Why? S’mores Pairing with Sweet Costo!

This week, my dear friend Maria and I had a super sweet evening with Sweet Costo at Western Reserve Distillers.

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But before we got to the s’mores pairing, we grabbed some dinner at Distill Table. There’s a whole menu of cocktails at Distill Table named after local landmarks, which is so fun.

Maria dove right in to the s’mores theme of the evening and had the Mastick Woods, with High West Bourbon, High West Campfire, smoked syrup, chocolate bitters, graham cracker, and toasted marshmallow.

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I had the Memphis Kiddie Park, with Old Overholt Rye, Orgeat, HM Peach Cordial, Angostura, and ginger beer.

We shared the Crispy Brussels, with whipped lemon ricotta, bacon, honey, and ciabatta to start. And by shared, I mean devoured!

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For dinner, I had the Coconut Curry Shrimp Quinoa Bowl, with toasted quinoa, peppers, tomatoes, basil, salted almonds, and fresh lime. This was a flavorful, but not spicy, curry.

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Maria had the Twin Peaks Farm Meatloaf, with potato puree, crispy onions, and pineapple ketchup. Both were elevated, delicious comfort food dishes!

Then we headed next door to Western Reserve Distillers for the s’mores pairing event. Shelby of Sweet Costo created four original s’mores desserts, that were paired with a red wine, an Imperial stout, and Western Reserve Distillers whiskey.

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We had a s’mores candy bar (marshmallow forward), a s’mores macaron (chocolate forward), and a “traditional” s’more with homemade graham crackers. There was also a shot of graham cracker liquor in a marshmallow cup!

Shelby kicked off the pairing by not only explaining the desserts, but why she felt the drinks were good compliments to them. She also gave us the history of s’mores! From there, the tasting was self-guided. You could try each beverage with each dessert and decide which pairings you enjoyed best.

Personally, my favorites were the macaron with the red wine and the traditional s’more with the Imperial Stout.

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Western Reserve Distillers also created amazing s’more-themed cocktails for the evening It was a sweet evening of delicious food, tasty cocktails, and lots of good girl talk!

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Why? It’s Still Summer at Legacy Village!

While the stores are starting to stock pumpkin spice and Halloween decorations, there is still plenty of time to enjoy summer at Legacy Village.

Dine on a Patio

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to dine al fresco. Legacy Village has four great patio options surrounding their Lawn, where you can enjoy a meal outdoors, along with some people-watching and summer breezes.

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Stop in to Bar Louie, Brio Tuscan Grille, Wild Mango, or California Pizza Kitchen and snag a patio table to soak in the summery vibes of eating outside. Then pop over to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to cool down with some ice cream.

Bonus if you can do this on a night when Legacy Live is happening, so you can enjoy the live music, too!

Outdoor Events

Legacy Village’s outdoor events are a great way to hang on to that summer feeling. Legacy Live, a free outdoor concert series, continues every Friday and Saturday evening through Saturday, August 31.

Food Truck Mondays continue through Monday, August 26 to give you a tasty, picnic-atmosphere lunch option.

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Yoga in the Village has two more events this summer to get your downdog on outdoors: tonight (Tuesday, August 20) and Tuesday, September 17.

And the North Union Farmers Market continues its outdoor market packed with seasonal deliciousness at Legacy Village every Sunday through Sunday, September 29.

The Generous Pour

If you have never experienced The Generous Pour at The Capital Grille, don’t let your summer end without giving it a try!

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The event includes unlimited pours of seven wines that you can add on to your meal at The Capital Grille. It’s a perfect way to toast to the end of a fabulous summer! You can enjoy The Generous Pour through Sunday, September 1.

Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer is the quintessential summer wardrobe, so stop by the store at Legacy Village to grab that perfect dress, romper, or accessories to end your summer in style!

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Get a Pedicure

Before you stash the flip-flops away, treat your feet to a pedicure at Anthony Vince Nail Salon, Ladies and Gentlemen Aveda Salon and Spa, or Sola Salon Studios.

No matter how you send out your summer, there are great ways to do it at 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.***

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Why? The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom!

We all know that The Cleveland Orchestra is a world-class orchestra. But seeing The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center is also a world-class experience.

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On Sunday, Matthew and I attended a show with the Blossom Festival Orchestra and Brian Wilson, celebrating the iconic “Pet Sounds” album (as well as lots of Beach Boys classics). This was so exciting for me, since my first concert was seeing The Beach Boys at Blossom.

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But before the music even starts, there are new features at Blossom that make an evening there with The Cleveland Orchestra even more spectacular! The newly-opened Tasting Room offers wine, beer, and desserts to enjoy in the Tasting Room or take with you to your seats in a handy, yours-to-keep carafe.

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At all The Cleveland Orchestra concerts, the featured wines in the Tasting Room are themed on what the orchestra is playing. So, at Sunday’s show with Brian Wilson, the wines were from California.

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You can also order boxed lunches or picnic baskets from the Tasting Room to enjoy on the lawn or in one of the cute new seating areas.

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Beyond The Tasting Room, the Blossom Grill offers full-service, sit-down dining or you can enjoy one of the many food truck vendors lining the lawn.

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Matthew and I grabbed dinner from The Shuckin’ Shack. The BBQ pulled chicken was delicious, as was the garlic parmesan roasted corn.

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If you’re a season subscriber to The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, you get exclusive access to Kulas Plaza, which includes a bar, food vendors, seating, restrooms, and easy access to the pavilion.

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We also got a glimpse of all the backstage action. The backstage set-up at Blossom is truly impressive and massive, with practice rooms, dressing rooms, catering services, and everything to keep shows from The Cleveland Orchestra to rock ‘n roll up and running.

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Then it was time for the show! It was such a cool throwback for me to see Brian Wilson and hear music that I enjoyed at my first concert ever. The Blossom Festival Orchestra added such great depth to the music too.

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From taking us through the entire “Pet Sounds” album to an encore dance party of Beach Boys favorites, it was a wonderful night!

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The Cleveland Orchestra has three more concerts left at Blossom this season: Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances on Saturday, August 17; South Pacific in Concert on Saturday, August 24 (a collaboration with the Baldwin Wallace Music Theatre Program); and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on Friday, August 30 through Sunday, September 1.

Of course, you can also catch The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall. Learn more about the 2019-2020 series here.

For a magical night of music, food, and fun, don’t miss your chance to see The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center!

***Disclosure: I was invited by The Cleveland Orchestra to attend a show at Blossom Music Center. I received two complimentary tickets to the show, a parking pass, and drink vouchers. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

We had a wild time not just at the Zoo this weekend…here’s what we were up to:

Vintage Ohio

On Saturday, my friend Anne and I (and Jeffrey) headed to the Lake Metroparks Farm Park for Vintage Ohio Wine Festival.

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This year marked the 25th annual Vintage Ohio, which brings together the best of Ohio wines, along with crafts, food, music, and more.

Anne and I already knew we liked the wines from Gervasi Vineyard, but it never hurts to taste test to confirm!

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We also discovered a nice sparkling wine from Valley Vineyards.

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Buckeye Winery offered lots of interesting flavored wines. We both tried the jalapeño wine, which I can’t imagine drinking an entire glass of, but was quite nice when you added Bloody Mary mix.

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And we both took home a bottle of the Carménère from Urban Vintner (also, there’s a winery in my neighborhood that I didn’t know about…I’m failing).

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All of us rode the ferris wheel and got some lovely views of Lake County.

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It was a fun day of great weather, great wines, and great friends!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Ohio Wine Producers Association to help promote Vintage Ohio. In exchange, I received complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Beach Days

We also spent a lot of time on the Lake Erie shore this weekend. On Saturday, Matthew competed in the AIA Cleveland Beach Day sand castle competition at Edgewater Beach. Of course, Jeffrey and I had to stop up to cheer him on!

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The team from AECOM (where Matthew works) has won the competition for the last five years straight, so they have quite the dynasty. It’s always so cool to see what the different teams create! This year, his team built “Nautical Nonsense on the Cuyahoga,” with lots of SpongeBob characters.

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There were sand castle Rock Halls and Cuyahoga Rivers and even the Game of Thrones iron throne! You can see all the castles and participate in voting for your favorite sand castle on the AIA Cleveland Facebook page.

On Sunday, we found ourselves back on the shore, but further east at Headlands Beach State Park. Jeffrey enjoyed building sand castles and being silly with his cousins!

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We’re so lucky to have great beaches in the Cleveland area and to be able to enjoy lake breezes and seashore fun!

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So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Twilight at the Zoo!

Friday night brought one of the wildest parties of the summer to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo: Twilight at the Zoo, a fundraiser for the Cleveland Zoological Society.

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We started out in the VIP area. Twilight at the Zoo is an event where the VIP upgrade is really worth it: you get reserved parking, more food options, and a full bar, as well as some additional bands to hear.

We noshed on nibbles from Bonefish Grill, Carabba’s Italian Grill, Cleveland Kraut, Graeter’s Ice Cream, and Aramark.

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And the Cleveland Whiskey bourbon lemonade was the perfect summer sipper.

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Then we headed to the main event to hear some of the best bands in Cleveland. We always love Billy Likes Soda

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…and Faction, both of whom keep the crowd singing and dancing all night.

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Plus, we got to check out the Asian Lantern Festival, which was all lit up for the party-goers.

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If you want to have a wild time at the Zoo yourself, you can grab tickets this morning for another great Cleveland Zoological Society fundraiser: Date Night at the ZOOvies. The event takes place on Friday, September 6 and includes complimentary beer, wine, and appetizers, along with a showing of “The Goonies” in the Zoo’s Savanna Theater (with movie snacks to enjoy during the film).

Tickets are $90 for a couple or $55 for an individual. This event always sells out quickly, so grab your tickets ASAP! They go on sale today (Monday, August 5) at 9am!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Twilight at the Zoo and Date Night at the ZOOvies. In exchange, I received four complimentary VIP tickets to Twilight at the Zoo and two complimentary tickets to Date Night at the ZOOvies. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Taste of the Browns!

Training camp has started and everyone is getting excited for the upcoming Cleveland Browns season. There’s another reason to celebrate the return of football to The Land: the annual Taste of the Browns to benefit the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, happening Monday, September 9 at FirstEnergy Stadium.

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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! Every dollar raised can provide four meals to those in need.

Your ticket includes wine and beer tastings, as well as delicious nibbles from some of Cleveland’s best restaurants, like Fahrenheit, Momocho, Pier W, Blue Point Grille, Zack Bruell Restaurants, B Spot Burgers, and 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.

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This year’s honorary co-chairs for the event are Chef Rocco Whalen, Jarvis Landry, and Josh Cribbs.

 

Tickets for Taste of the Browns are currently on sale for $175 for general admission and $250 for VIP admission. Prices increase on Thursday, August 8 to $200 for general admission and $295 for VIP admission, so score your tickets today! You can purchase tickets online.

Hope to see you at this gastronomic gridiron!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to help promote Taste of the Browns. 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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Why? Think Pink at Opal on Pearl!

Old Brooklyn has become a hot spot in the last couple of years, with lots of new businesses generating lots of buzz. Last night, two of those businesses combined forces for a delicious evening.

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Think Pink brought together Opal on Pearl and Lilly Chocolates and Confections for a rosé and chocolate pairing. There were six stations to stroll around and enjoy at your own pace, each with a perfectly paired wine and nibble.

The first table paired Mia Cantina Sparkling Rosé with a nine-grain crostini topped with ginger peach jam, drunken goat cheese, and grilled peaches.

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It doesn’t get more summery than rosé and peaches!

The next table paired 2018 Maison Nicholas Rosé with a milk chocolate tart cherry cocoa nib mendiant.

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If you know Lilly Chocolates, you know their creations often combine a lot of interesting flavors and textures. Think Pink’s treats were no exception. The sweet chocolate and tart cherry also definitely enhance the cherry notes in the wine.

Our third stop paired a 2018 Maison Saleya Rosé with a Morello cherry paté de fruits with fresh orange zest and candied ginger.

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This non-chocolate based confection was delightful and again really enhanced some of the more tart flavors in the wine.

Next up, we enjoyed a 2017 Acrobat Rosé with two truffles: orange zest and brandy in dark chocolate and key lime and honey in strawberry chocolate.

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I have to confess to not loving this wine at first sip. But when paired with the truffles, it was a perfect match!

Our penultimate stop paired 2018 Terra d’Oro Rosé with white chocolate grapefruit mousse topped with tropical citrus salsa and candied violets.

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I’m not usually a big fan of white chocolate, but the grapefruit and citrus salsa balanced the sweetness quite nicely.

Finally, we enjoyed a 2018 Carpineto Dogojolo Rosé Toscana paired with white chocolate pistachio paté with fresh cherries tossed with mint and orange.

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Every bite and sip was perfectly matched! Tony from Opal on Pearl and Amanda from Lilly Chocolates obviously pair together as well as all their stations did.

I love seeing local businesses come together to share their talents and bring even more people into their growing neighborhood. What a delicious evening!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Opal on Pearl to help promote Think Pink! In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Ohio State Fair Giveaway!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Ohio State Fair. In exchange, I received complimentary tickets, a parking pass, food vouchers, and compensation. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Hello from Columbus! We spent the night in the 614 after a fun-filled day yesterday at the Ohio State Fair. The Fair opened yesterday and continues through August 4. And while there are tons of fairs and festivals in the summer, there are lots of things that make the Ohio State Fair unique and worth the drive!

The Butter Sculptures

OK, seriously, these are some crazy works of art, all made out of butter. Also, if you’re a West Wing fan, you can do the entire “butter cow” bit.

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This year’s theme celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, with butter astronauts and more.

In the same building, you can also snag some of the special Moon Landing Ice Cream: orange ice cream with a marshmallow swirl and brownie chunks.

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Which leads me to…

The Food

Sure, there are all your standard fair food options: deep-fried this and that, corn on a stick, etc.

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But there’s also the Taste of Ohio Cafe, with Ohio chicken, pork, and beef farmers serving up delicious eats.

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The pork tenderloin sandwich is my absolute favorite. It’s tender, juicy, and doesn’t need any sauces or extra seasonings to make it mouth-watering.

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In the Taste of Ohio Cafe, you can also find Ohio wines and craft beers.

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Just outside the Taste of Ohio Cafe, grab a buckeye funnel cake from KG Concessions.

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This Ohio-shaped fried marvel is topped with powdered sugar, peanut butter, and chocolate.

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So decadent!

The Rides

The sheer volume and variety of rides at the Ohio State Fair is enough to keep everyone happy, from the smallest to the most adventurous.

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The all-day ride wristband is a great deal and will let you explore all the rides as much as you want.

The Entertainment

From acrobatics and stage entertainers

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…to a daily parade…

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…to a slew of big-name concerts and smaller musical acts, there’s always something to see and hear at the Ohio State Fair!

The Animals

Cows! Sheep! Horses! Pigs! Row after row of critters, winning prizes, being shown, and just hanging out in their farm-animal cuteness.

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One of the big reasons we love the Ohio State Fair is that it brings together city and country so well. You can see the pride that generations take in their livestock and honestly learn more about farming, raising animals, alternative fuels, and sustainability.

So, have I convinced you yet to hop in the car and cruise down 71 South to visit the Ohio State Fair? (Hey, you can always stop at Grandpa’s Cheesebarn on the way!)

The Ohio State Fair is open daily through Sunday, August 4. Tickets are $10 for adults ages 13-59, $8 for seniors 60+, $8 for children ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under.

You can enter to win a four-pack of tickets to the Ohio State Fair 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 entry):

1. Leave a comment here telling me which part of the Ohio State Fair you’re most excited to experience.

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

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

4. Follow @OhioStateFair 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 @OhioStateFair tickets from @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/07/25/why-ohio-state-fair-giveaway-2/

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

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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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