s Twilight at the Zoo brings together a wide array of local bands scattered throughout the Zoo for a wild good time! From Almost Famous to Faction Cleveland to Run Avril Run, the bands cover lots of different genres of music and will all get you dancing through the night.

All of the fun is for a good cause, too! Proceeds from Twilight at the Zoo benefit the Cleveland Zoological Society and their work not only caring for the animals in the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, but also their educational and conservation programs.

Tickets for Twilight at the Zoo are now on sale online. General admission tickets are $75 in June and $85 in July and August and include beer, wine, small bites, and all the music you can take in.

VIP tickets are $150 and include all of the above, plus priority parking, full open bar, and food samples from local restaurants. The VIP party runs from 6-9pm and you can join the general admission fun anytime after 7pm.

You don’t want to miss the roaring good time!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Twilight at the Zoo. In exchange, I will receive 4 complimentary VIP tickets for the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Garage Creative Studios!

Last week, I had the chance to chat about writing, blogging balance, and Ohio wines with the super cool team at Garage Creative Studios.

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They are a local company that does everything from creative design to production to sound. Their studios have all the modern technology they need, but still feels homey and fun. Plus, they have this sweet patio where we got to do our interview.

You can watch us chat about the creative process, plus my favorite Ohio red, white, and rosé wines here…

The wines are Laurentia Vineyard and Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Ferrante Winery Golden Bunches Dry Riesling, and M Cellars Winery Brut Rosé.

Thanks to the team at Garage Creative Studios for inviting me! Enjoy the interview!

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Why? Weekends!

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

Balance and Brews

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

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

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

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

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

Mother’s Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Spice Spring Supper Club at Borrow Rentals!

Last night, Mom and I celebrated an early Mother’s Day with the best gift we can give each other: time together.

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We attended the Spring Supper Club at Borrow Rentals, with food and expertly-paired wine from Spice Kitchen and Bar. The setting was perfect, with Borrow’s eclectic, vintage decor fitting in perfectly with Spice’s seasonal, farm-driven cuisine.

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We were welcomed with Prosecco (the only way I like to be welcomed) and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.

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Our first course was 3-Way Dandelion Kombucha Soup, with radish, snow peas, and dandelion greens, paired with Corvidae Riesling.

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I was so skeptical about this course and I just loved it. The soup was tangy and spicy, with just enough sweetness from the snow peas to balance it out.

The second course was Guinea Fowl “Caesar” Salad, with romaine, ramp croutons, Styx mountain cheese, and Lake Erie Caesar dressing, paired with The Curator White Blend.

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One of my favorite things about Spice is how hyper-local and seasonal their food always is. Ramps are a sure sign of spring in Ohio!

Our third course was Venison Sausage Pasta, with spring green pea pesto, whipped ricotta, Spice Acres mushrooms, and foraged nuts, paired with Farnese Montelpuciano d’Abruzzo Fantini.

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Rich, delicious, and creatively presented, this dish was a winner!

We ended our spring dining with Angel Food Cake, with Chantilly cream and rhubarb jam, paired with Marenco Moscato d’Asti.

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What a lovely evening of creative food in a creative atmosphere, shared with the lady who taught me to love both!

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