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Excellent Night at Lolita!

After reading all of the reviews regarding Lola & Lolita, we opted for Lolita due to price point and the desire to have a more relaxed Friday evening meal. We knew we wanted to try one of Chef Symon's restaurants, and while Lola looked amazing, the menu at Lolita was exactly what we wanted. Our reservations were for 8:00 p.m., but due to traffic, we were running late. (We drove in from Dayton, OH for the weekend, which is about 3 hours away.) I called and Anna, the hostess, was more than accomodating when I explained our situation. She let us push the reservations back to 8:30 p.m. Upon arriving, she knew exactly who I was and was so incredibly warm and welcoming! Before we were seated, Will, one of the bartenders, gave us the rundown of the menu and was one more person who made us feel right at home. I know there have been some complaints regarding the service at Chef Symon's restaurants, so I shared these details with you to provide the opposite perspective. This team is well-trained and they know how to take care of their patrons.

We had an excellent server who took care of us all night and paced the entire meal perfectly for us since she knew we were there to enjoy ourselves. We had time to peruse the menu, enjoy a glass of sparkling wine, and catch our breath before ordering. The experience was fantastic, but there were several highlights that I wanted to share in event you were wavering. about trying Lola. The roasted bone marrow was out of this world for me! The crostini pieces were a little large, but I figured out my bread to "meat butter" ratio pretty quickly. Thank goodness we're only 3 hours away! The fried brussel sprouts were the side to my entree and managed to be sweet and salty due to the anchovies and balsamic without losing the brussel sprout flavor. That combo put a new twist on sprouts for me and got my fiance to actually eat them! I had the lamb steak entree, which reminded me of a reverse salad due to the arugula, fennel, olives, and feta sprinkled on top. My finance had the pork chop and he raved about it all night. It was a huge portion and he was mesmerized by the polenta and greens, so he spent a lot of time creating the perfect bite with those flavors. He loved it and is still talking about it! After all of that, we were pretty full. But we love our sweeties and couldn't pass up dessert. We concluded the meal by sharing the Chocolate Pot de Creme, which included the chocolate base, a little chantilly cream, and a dollop of caramel with sea salt. It was the perfect portion to share and topped of a great meal with the desired level of sweetness.

It was a delicious meal and excellent service, so we can't wait to come back!

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Lolita
900 Literary Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113

Oct 30, 2010
CookEatLove in Great Lakes

Clearwater: Dinner recommendation before concert on Friday?

I think we'll take your advance for Friday night, ignat. It's been 10 years+ since I've been back to Clearwater, but have heard that traffic this time of year is a nightmare. I shared the menus with my finance last night and Vincenzo's pizzas had him drooling, so I think that's where we'll be headed.

Also, thank you for the head's up on the dress code. I love the casual Florida attitude and attire! We'll see you there!

Apr 06, 2010
CookEatLove in Florida

Clearwater: Dinner recommendation before concert on Friday?

Thanks, laboheme! Those are both great ideas for the nights that we can stay close to the beach! Kiku looks phenomenal and we both love sushi. Since we're not staying at the Sandpearl that will be a great way to check it out! The firepit, a cocktail and a snack sounds right up our alley!

Apr 06, 2010
CookEatLove in Florida

Clearwater: Dinner recommendation before concert on Friday?

Hi, Clearwater Chowhounders!

We are going to a concert at Ruth Eckard Hall on Friday evening and are staying on Clearwater Beach. I would love some help with a dinner recommendation for that evening and am hoping you guys can help us out. We'll have a rental car and are open to going out before or after the show, depending on what's available and open in the area. The concert starts at 8:00 p.m., so a late dinner would be very feasible for us, but I'm not sure if there are many options that will serve that late. Your insight would be greatly appreciated.

We're open to any kind of cuisine, but would prefer to keep our entree price point to $25 or less. We both love Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, and Italian. Also, fresh seafood will be great since we're coming from Ohio and don't get a whole lot of that up here! It is a date night for us, a little romantic ambiance would be nice too!

Any recommendations or suggestions are welcome. Also, if you have any thoughts on how dressy the venue will be on a Friday evening for a jazz concert, please feel free to share! Thank you in advance.

Apr 04, 2010
CookEatLove in Florida

Cleveland, OH - The Food Really Rocks

What a great weekend! Thanks to all of the Cleveland Chowhounds that have posted some delicious recommendations and made my research easy as pie. We spent the weekend in a delightful B&B in the Ohio City neighborhood and had everything we wanted right at our fingertips! Here are a few things that made our trip memorable.

Bar Cento/Bier Markt - Delish. And very comfortable we actually stopped here twice. Once was just to take a break and sit on the patio for a glass of wine and share a pizza. Then we opted to introduce friends to the Bier Markt side while stopping between a wedding and full reception that provided a few hours of downtime. We shared several of their lovely pizzas and pomme frites with dipping sauces as a group. The Bianco (garlic, cheese and olive oil) and Apple & Prosciutto were my two personal favorites because of the sharp flavors, but all of the pizzas our group sampled were on a delightfully simple crust. And the pomme frites were much bigger than your average frites, which made them even more special. But so did covering them in sea salt, garlic and rosemary. The Bier Markt's beer options made the rest of our group quite happy, but I opted for a glass of wine. I think I just should have gone with the flow and ordered a beer. Lesson learned. Their beer list really is impressive and has some of my favorites, and so I'm not sure why I deviated from the group. http://barcento.com/menu/

Momocho - Tequila & guacamole. The combo has never steered me wrong and in this instance, we couldn't have been happier. We stopped for a an appetizer that turned into a few drinks and several appetizers because we couldn't bear to leave the patio! (Or the appetizers.) Momocho has a tequila list that reads like a personal ad for each different style and being a tequila novice, I opted to stick with a margarita. Those more experienced with tequila tastings could probably shed a little light on where we should have started, but in the end we were happiest with the food. (Surprise, surprise.) The vast options for guacamole left my significant other feeling a bit intimidated, but I was on cloud 9 and happily consented to the traditional guacamole because I knew that we the queso fundito on the way. And it was worth it. I love chorizo and this fulfilled that need for co-mingled cheese, meat and some veggies. Oh, and the guacamole came with a lovely pairing of fresh chunky pico that had just enough salt, lime and cilantro to help balance the richness of our other two choices. Heaven. We can't wait to go back and participate in a tequila tasting! http://www.momocho.com/home.php

Flying Fig - We only stopped for dessert and a coffee after Momocho because were so incredibly full, but was was the perfect way to cap off the night. We shared ice cream and cookies - two things we know very, very well! Our ice cream selections featured strawberry and cassis, fig, and dark chocolate cherry with cookie pairings. They were the perfect size servings and brought out the flavor in the cookies quite nicely. I wish we had been able to enjoy a full meal because their menu sounds superb. I'm sure we'll be back! http://www.theflyingfig.com/menu.html

Also, as a side note, our breakfasts were provided by our hosts at the Glendennis B&B in Ohio City. Our hosts specialized in breakfast breads and sweets so the mornings have a very lovely start to the day. We both enjoy our sweet treats morning, noon and night and were also quite spoiled by the fresh squeezed orange juice provided each morning. We probably could have done without the eggs, but I think that's because we have a very particular way of cooking eggs.

All in all, we ate until our little hearts and big stomachs were content! Thank you, Cleveland!

May 20, 2009
CookEatLove in General Midwest Archive

Indianapolis, In - What's New?

Greetings, Indy Chowhounders!

I am returning home for a visit with the family and bringing the boyfriend home with me. Since he's never spent time in the Indianapolis area, I wanted to brush up on what Indy has to offer. It's been several years since I've been home and had time to venture out for a tasty meal, so I'm hoping you can fill me in on what I've been missing. We'll be in town Friday - Monday and I'm looking for a few key things that the whole family can enjoy. We're staying in Hamilton, County in the Noblesville/Fishers area, but can hop in the car at a moment's notice, so location is not a barrier to good food! Any help is appreciated! Please let me know if you have recommendations for the following:
Brunch locales that serve morning cocktails
Light Lunches for salads or sandwich
Afternoon wine tastings
BrewPub-esque dinner spots with great beer selections (live music = extra bonus points)
Another option for coffee besides Starbucks
Unique open air markets or farmers markets

Any help would be appreciated!

May 20, 2009
CookEatLove in General Midwest Archive

Key West in Nov.

This is a dream post and string of replies! Thank you to everyone that contributed. My parents and I are taking our first family vacation to Key West in over a decade and this post allowed me to create a wonderful list for breakfast, lunch & dinner or whatever craving strikes us.

Dec 05, 2008
CookEatLove in Florida

Nashville - Got a favorite spot to share?

We're heading to Nashville for a weekend of fabulous music, food and drinks. We've got the music part figured out, but want to find a few great spots for meals and snacks. At this point, I think we're looking for everything from a nice home-cookin' kind of breakfast, to local favorites for lunches, and even a sweet, romantic spot for dinner. We've got several days worth of eating to keep us occupied so, what would you suggest?

Jul 15, 2008
CookEatLove in General South Archive