Saturday, June 13, 2009

Where does she get those wonderful toys?

Holy man-tights, Batman... Where have all the cowboys gone? For that matter, where has all of my time gone???

Once again I find myself making an apology for not posting! Let's see, where to begin...

Jeff and I went to the Beachland Ballroom Prom two weeks ago and had a pretty rockin' time. Since our reservations for L'Albatros fell through (read: were not made), Jeff picked out Light Bistro for dinner.

Light Bistro was one of the best restaurants I've ever been to. We're actually going again tonight because Jeff's parents are visiting Cleveland to celebrate his birthday (which isn't until next week). Here's a rundown of what we ate!

Bonus Appetizer - Bacon wrapped Dates stuffed with almonds and Valdeon cheese

These were fantastic, and I was sad when they were gone. The bacon was perfectly smoked and salty, while the cheese had an amazing texture and I loved it, despite it actually being blue cheese - ew ew ew ew (normally) . The almonds provided texture and the obvious nuttiness - and I can't even begin to say enough nice things about dates. I love them. Put them all together in a warm, crispy little baconified date-mummy and you've got something magical.


First Course(s) - PEI Mussels with Lemongrass, Coconut Milk and Lime / Shredded Apple salad with Manchego cheese, walnuts, and citrus vinagrette

I went with a first here, and tried the mussels and I'm very glad that I did. 10-12 PEI mussels came in a little bowl with a lot of coconut milk. There was so much, I wished that I had been given a spoon to drizzle more of it over the mussels - there was a good bit left in the bottom of the bowl at the end. The limes were grilled, and this changed the timbre of the lime's flavor. I enjoyed eating the limes - with and without the mussels!

Jeff had the Apple/Manchego salad, and I wished I had gotten this. The idea however, was to share our courses and that's what we did. This salad was almost fun to eat, and I can't exactly explain why. It was light, crispy and subtle. I told Jeff that I want to buy a shredder so that we can recreate the salad. I don't have my shredder yet, but I did make a similar salad using Geauga County smoked cheddar cheese I bought from Zagara's and walnuts. I made the vinagrette myself, but it was less subtle and not as good.


Second Courses - Sweet Potato Ravioli with Rustic Ratatouille and Nutmeg Cream / Grilled Peach Barbequed Quail with Merguez sausage, Cous cous and Peaches

again I found myself with entree envy, seeing Jeff's dish. That's why I'm starting with his. At dinner, I described eating the ravioli like "eating a pillow" - sadly enough the mental imagery doesn't transpose well. This entire dish, its texture and flavors almost seemed to ask to be eaten. I think that's a little strange to say, but I'm going to 1-up it here by saying that this dish was like clearing four lines in Tetris - everything just fit and you just score. Celebration ensues, and you just hope you can do it again in the near future.

Sadly this menu item is going away very soon, it's on their Fall/Winter menu and they're about to premiere their Summer menu. Get it while you can, it's completely worth it.

My entree was also very good, but paled in comparison to the ravioli. Perhaps I lack the knowledge of how to properly eat a quail, or maybe it's that I can't grok the price of quail in Cleveland, but I felt the need to eat this dish very slowly because of how small it was. I did feel like I was missing out on parts of my dish because I didn't want to sit there in a gaudy pink taffeta dress and pick at the tiny thigh bones of the quail as if I were dining at LB's Rib Shack. The peach was not noticable in this dish, not really even in the 5-6 little cubes of peach on the plate. I know that subtlety is part of the art in some dishes, but the peach in this entree needs a bigger voice - or the entree needs a new name. I wouldn't get this again, but it still doesn't mean I didn't enjoy every last bite - it was not what had been advertised, though.


Third Courses - Strawberry Panna Cotta / Apple and Pear Cobbler with Cinnamon Ice Cream

I'm not going to describe much about the cobbler, only because most cooked fruit really isn't my bag, baby. It was good, but not my thing at all. The panna cotta however, was just about as perfect as any panna cotta could aspire to be, I imagine. Truthfully I'd never had the dish before, and I'm afraid I wouldn't like it as much - having Light Bistro's rendition be my first impression. The strawberries were drizzled with a balsamic reduction and everything sat on butter cookie crumbles. I hope they keep this on their summer menu, it does really seem like a summery and refreshing dessert.


And now, PROM! Our favorite band was the Helper T-Cells (like last year). We danced and played with silly toys on the tables... We were prom king and queen! Hooray for the slightly nerdy people! Woo! We still have our little grass hats (it was a luau theme) and we might actually hang them somewhere in the house.

This weekend proves to be a busy one. Jeff and I are riding in the Sunday in June bicycle tour sponsored by the Cleveland Touring Club. Jeff is riding the 62 miler, and I am riding 50. This will be my longest ride yet, so we'll see how that goes.

I have also opted to do the century loop on the first day of Pedal to the Point in August. The loop will be named after my company's late CEO - so a lot of people on the cycling team have committed to doing the loop on at least one day of the tour. If I only do the century on the first day, I will have a total of 175 miles in two days. (several thousand calories)

Jeff and two more kitties joined my Little Italy apartment two weeks ago and we're doing well. My cat doesn't like Eponine (Jeff's youngest cat) but they're basically polar opposites in personality. It'll take time, and possibly fake cat pheromones to fix it all. It's getting better, but I'd be lying if I told you it wasn't a little heartbreaking to stress out my old kitty this way.