Laura and I went up to the West Side Market today to get some food for a dinner we are hosting Friday. (it will be really good, braised short ribs, prosciutto roll appetizers, a fennel and celery salad or citrus and olive puree salad and more…)
We met and talked to a few vendors. They were all very nice, especially one from a cheese stand. She is a chef and when she heard I was using fennel she was happy. She said it is under used along with tarragon. Then she gave us a few samples of some fabulous cheese, very good. I liked being there on a week day as it wasn’t crowed and we had time to talk to people.
Then we went to lunch. WOW! We went to Lola witch is one of Michael Symon’s two restaurants in Cleveland. It was great. I have to say it is my favorite restaurant downtown and I like it as much as Grovewood Tavern. The food, atmosphere and service were outstanding. We split a Beef Cheek Pierogie to start. Wonderful with a mushroom based sauce and horseradish. Laura got the Chickpea Salad. This was great as well. It was so simple and clean. It came with a grilled hanger steak on the side (marinated and cooked wonderfully) and with a very light salsa verde mixed through the mostly dandelion greens and chickpeas. Accompanied by her lemonade, squeezed at the bar, it was perfect for a special lunch. I had Scallops. Ummm, I am going to my happy place just thinking about them. It was four large scallops seared to perfection on top of a canellini bean, lamb sausage, braised endive and mint. Yes, you can drool. I had to accompany mine with a 20 year old Taylor Tawny Port. We rounded everything off with a equally wonderful desert. We had a great time. I highly recommend checking out Lola, and if you are going and want company let us know.
Oh yea, and Iron Chef Michael Symon was in the house.