last night, for the second year in a row, i've had the pleasure of attending the american liver foundation FLAVORS of northeast ohio dining event.
this year the event was held at the fabulous ritz carlton silver grille in the higbee building in downtown cleveland.
basically the some of the northeast ohio's premiere chefs prepare a table side 5 course meal with wine pairings for a table of ten. it's an intimate affair fueled by good food, good wine and great company for an important cause.
before dinner is served all the chefs prepare hors d'oeures for the attendees to sample during the cocktail hour. my friend and fellow blogger michelle (cleveland foodie), and i deemed blue canyon's caribbean jerk duck wings, and the greenhouse tavern's beef tartar starter dishes the best.
i simply can't get enough of chef sawyer's tartar - um, yum.
for dinner i had the pleasure of sitting at chef steve schimoler's table who is the executive chef and owner of warehouse district's crop bistro.
i've been on a crop bistro kick lately and am a big fan of schimoler's concept so i was overly excited to see what kinds of dishes he was going to come up with to serve us. and man was i impressed.
course one - Lobster and Pearls: when i first saw "pearls" listed i was thinking onions, but in all actuality it was tapioca pearls which are something i've never had in the non-sweet variety but it ended up being a really cool concept and was SO tasty. plus, everything is better with lobster. wine pairing - santa margherita prosecco brut.
course two - Squash Bisque with Duck Confit and Truffle Cream: as my friend batch said after tasting her first bite, "it's like fall in a bowl", and it was exactly that. with a hearty portion of duck with the smallest hint of the truffle i could eat this bisque everyday. wine pairing - les domaniers (domaine ott) rose.
course three - Shaved Fennel and Late Summer Tomato Salad: this salad introduced me to my new favorite cheese - tallegrio - a brie style cheese with amazing nutty flavor that went perfectly with the fennel and a 50 year old sherry vinaigrette. wine pairing - castello sonnino virginio.
course four - Rack of Lamb with Nicoise Salad and Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette: i'm greek, so i know my lamb and this was hands down the best rack of lamb i have ever had (sorry mom). the combination of the cool white and green beans of the nicoise salad with kalamata olives and roasted tomatoes were unlike anyway i've ever had lamb. it was perfect! wine pairing - la fiorita laurus (a blend of sangiovese and merlot)
course five - Apple Bread Pudding with Creme Angliase and Apple Slaw: this dessert was perfectly executed - with just the right balance of being sweet and tart. the vanilla bean creme angilase was awesome. wine pairing - munzenrieder gruner veltliner welschriesling (a white ice wine).
so yeah, you can say we ate and drank pretty well huh?
if you have yet to dine at crop bistro, i highly recommend it for lunch or dinner - they have great cocktails (i gave them best cocktails in my best of the plum post), and a great space worth checking out.