Why? The Capital Grille Wagyu & Wine!

By now, I think you know that I love dining at The Capital Grille. The ambiance, service, drinks, and food are always top notch. But last night, I discovered a more relaxed, affordable side of The Capital Grille that made me love it even more!

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Wagyu & Wine is a promotion in The Capital Grille lounge area that runs now through November 17. For only $25, you get to choose one of three delicious Wagyu beef burgers, each expertly paired with a Napa Valley wine.

 

Seriously, this is a phenomenal deal, especially because the choices of both burgers and wine are out of this world!

I had a chance to sample mini versions of each of the burgers. The Wagyu Cheeseburger, with fried egg and Havarti cheese, is simply decadent, with the richness of the Wagyu and egg complementing each other so well.

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It was paired with my favorite wine of the night: Beaulieu Vineyard Carneros 2016, made specifically and exclusively for The Capital Grille.

The Wagyu Burger with Capital Grille steak sauce, grilled onions, and Vermont white cheddar was my favorite burger of the night. This tasted like French onion soup mixed with a burger.

It was paired with Beringer Knights Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015.

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Finally, the Wagyu Mushroom Burger, with soy-braised shiitake, Jarlsberg cheese, and truffle aioli. Pro tip: order a side of the truffle fries and extra truffle aioli, at which point you actually turn into a truffle!

This burger is paired with Stags’ Leap The Investor 2014.

Wagyu & Wine is a great deal not only because of the delicious flavors and pairings, but because of the high quality of both the burgers and wine included in this promotion. Stop in to The Capital Grille at Legacy Village before November 17 to experience it for yourself!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary Wine & Wagyu tasting event at The Capital Grille with a guest. I also 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? Crepes in the City!

Yesterday, I met up with my friends Robin and Amy at this charming little spot in Downtown Willoughby: Crepes in the City.

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Serving a selection of crepes, waffles, and ice cream, this is the perfect spot to indulge either your sweet or savory side (perhaps both!)

I chose the cannoli crepe, filled with cannoli cream with chocolate chips and strawberries and topped with strawberries and a chocolate drizzle.

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This was decadent without being over-the-top sweet. And the crepe was thin, crisp, and made to perfection.

Robin got the s’mores crepe, with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and graham cracker and upped the ante by topping it with chocolate ice cream!

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Holy indulgence!

Amy got the savory Greek crepe, with chicken, tomato, onion, green peppers, feta, olives, spinach, and Greek dressing.

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Hearty and satisfying, the savory crepes make for a great lunch option!

Crepes in the City also offers Belgian waffles, breakfast crepes, and ice cream sundaes, so there’s something for every time and taste.

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We discovered their cute little back patio, which was the perfect spot to eat and chat.

Crepes in the City is charming and delicious. Give it a try!

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Why? Weekends, Part 2!

So, here’s the second half of the weekend…

CIAO! Cleveland

On Saturday, I dropped by a new Cleveland festival: CIAO! Cleveland, put on by NOIA Foundation to kick off Italian Heritage Month.

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I described this festival to a friend as a smaller, less crazy version of the Feast of the Assumption and I stand by that description. Held on the East Bank of the Flats, there were tons of food vendors, music, merchandise, and beer and wine.

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I couldn’t resist a serving of Luca Italian Cuisine‘s amazing sacchetti appetizer, which is truffled perfection!

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Then, I headed over to the demo tent to watch Chef Fabio Salerno of Lago East Bank prepare their most popular pasta dish: lobster gnocchi.

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With lobster, heirloom tomatoes, corn, truffle sauce, and homemade gnocchi, it’s easy to see (and taste) why this dish is the restaurant’s most popular one.

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Chef Salerno made cooking it very approachable too…I may have to try making it myself one of these days!

CIAO! Cleveland was such a fun celebration of Italian food and heritage! I definitely hope it becomes an annual tradition!

***Disclosure: I was asked by NOIA Foundation to help promote CIAO! Cleveland. In exchange, I received a complimentary press pass to the demo tent events. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

John Carroll Homecoming

This weekend was also John Carroll University‘s Homecoming weekend. I got to spend some time up on campus twice: for my first meeting as a member of the John Carroll Alumni Association Board

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…and for the Homecoming Mass and Brunch on Sunday.

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It’s always so nice to be back up on campus and especially when I can have Jeffrey there with me!

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Weekends, Part 1!

It was a busy weekend, so I’m splitting up the weekend recap:

Firehouse Subs

On Friday night, we grabbed a quick and tasty dinner at Firehouse Subs. These subs aren’t your typical sub shop sandwiches. They are hot and tasty and substantial.

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We tried the new Nashville Hot Brisket, the Sweet and Spicy Meatball, and the Firehouse Steak and Cheese.

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All were packed with delicious meats and cheeses, served hot and fresh.

Plus, Firehouse Subs is a super fun place to bring the kids, with firefighters uniforms and all kinds of engaging décor.

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Firehouse Subs also collects money to support local fire departments by helping them purchase necessary equipment. Jeffrey donated $1 of his own money to the fund!

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And now, every Sunday at Firehouse Subs, you can get a kids meal for 99 cents with the purchase of an adult combo meal.

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So, not only are you getting a great meal, you’re getting a great deal too!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the kids meal deal at Firehouse Subs. In exchange, I received a complimentary meal. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Jurassic World Live Tour

On Saturday, we took Jeffrey to see Jurassic World Live Tour.

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From tons of giant, lifelike dinosaurs…

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…to an entertaining storyline with lots of scientific tidbits…

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…to, did I mention the really cool dinos?

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Jeffrey had a great time and really engaged with the story.

We also got to see the brand new Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, which is shiny and bright and so different from what you remember.

I can’t wait to spend more time there!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Jurassic World Live Tour. In exchange, I received complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our busy weekend!

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Why? The Fairmount!

This week, I had a fun Moms’ Night Out with the Gesu Young Families group at The Fairmount. Despite spending a lot of time around the Cedar-Fairmount District, I had somehow never been to this cozy, tasty spot.

Our group was in the bar area of The Fairmount, which is large, with plenty of seating both at the bar and at high-top tables and cozy couches. If that’s not your style, The Fairmount has a lovely, quieter dining area, as well as an adorable, secluded patio.

I ordered a bourbon cocktail, as has become my habit these days. The Blind Date has sage and allspice-infused Russell’s 10-year bourbon, date-infused vermouth, and bitters. Rich and flavorful, this was a fantastic drink!

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I am intrigued by The Fairmount’s shared cocktails, which serve 4-5 people, and come in Moscow Mule, Sangria, Scorpion Bowl, and Mimosa. I definitely will be rounding up a group to try these soon!

To nosh, I ordered the Cast Iron Brussels, a popular choice with our group. Tossed in balsamic vinaigrette, these make eating your veggies a piece of cake!

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I also ordered the Kung Pao Chicken Fritters, with crushed peanuts, pickled peppers, green onions, and yum yum sauce. Lightly breaded and with just enough spice, these were a perfect nibble.

The Fairmount has an expansive happy hour menu, offered Monday through Friday from 4-7pm. Seriously, you can save on everything from craft cocktails to tacos. Check it out!

For a restaurant with a neighborhood-bar feel and delicious food and cocktails, give The Fairmount a try!

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Why? Wine Down and Sweets Café Giveaway!

When I met Tammy, the owner of Wine Down and Sweets Café in Strongsville, she told me that the spot is more than just a coffee shop, café, bakery, or wine bar. It’s a place to have an experience. And that’s certainly true.

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From cozy and cute décor, a selection of board games, a focus on local wines and beverages (hi, M Cellars and Pope’s Kitchen), and a full food menu, Wine Down and Sweets Café has everything you need to have a full, relaxing, fun experience.

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From a gourmet coffee bar and decadent single-serve cupcakes, brownies, and more…

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…to wine tasting flights…

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…to sandwiches, wraps, salads, and shareable plates…

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…this spot has more than I could have imagined when I first walked through the door.

Wine Down and Sweets Café also hosts a series of fun events, such as wine and paint, live music, and more.

To help you discover the complete Wine Down and Sweets Café experience, I have a $25 gift card to give away. Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, or all three entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1. Leave a comment here telling me what you’d most like to try at Wine Down and Sweets Café.

2. Visit Wine Down and Sweets Café and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both.

3. Follow @wdsc2018 and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

The giveaway will close on Monday, October 7 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

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Why? Legacy Village Fall Fashion Finds!

Despite the warm weather, it is fall, y’all! And this is one of my favorite fashion seasons. You can be cozy, without being all covered up by heavy jackets. You can layer. And you can start wearing deeper, richer colors.

I recently did a little shopping excursion around Legacy Village to find some of my favorite looks for fall. Here’s the looks I’m loving for this season and where I found them:

Animal Print

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m crazy for animal print this season! And why not? Animal prints mix well with lots of different solid colors, they’re fun and playful, and you have no shortage of options this fall season when it comes to adding a hint of the jungle to your wardrobe.

Stop in to White House Black Market to check out their animal prints.

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With everything from tops to pants to dresses, there’s a leopard look that will fit your style! White House Black Market also has the perfect solid-color tops and bottoms to pair with your print of choice.

Jackets

So, it might not feel like it right now, but fall is jacket season and the best ones are both functional and cute. I love a moto jacket for casual days and nights, like this one from Banyan Tree.

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Paired with a super-soft Emily Roggenburk Cleveland tee (because Cleveland pride is always in style), I am loving this look for a clambake or fall festival.

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Blazers are also back in a big way this fall. This soft gray blazer with the most adorable elbow patches is from LOFT.

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From work wear to the perfect item to throw on with jeans, this structured look is definitely my style!

Plum

If this fall has a color, it’s plum. You’re seeing it everywhere from athleisure to dresses. Here are two of my favorite plum pieces at Legacy Village:

This skirt from LOFT. It’s perfect for the office, but I paired it with this more casual black tee that can easily take it to happy hour too. I love the zipper details too!

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In cooler weather, this will pair perfectly with tights and boots!

And this sweater dress from Banyan Tree, with hints of plum, is also on my list. I just generally love sweater dresses and this one has pockets too!

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So, as you’re refreshing your closet for fall, look no further than Legacy Village for all the must-have pieces to make this season your most fashionable!

***Dislcosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village, for which I receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. I also was invited by LOFT at Legacy Village to host a shopping party, at which I received two complimentary items of my choice. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

It was a mostly nostalgic weekend around these parts…

Magnificat Reunion

I celebrated my 20-year (eek!) high school reunion this weekend. On Friday night, I met up with my Magnificat High School Class of 1999 classmates at Townhall.

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From old yearbooks to 90’s music to a montage of old pictures and memory books, it was a trip down high school lane.

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We were in the new upstairs room at Townhall, which was the perfect space for a group! From a private bar to plenty of seating and mingling space to cute decor, this is a great spot!

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The specialty drink for the evening was the Blue Streak, the Magnificat mascot (and a darn tasty drink, too).

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It was so fun catching up in person with everyone!

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On Saturday evening, I went back to Magnificat itself for the reunion weekend Mass. My dear friend Melissa was singing at the Mass and it was a wonderful chance to be reminded how much the mission of the school means to me still.

I also got to show Jeffrey around a little bit and he met some of my former teachers, which was really fun!

I was a bit ambivalent about attending reunion, especially since I’ve stayed so much more in touch with my college alma mater than my high school one. But I’m really glad I went and reconnected with that place and those women who meant a lot to me.

Patterson’s Fun Fest

On Sunday, Jeffrey and I went to Patterson’s Fruit Farm for their Fun Fest, which has become an annual tradition for us.

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From slides to pony rides to hay bale and corn mazes to buying pumpkins and the best apple cider on the planet, a trip to Patterson’s will leave you fully immersed in that fall feeling, no matter what the weather is going to be like this week!

Patterson’s Fun Fest is open daily through Sunday, October 27. Admission is $5 per person on weekdays and $8 per person on weekends. Don’t miss your chance for some good old fashioned fall fun!

How was your weekend?

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Why? Republic Food and Drink!

This week, I met up with fellow Playhouse Square Partners members for a dine-around in the Playhouse Square District.

At our dine-arounds, we select four restaurants that are geographically close together and split into small groups to enjoy a meal. Then we all meet up for an after-dinner drink together.

In the Playhouse Square District, we visited Ghost Light Restaurant and Lounge, Yours Truly, Puente Viejo, and Republic Food and Drink, all close to the theaters and great choices for pre- or post-theater dining. Our after-dinner drink was at Parnell’s Pub, a perennial Partners favorite.

I was in the group at Republic Food and Drink, which is a part of the Driftwood Group. This relatively-new restaurant occupies the former Otto Moser’s space and has transformed the old deli standby it into a comfortable, modern, delicious spot.

The list of bourbon cocktails alone had me happy! But the expansive menu of elevated comfort food sealed the deal. Our table shared the Pub Onion to start, a crispy-fried Vidalia onion with Carolina Gold Ranch.

I couldn’t pass up the Chicken Fried Chicken, with whipped potato, bourbon bacon green beans, and black pepper gravy.

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The chicken was tender and the breading was crisp. The potatoes and gravy were well-executed and the bourbon bacon green beans could make anyone eat their veggies.

Other comfort food favorites around the table included the Baked Mac ‘n Cheese, the Pork Schnitzel, and the Short Rib Stroganoff.

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As we head into Fall, the menu is perfect for cooler nights…warm up with an Old Fashioned and some Short Ribs!

And if you want to explore the Playhouse Square District with Partners, join us on Monday, October 7 for our Recess Scavenger Hunt to benefit arts education. Tickets are only $10!

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

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Why? RetroMania Giveaway!

On Thursday, October 10, RetroMania invites you to grub, groove, and give at the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.

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You can party like it’s 1969 to celebrate St. Augustine Health Ministries, which was founded in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood in 1969. Groove to the sounds of SHOUT!, Cleveland’s ultimate party band playing the music of the 60’s and 70’s.

Get your grub on with small bites from great local restaurants, including Tinman, Rocky River Wine Bar, Element 41, Parker’s Downtown, Berea Depot, and more.

And give, as proceeds benefit St. Augustine Health Ministries, which is a mission-driven, faith-based, not-for-profit organization founded by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland, dedicated to providing a continuum of health care and social services within the community. The Health Ministries ensure that the needs of every individual are met with dignity, comfort and love.

Tickets are $100 for general admission, which includes food, 2 drink tickets, and valet parking and $150 for VIP admission, which includes a VIP reception, food, unlimited beer and wine, and valet parking. You can purchase tickets online. Or you can enter to win two tickets to RetroMania right here!

Here’s how to enter:

1. Leave a comment here telling me your favorite 60’s or 70’s song.

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

The giveaway will close on Monday, September 30 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

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