CLE Eats

Scenes from my Weekend: The Birthday Edition

I celebrated my birthday this past Friday, and as one should do, I turned it into a celebratory weekend. Nick got me some gorgeous roses and my favorite La Marca Prosecco as part of my birthday present. The other part involves a photo shoot with pet photographer extraordinaire Greg Murray.


Friday evening we got dressed up and headed out to dinner at new-to-me restaurant Trentina.


If you haven't been to Trentina yet, I highly recommend a visit. The decor is a gorgeous white + black + gold combination-- I wanted to move in. The space is pretty small and intimate- only 30 or so tables, and the experience is intimate to match. 


The food is truly exceptional. We saw General Manager, Larder Master, and Wild Food Forager  Jeremy Umansky speak at TedxCLE, and we excited to try some of the innovative creations from Trentina. Trentina's food is focussed on the northern Italian region of Trentino; the restaurant offers a 12-course, 3- hour, tasting menu experience, as well as an a la carte menu. Nick and I went the a la carte route, and it was spectacular. From the charcuterie board, to the crudo, the amazing house made pastas and pizza's, our meal was flawless. After dinner, Jeremy graciously escorted us on a tour of the kitchen and the larder, where he is working on some really interesting creations for the restaurant.


Saturday morning, the weather was so perfect that it was time for Beach Day part deux. 


Unfortunately, I misjudged the amount of sunblock necessary, and left with a slight burn on the back of my arms and the tops of my thighs. Oops. and Ouch.

Sunday, I did something truly amazing for me. For the very first time ever, I'm on target to complete a real New Year's Resolution by the end of the year. I became a licensed spin instructor!!! I am so excited to find my instructor gig (I have a pretty good idea of where I will be starting off), and really hone my skills as a ride DJ and coach!



It was a fitting end to a great weekend. Naturally we had to top it off with some delicious ice-cream and churros. 

This week is going to be a little weird for me: Tuesday I'm having surgery to fix my deviated septum, so I'm going to be a little out of it for the rest of the week. Don't worry though, I have some posts planned, so keep coming back to visit! 

Scenes From my Weekend: The July 4th edition


How is it July already? While I'm very happy that summer is firmly here, this year is going a little too fast. Did you have a good 4th weekend? Nick and I both had the day off Friday, so we really enjoyed our long weekend!

Thursday marked 11 years since Nick and I got married. Yes, we were very young, but I think we were both very mature for our age, and very clear on our expectations of each other, which is why I think we've worked so well! I don't necessarily advocate marrying young, but I do advocate being realistic about who you are, and who your partner is, and not expecting either to change. If you're in a relationship where you argue a lot while you're dating, odds are you're going to do the same when you're married. The act of marriage doesn't change a relationship-- I think its important to remember that before you take the leap.


And with that, I'm done with my Dr. Phil moment. This is one of my favorite pictures of Nick and I from a photo shoot we did a couple of years ago. Thursday evening, we headed over to Alexa & Chris' housewarming party, where I ate myself silly, enjoyed a lot of prosecco, and obsessed over Megan's necklace (below). 


After sleeping in Friday morning, Nick and I took the pups to Nano Brew for some patio time and lunch. The patio was recently re-opened after a major renovation and it looks great! Clair and Webster were on their best behavior, and got lots of petting and love from our server and tables nearby, and they even got a few treats.


Friday evening, we headed off to Charity & Ben's to celebrate baby Max's first birthday.  I didn't get any pictures of the birthday boy (shockingly I had my phone put away most of the evening), but I did manage to snag this pic of Nick holding Penny (he doesn't hold a lot of babies-- this was a momentous occasion.)


Saturday, it was time to work off Max's delicious birthday cake with a challenging 45 minute ride at Harness Cycle. Chill Pop Shop was on hand giving away delicious popsicles-- who am I to say no to such yumminess?


Nick brought the pups up to Hingetown to meet me for coffee and breakfast at Rising Star


Sweaty cuddles and selfies later, we were off to the dog park for some playtime. Clair is terrified of fireworks, and our whole goal for the day was to get her as tired as possible so that combined with anti-anxiety meds, she would just sleep through all the noise.




Post dog-park, it was porch-time in the neighborhood. My drink of choice a lovely dry rose--- perfect for a summer day!



I had the most AMAZING July 4th meal of crawfish etouffee, ribs, and mac-n-cheese.


We didn't exactly go see fireworks per se, but we could see plenty of them from our neighbor's front porch. And best of all, Clair and Webster did mostly sleep through them all!

Sunday was recover day = lots of lazing around, watching The Spoils of Babylon (such a weird, ridiculous show), and napping on the couch. Sunday evening Nick and I finally got around to celebrating our anniversary with some crab legs at Salmon Dave's


Overall,  a lovely 3-day weekend, the started and ended with us celebrating 11 years of marriage!

Explore CLE: Taste Cleveland Food Tours

For Christmas last year, our dear friends Dave and Jessika gifted us a Cleveland Food Tour. Since we had been waiting for nice weather, they joined us a few weeks ago as we actually took the tour. Taste Cleveland Food Tours offer three standard tours: The West Side Market, Little Italy, and Tremont, however they offer custom tours as well. Each tour pairs local restaurants with a look at the history and architecture of the neighborhood.

I had heard about these tours in the past, but since we had never tried one before, we decided to stick with a standard tour of Tremont. Nick and I used to live in Tremont, and being an architect, Nick knew a lot about the history and architecture of Tremont, so we weren't exactly expecting to learn anything new, but in fact, WE DID! Our tour guide was very knowledgable and led us around parts of Tremont for 3.5 hours.


If I were to summarize the experience, its like a walking tour meets progressive dinner. We met the group at 4 pm in Lincoln Park, and from there, we stopped at 4 restaurants: Prosperity Social Club, Parallax, Ty Fun, and Lilly Handmade Chocolates, although the stops are subject to change with each tour. In between eating delicious food, we learned about how Tremont came to be, and some fun facts about the neighborhood as well as the restauranteurs. Alcohol was not included in the standard tour but was available for purchase, although you can do a custom tour that includes alcohol as well.

Overall, a very fun experience, and one that I highly recommend. This would also be a great gift for Father's Day, or in general a fun gift for someone who has everything. You can make your tour reservations here.

As I mentioned previously, it is a walking tour, so comfortable shoes are key. Unfortunately, I have plantar fasciitis, so walking for 3.5 hours in flats will absolutely destroy my feet. Lucky for me, I found this pair of flats that are not only cute, but offer the kind of arch support I need.
At $99 they are a little expensive for flats, but they are worth it considering I will wear them all summer with zero pain!

So there you have it-- a lot of food and a little fashion to get your week started off just right!
XO
~ Shibani

CLE Shops: The Olive Scene

A few weeks ago, I finally made my way to the Olive Scene on Old Detroit Road in Rocky River. I say "finally" because I first heard of them when my dear friend Lisa gifted me a bottle of their harissa infused olive oil a couple of years ago. So, my tardiness in getting there really has no excuse. Anyway, my trip was a revelation into the amazing world of olive oil and balsamic vinegars--- I really had NO idea there were so many kinds!!!


When you walk in, you will immediately notice the rows of neat steel containers along the walls and down the middle of the store. First up, olive oils originating from a variety of different grapes. Next, infused olive oils, and finally, varieties of balsamic vinegar. 

I went on a major tasting spree (you taste it out of little plastic cups, like a little shot of oil)-- while I didn't really have a preference between the different types of olives, I had a few flavors of the infused oils that I really loved. Most notably, the olive, lemon, kaffir lime, baklouti green chili, and chipotle flavors. The balsamic vinegars were really amazing-- I particularly liked the fig balsamic and strawberry balsamic, which would both be perfect over some vanilla bean ice-cream. 

Prices range from $6 for the 60mL mini bottle, to $29 for the large 750mL bottle. I ended up going home with an assortment of sizes of the baklouti green chili olive oil (great with bread), lemon olive oil (fantastic when used to roast asparagus), garlic olive oil (I use this in pretty much everything and anything) and the serrano honey vinegar (will change popcorn forever). 

If you're local, I highly recommend a visit. In addition to Rocky River, the store has locations in Chagrin Falls and Vermillion. Just be prepared that you will go home with multiple bottles of deliciousness. If you're not local, you can choose to shop online, although you will not have the benefit of trying before you buy. The oils and vinegars themselves make excellent gifts, but the store also offers other italian delights like dried pasta, and gift items like pasta bowls and cheese trays. 

Get out those stretchy pants and your wallet!!!

A Very CLE Weekend

Seriously, was this the BEST weekend all year (so far)?! Warm, sunny-- fun activities…. its the little taste of summer that makes me so excited for what is to come this year!!

Friday I did not partake in the Indian home-opener festivities, instead I relaxed on the couch, doing damage to a bottle of wine and a giant bowl of homemade popcorn. After an INTENSE yoga class at Inner Bliss (seriously, so sore) I headed off to the inaugural Cleveland Flea of 2015 with Danielle and her 5-week old daughter Penny.


I seriously LOVE the Flea. Its my most favorite thing to do on a Saturday. I've come to know so many of the vendors that its basically a whole day of hanging out with friends, sampling delicious food, and buying fabulous trinkets. This flea, I was very impressed with two new vendors-- Soul Custom (pictured above) and Souls Repurpose. Both local vendors with excellent selections, and adorably styled booths (although Soul Custom was a converted semi, but still).

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Kickstarter Campaign to grow the Cleveland Flea. The Flea gets better every year, and if successfully funded, this will take the Flea to the next level. Phase I is infrastructure like beautifully handmade furniture to be a permanent part of the Flea--- all locally made of course. So if you're a fan of the Cleveland Flea, or local shops, or even supporting local economies, or fabulous community events, please consider funding this campaign.

Sunday, Nick and I tried out Cleveland's newest brunch offering, Graffiti: A Social Kitchen. A variety
of fabulous bellini flavors and a fun, innovative menu really put the "fun" in Sunday Funday. My favorite dishes were the chorizo pop tart (served with guacamole) and the breakfast strudel.  The food was so good that I completely forgot to take pictures, and the mimosas weren't half bad either ;) --- yes, I drank them all. No, of course I didn't drive!



After brunch, Nick and I took the pups down to Edgewater Park to hang out with our friend Sara. Romps on the beach later, we were back at our place to wind down into Sunday evening with some wine and cheese, and get ready for the week ahead. 

Hope you enjoyed the weekend as much as I did, and I'm looking forward to seeing you at the next Cleveland Flea on May 9th!