The Best Bites of 2017

January 12, 2018

It was quite a year. I started experimenting with sous vide. If you are unfamiliar with sous video, it cooks food that is sealed in air tight bags with an immersion cooker in a water bath. I made ribs, steak, chicken breasts (grilled and as fried chicken), and an amazing garlic-rubbed skirt steak with scallion vinaigrette from the Mozza at Home cookbook, but my absolute favorite meal was a sous vide lobster roll with homemade JoJo potatoes. Although that skirt steak absolutely rocked! I also made creme brulee for Thanksgiving this year with the sous vide and a kitchen torch. It was fun! I also learned how to make pierogi and gyoza and ramen at the Western Reserve School of Cooking. But I don’t talk about the food I make here. Onto my favorite bites from Cleveland this year…

I hit a bunch of fish fries and pancake breakfasts. I also ate 40 Days of Sandwiches for Lent. I’ve got to be honest – it was really hard. As Crystal from EatDrinkCleveland remarked, it felt like I was doing 40 Years of Sandwiches. I ate at Crust for the first time. They have some good subs. Some were better than others, and a couple of days I didn’t eat a sandwich for one reason or another. I only threw out one sandwich. I have to say my favorite sandwich (and the one I keep thinking about) was the Green Goddess from Byte Cafe on Superior. It features fresh avocado, goat cheese, basil pesto, arugula, balsamic reduction, roasted walnuts, and salt&pepper on multigrain bread. My photo does not do it justice, so I am using one from Trip Advisor.

After seeing photos from Pranzo Bistro in Willoughby for months on the All Things Food in Cleveland page on Facebook I managed to get a bunch of friends together to check it out. It was a snowy night, but the meal made it absolutely worth the white-knuckle drive. I started off splitting a burrata with asparagus, ordered the Italian wedding soup, and then had an amazing lobster pappardelle. The pappardelle featured homemade noodles, langustino meat, and lobster tail in a cream sauce dressed with fresh arugula. My photo is literally the world’s darkest photo, so I borrowed this one from Corinne D. on Yelp.

I started the year off with a new addiction – the chicken noodle soup at Red Chimney. Someone posted a photo of it, and I could not stop thinking about it. I now get it every time I go there. It is packed with noodles and chunks of chicken, and the broth is super flavorful. Paired with a soft dinner roll or their homemade rye bread and you’ve got the perfect meal. Tip: if you go be sure to bring cash! They don’t accept credit cards.

Mason’s Creamery has become a favorite stop this year. They have such playful flavors. I would be hard picked to choose a favorite between their Tang sorbet, Jelly bean sorbet, Oatmeal cream pie, Fried ice cream, and Thai tea ice cream. I usually just stuck with scoops in a cup, but then I finally tried the egg waffle. This egg waffle with Ceylon cinnamon and cafe con leche with Nutella whipped cream really blew me away. I mean, come on, Nutella whipped cream? Amazing! I had taken out-of-town friends here after dinner at Citizen Pie, and they raved about their choices as well.

My friend Nancy invited me to Rosh Hashana this year, and her brisket blew me away. It is so simple, but had such great flavor. She roasted Wagyu brisket from Mister Brisket over San Marzano tomatoes and onions and then pureed them to make a gravy. The entire dinner was divine (I have also started eating apples with honey because of this meal), but this brisket melted in my mouth.

Hatfield’s Goode Grub started out as a food truck and now has a brick and mortar restaurant in Kamm’s Corners. My friends and I met for breakfast back in September, because I saw a photo of a coffee with sprinkles. The coffee was overpowered by the berry syrup (and not in a good way), but this Shrooms and Swiss omelette was a great start to the weekend. It had so much flavor. They are turning out some amazing food at Hatfield’s Goode Grub. Be sure to check it out!

We celebrated my birthday at Boiling Seafood Crawfish. They serve boiled seafood with potato and corn and whatever seasoning you choose in a bag. It’s just messy fun. They give you bibs and plastic gloves, but don’t dress up. You will be covered with goodness by the time you are done no matter how careful you are. I built my own and ordered the crab legs and lobster tail. Look at the size of my lobster tail! I treated myself to a slice of Corbo’s Cassata Cake, so it was one of the best days of the year.

My mother and I road tripped to Seabrook Island, South Carolina for the total solar eclipse. I got to experience the eclipse on a beach with a tequila sunrise and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. There were worse ways to spend the day. After a day in the heat we wanted something cool and light. I had brought a sugar kiss melon from Heinen’s down with me because it was about to turn. Mom bought a prepared shrimp salad at Harris Teeter to pair with it along with a steamed lobster tail and some garlic broccoli. It was simple but absolutely succulent.

Tommy’s on Coventry got a little press this year when they shipped a milkshake to a dying woman in Maryland. I was so touched by the story I met friends several times for milkshakes. My usual favorite is banana, but I tried peach as well. I’ve gotta say… I’ve never had a bad milkshake at Tommy’s. I like supporting good people who are compassionate.

After seeing a video of an ooey gooey grilled cheese sandwich posted by someone I follow I had to have it. The grilled cheese was from the Rowley Inn. The Rowley Inn is a dive bar near The Christmas Story House. They recently invited some Cleveland bloggers to a media night, so you might have heard of it from one of them. Anyway, the grilled cheese was really, really good, but was absolutely blown away by the fries. Such a simple meal, and yet so good! They make their grilled cheese with smoked Gouda and a mozzarella and /provolone blend with mayonnaise. I’d never had mayonnaise on a grilled cheese before, but I liked it a lot. It didn’t hurt that I paired the meal with a hard orange soda. It was like meal from childhood, but not.

My friends and I enjoyed a perfect summer evening on the patio of EDWINS in July. After finishing a huge translation I decided to treat myself to Le Burger, which they prepare table-side, and then continued the table-side service with Cherries Jubilee. I loved everything I ate that night – including the broccoli, but the thing that absolutely wowed me was a bite of my friend’s creme brulee. It was the best creme brulee I’ve ever had.

If you asked anyone who ate at Salt+ this year what their favorite thing they ate they are going to tell you it was these duck meatballs. We went for the squid ink paella, but the duck meatballs blew everyone away. I can’t even begin to describe them. The meatballs were savory and peppery, yet light as a feather. The pasta was a perfect al dente. A very welcome plate! I hope they bring it back this year.

This Valrhona dark chocolate brownie topped with housemade blueberry gelato, candied violets and dark chocolate granite paired with Buffalo Bill’s Blueberry Oatmeal Stout was my favorite course at one of many chocolate tastings at Lilly Handmade Chocolates. Each tasting is unique – whether it is Berries and Chocolate, Mead and Mousse, or Deep Dark Reds, champagne, or just various beers. Amanda has a great palate and really knows how to pair things to bring out the best in each.

My list cannot be complete without mentioning my favorite meal in Cleveland – Empress Taytu‘s Chicken Tibs with a side of Tikil Gomen. With several Ethiopian restaurants opening up here in Cleveland recently I still have to say I prefer Empress Taytu (note: I haven’t been to Lucy’s yet). Every once in a while I have a bad day and treat myself to a nice dinner there. It’s my comfort food, and you can’t beat the injera!

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Lilly Handmade Chocolates

December 29, 2017

Lilly Handmade Chocolates is worth mentioning here, because it is a great Cleveland destination. When I was at the last event the woman sitting across from me was here from Detroit for a weekend trip on her own to explore. A Google search led her to Lilly’s bubbles and chocolate tasting. Lilly Handmade Chocolates offers great handmade chocolates and does amazing pairings with its chocolates and beer, wine, champagne or cheese. They bill themselves as “chocolatiers that specialize in pairing craft beer & fine wine with our delicious hand made chocolates, both sweet and savory inspired!”

The chocolates here are expensive, but they are handcrafted and so worth it. You will savor every bite. You will pay $2.25 each for a piece of chocolate and can buy a box of 6 for $13 and 12 for $25. Each one packs a tasty wallop, whether it’s rich Valrhona chocolate or fine Swiss white chocolate featuring cinnamon, lime, hazelnut, bourbon or passion fruit. I am not normally a fan of white chocolates, but the Frou-Frou and Maui Wowie truffles are among my absolute favorites. You can buy their chocolate in truffle, bar, bark and seasonal forms. The truffles are gorgeous – each with a distinctive hand-painted decoration. Some of the truffles are mainstays, but some change at whim or with the season. When it comes to seasonal chocolate, their Dreamsicle Bark is the stuff of dreams in the summer and their drinking chocolate has a spicy kick to it that will warm you up in the winter.

They also have a liquor license now, so they can offer cocktails with their chocolates. I can recommend the Fruit Cocktail. It tastes just like a fruit cup. And who doesn’t enjoy a boozy ice cream float even in the winter? You can check out their cocktail menu here.

I started coming here to buy the chocolates, but I am now the Mayor on Swarm because of their special events. Amanda and Josh and all of their employees are super friendly and welcoming, and Amanda has one of the best palates I have ever seen in action. She can bring out flavors in beer or wine that pair perfectly with her amazing chocolates or mousse. OMG, the mousse! I have been there for the beer and mousse tasting, beer and chocolate pairings during Beer Week, beer, cheese and chocolate pairings, deep dark chocolates and deep dark reds pairing, and their anniversary mousse. I have never left disappointed or unhappy.

The wine or beer distributors are sometimes here to explain their product, and sometimes Amanda announces what we are about to eat and drink and why she chose what she did. She always explains that you should take a sip of the beverage and then nibble the chocolate to experience the pairing taste sensation. The products are usually available for purchase after the event. I have been turned on to some great wines and beers because of these events.

I usually can find a parking spot in front of the store, but if no spots are available there is a big parking lot behind the building. So whether you are looking for a special gift or a special night out, be sure to keep Lilly Handmade Chocolates in mind!

Contact info:

Lilly Handmade Chocolates
761 Starkweather Ave
Cleveland, OH 44113
(Tremont)
(216) 771-3333


LJ Shanghai

December 21, 2017

There is nothing more satisfying than a dumpling. Just about every culture has dumplings. The most iconic of the Chinese dumpling is the soup dumpling or Xiao Long Bao. The tender pillows of dough are filled with solidified broth or aspic that then liquifies when steamed. Eating a soup dumpling is an art form – put a dumpling carefully on a soup spoon (being careful not to tear it), bite off the top and allow the broth inside to cool for a second before slurping it down and then eating the dumpling. It was not easy to find soup dumplings here in Cleveland. My first experience with them was at Emperor’s Palace, but we had to get there early because they would sell out quickly. I also had them at Bo Loong once, but the soup had seeped out of the dumplings while still on the cart. They were flavorful but had no liquid in them. Well, I am happy to announce that that is no longer the case. Enter LJ Shanghai, which specializes in soup dumplings. It opened in the old Saigon Grille restaurant space, one door over from No. 1 Pho on Superior. They make all their dumplings by hand, but the noodles come from a place in Toronto. They are tender and ethereal. We each got 2, and everyone agreed they would be back for more. The dough was just right, and they were the perfect temperature – no burned mouths to report.

I got together a group of enthusiasts for a visit so we could try their menu – and try the menu we did! We started off with an order of cucumber with garlic and then enjoyed three orders of soup dumplings as well as the veggie and shrimp and pork wonton soups, the Chongqing spicy beef noodle soup, Shanghai Pan Fried Flat Noodles, braised duck in soy sauce, an order of pig ear with chili sauce, and nine Shanghai shrimp & veggie egg rolls (one for each person).

Everyone loved everything – except the pig ear, which everyone was happy to give to the one person in our group who is a pig ear enthusiast. The texture was very off-putting. I had hoped it would be a little crisper. But hey, we at least tried them. Our pig ear enthusiast loved them, so if you like pig ear you’ll be happy.

The duck was okay. Some of us would have preferred it to be a little more crisp. The soy flavor really came out. I unfortunately do not have a photo of it because my shot was too blurry.

I have become a big fan of smashed Chinese cucumbers in the past year or so. This version is more cucumbery than others I have had, with minced garlic clearly visible. The photo shows them with chili sauce, but that wasn’t the case. The cucumbers were fresh, crisp and very lightly pickled, and a nice, refreshing counter to the dumplings and noodles, but I find I prefer to add chili sauce, which can be found on the table along with vinegar (for the soup dumplings) and soy sauce.

I really enjoyed the Shanghai pan fried flat noodles too. They got delivered to the other end of the table, so I wasn’t able to photograph them. They were very simple, but had a great flavor to them.

The soups were a big hit. We passed the bowls around and tried each one. The beef in the spicy beef noodle soup was extremely tender. If you like spicy soup you will love this. I found it a wee too spicy for me, but it slowly grew on me. That said, I fell in love with their wonton soup. The broth is light and has a bright, gingery flavor that I adore. The wonton soups come with 10 handmade wonton dumplings. I preferred the shrimp and pork wonton soup. The filling is densely packed and each one has a full mini-shrimp in it. I’m not sure what the garnish is along with the scallions – it could be seaweed. It doesn’t matter. The whole thing just works together so well. I loved it so much I went back for lunch this week and ordered the cucumbers, shrimp and pork wonton soup and an egg roll. I was tempted to get soup dumplings too, but decided that was too much for one person.

The egg roll is more like a spring roll – it was very thin and crisp with a nice filling. There was no residual oil on the plate, nor did I get any on my fingers when eating it. The soup and egg roll were perfect. I had a few cucumbers and took the rest home for later.

One little side note: I really like their tea cups. They are more substantial than the little finger bowl-sized cups you get at most restaurants and hold more tea. They also have built-in grooves for your fingers to grasp them.

In short, I really enjoyed LJ Shanghai. I am in love with their wonton soup and look forward to eating it all winter. When I went back for lunch the other day on my own I fully planned on bringing half home with me, but I ate all ten dumplings and had to hold myself back from slurping the broth out of the bowl. The gingery flavor of the broth is my new addiction.

Contact info:

LJ Shanghai
3142 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 400-6936


Mason’s Creamery

September 28, 2017

Mason’s Creamery opened in 2015 and has quickly become a favorite ice cream spot for me. They started out making ice cream at local farmer’s markets. Located on Bridge Avenue and W. 44th Street, Mason’s is a small, local business serving high-quality ice cream in all kinds of adventurous flavors. The flavors are constantly changing, so it’s always fun to go and try new things. They are always trying new flavors and are open to suggestions. There are always 16 flavors available, five of which are usually vegan or dairy free. At a place like this it’s worth venturing out of your comfort zone to try the taro, red bean, black sesame, matcha or the chai tea latte ice cream. My absolute favorite so far has been the fried ice cream, but their sorbets are also intriguing (and vegan if you like that sort of thing). They allow you to sample the flavors before you order. They also serve vegan soft serve on Sundays. In addition to scoops in a cup (2 for $4 or 3 for $5.50), you can order your ice cream or sorbet in a waffle cone, with a churro (with or without dipping chocolate), as an iced cream sandwich between warm, fresh cookies or Coquette Patisserie macarons, or nestled in a fluffy egg waffle. They make everything there fresh.

I am usually boring and prefer my ice cream scooped in a cup. It may be austere, but their ice cream is never boring. I’ve enjoyed the Tang sorbet, fried ice cream, Vietnamese coffee, Ceylon Cinnamon, Matcha, Cafe con Leche, Thai iced tea… I could go on. When I had the Tang sorbet I regretted not ordering it with the Thai ice tea because that would have been an amazing dreamsicle-like creation.

I had been wanting to try the egg waffle and I am so glad I finally did, because it is absolutely delicious. It is a great accompaniment to the creamier flavors, and you can imagine my surprise when I was then asked if I wanted regular whipped cream, peanut butter whipped cream or Nutella whipped cream. What? My friends also ordered egg waffles and raved about them. One went with the French toast and is now a HUGE fan, and the other ordered the salted caramel and loved it. I opted for Ceylon Cinnamon and Thai ice tea with Nutella whipped cream. Go big or go home, right?

Pay attention to your spoon. It changes color when it hits the ice cream (you can see it in the photo of the sorbet above). My friend freaked out tonight when I pointed it out and his boring white spoon then turned pink. I love that.

If that isn’t enough, they occasionally do Ramen Nights where they make big pots of ramen and serve it to long lines of ramen enthusiasts until they run out. I have yet to make it to one, but it is on my list of things to do.

Contact info:

Mason’s Creamery
4401 Bridge Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113
216) 245-8942


Mister Brisket

September 17, 2017

Mr. Brisket is the place to go in the Heights for all things meat. This butcher shop and deli is located on Taylor Road just south of Cedar Road and has been around since 1973. It is known among those in the know as one of the best butcher shops and delis around. They sell high-end USDA prime beef, veal, lamb, pork, poultry and seafood as well as some outstanding deli meats and sandwiches. They are particularly known for their pastrami, corned beef, and (obviously) brisket as well as their Jewish delicacies like chopped liver, knishes, and potato pancakes. Some consider the pastrami to be the best in the city.

The place has zero ambiance and no seating. It’s carry-out only. Don’t let its looks deceive you. Everyone raves that the corned beef sandwiches are better than Jack’s Deli or Corky and Lenny’s.

When I am in the mood for a sandwich I pop down to Mister Brisket. If I’m lucky I can get a parking space on the street, but most of the time I have to park across the street at the shopping center and cross the street. I’ve had several of their sandwiches. The sandwiches are loaded with meat and come with a pickle. You can also purchase sides of cole slaw, macaroni or potato salad, chips, cookies, brownies, and cans of soda. You can buy single sandwiches or a boxed lunch. The large boxed lunch features a large sandwich, potato salad or cole slaw, cookie, pickle spear, napkin, beverage and utensils for $12.95. The smaller boxed lunch comes with a smaller sandwich, chips, cookie, pickle spear, napkin, beverage and utensils for $9.95. It’s a good deal and is usually what I choose and a large side of potato salad or mac salad.

My first time I had to order the Reuben even though I don’t like corned beef. The meat was moist and lean. Not grisly or salty. They were light on the Swiss, as a proper Reuben should be. The Thousand Island dressing was a creamy accompaniment. The bread was nothing to write home about, but it was very tasty and soft. It was a proper rye bread – none of that marbled stuff. They also have great pickle spears that accompany the sandwiches.

All of the sandwiches can be toasted upon request. They offer a choice of Swiss, American, provolone or pepper jack, Stadium, yellow or spicy mustard, mayo, a spicy mayo called Tiger Sauce, horseradish, Thousand Island, BBQ sauce and hot sauce. You can choose rye, wheat or a bun.

I love the look of the Charles Barr, which features corned beef and pastrami on rye with Swiss and yellow mustard, but since I’m not a huge fan of either meat I stick with the brisket, turkey and roast beef. The Duke is even more impressive, with layers of corned beef, turkey, salami and brisket with Swiss cheese. It’s over one pound of sandwich. The photo of the Duke (below left) is from the Mister Brisket web site, since there is no way I could eat one when I usually can only eat half a sandwich and save the other half for later.

The only thing I haven’t enjoyed from there was their matzo ball soup. The broth and matzo balls come frozen, and that does them no favors. The broth was extremely salty and tasted like it was straight chicken stock (no carrots, no parsley, etc.). The matzo balls were mealy. It might have been a fluke, but I won’t be buying it again. I ended up throwing it all out, which about killed me because I love matzo ball soup.

You can also order special order cuts of meat. I deliver Meals on Wheels, and the volunteer appreciation dinner serves Mister Brisket BBQ brisket. You can bring it back to the store after you’ve prepared it and they’ll even slice it for you (properly – against the grain for brisket). It’s all part of the service. One of my Jewish friends is ordering her fish and brisket here for Rosh Hashanah next week. The store also carries special products like roasted turkey and roasted chicken for people to purchase for the holidays.

They are closed on Sundays and Mondays, and offer a special on Tuesdays featuring $1 off any large sandwich. They are only open until 4:00 Tuesday through Thursday, 5:00 on Friday, and 3:00 on Saturdays.

They are good people. They also takes donations to send kosher salamis to the troops. The store charges $20 for a shipment of salami to the troops, and it can be sent virtually anywhere, even to service members who are posted on aircraft carriers and other ships. They also accept donations to the cause. This is the kind of place I like to support.

Contact info:

Mister Brisket
2156 South Taylor Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
(216) 932-8620


Crust

August 15, 2017

Crust Midtown has great pizza and subs and is the perfect lunch-time stop. I haven’t been to the one in Tremont, but the one in Midtown is perfect when I get a craving for crusty bread or pizza. Do two locations make it a “local chain”? I’m categorizing it as one. The Tremont location just opened and has expanded including a liquor license. It’s also open until 9 PM every day except Sunday. The Midtown location offers more seating with all the businesses nearby, and is only open until 2:30 Monday through Friday. In addition to a nice range of seating options they also have a few tables for al fresco dining, which don’t see a lot of use in the winter. I tend to go at off-lunch hours, so I’ve always had very quick service.

The ovens are not wood-fired, but they turn out a good pizza at 550 degrees. Everything is made from scratch, and the dough is hand-tossed. The pizza slices are huge. One slice fills up a small carryout box. The crust is delicious, and they have a variety of toppings to choose from. They also have pre-made pies to choose from that don’t require a wait. I ordered a slice of the Margherita, which is my go-to order at a new pizza place. The crust was chewy and had a nice crumb to it. The tomatoes and basil were very fresh, which was great. The Lemon Rosemary Chicken smelled wonderful, and I will have to try that sometime soon.

As good as the pizza is, I really like their subs. Like the pizza, the subs are also quite substantial. The first sub I tried was the Ultimate Club , which features slab bacon, turkey, capicola, provolone, lettuce, tomato, and basil mayo. My sub came out of the oven a little charred, but I really enjoyed the flavor of it. The meats were delicious and fresh, and I just really enjoyed every bite. The subs are very filling (at least for me). I was only able to eat half and took the other half home for later.

One of my friends swears by their meatball sub, so I met her a few weeks later to try it. The meatballs were soft, the cheese was perfectly melty, and it had the perfect ratio of meat, sauce and cheese. The photo here is just half of the meatball sub, so they have four substantial meatballs in the sub. I enjoyed the sub a lot and would probably get it again if I were craving a meatball sub.

If you are looking for a solid slice of pizza or tasty sub be sure to check out Crust.

Contact info:

Crust Midtown
3000 St Clair Avenue,
Cleveland, OH
216-589-9711

Crust Tremont
2258 Professor Ave
Cleveland, OH
216-583-0257

You can find the menus for both locations here.


Tableside service at EDWINS

August 1, 2017

My friends and I met at EDWINS on Shaker Square for dinner last week. We took advantage of the amazing weather and chose to sit outside on their patio. It was 65 degrees and sunny with a light breeze. The night was practically perfect.

When we sat down we were asked if we wanted still or sparkling water, and they kept our glasses topped off the whole night. I enjoyed my Hemingway Daiquiri, but was less enamored with the French 75, which was made with gin instead of champagne as I am used to. The service was exceptional from start to finish. The staff is trained here for six months, three months front of house and three months back of house. EDWINS just does a great job preparing them for the food service industry. We are lucky to have it here. A little birdie told us September’s Dinner in the Dark will be at EDWINS, and they will be inviting some of their graduates to come cook for us. Nancy said the last time they did it it was exceptional.

I had decided to treat myself to Le Burger, which is prepared tableside, but was waivering between the burger and the steak. Our server insisted Le Burger was the right choice, no matter what. Le Burger features hand ground beef, bacon, mushrooms, fried garlic and sauce Diane. Not just any beef, but filet ground right at the table with herbs then added in. Our tableside preparer had trouble with the grinder (some part wasn’t moving properly), but once it was fixed it worked perfectly.

The formed burger patty was then taken inside to grill while the preparer makes the sauce Diane. He started with goose fat, then added butter, bacon, mushrooms, shallots, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard and garlic. He then added brandy and flambéed it up. It was quite a sight to see.

Then he added cream to the sauce and let it thicken until the plated patties were brought back out to be finished. The patties were generously topped with the sauce and arugula and served with a side of goose fat fried potatoes, which were absolutely luscious.

The burger was tender and cooked to my specifications. My friend Nancy also thoroughly enjoyed her burger, while her husband loved the steak and asparagus.

I also ordered a side of the Broccolini Polonaise to get some veggies in. The broccolini were perfectly cooked and served with brown butter, breadcrumbs and grated hard-boiled egg. I thoroughly enjoyed it that night as well as with the other half of my burger the next day.

I continued the tableside theme by ordering cherries jubilee. I had never had cherries jubilee and had always wanted to try it. They used to prepare bananas foster tableside, but now they serve it as a french toast dessert. I had a different preparer for this course. The melted butter, cherries and sugar were heated in the skillet along with some lemon juice. Once the cherries softened and reduced down a bit he added some alcohol (if I remember correctly rum and Grand Marnier) and flambéed it up.

It was served with some housemade vanilla ice cream. The cherry sauce had thickened and hardened a bit, so I had some bites that were a toffee-like consistency and some that were creamy. The deep red of the cherries looks amazing against the white of the vanilla ice cream, and the flavor is even more amazing than how it looks.

I enjoyed it a lot, but the real star for me was the Creme Brulee. My friend let me have a couple bites of hers, and it was just about the best I’ve ever had. The sugar was thin and flaky, and the eggy custard was amazingly delicious. I will be going back for that again soon!

Sitting outside on the patio and enjoying the tableside service was truly amazing, but they also offer the service inside all year round. The preparers both agreed it was a little trickier outside than inside, but the flames did not go out so I consider it a success.

Apart from one friend who didn’t like her eggplant (but enjoyed her Chocolate Pyramid dessert and was pleased with how the staff handled her not liking the eggplant) we all went home very happy with our experience at EDWINS.

Contact info:

EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute
13101 Shaker Square
Cleveland, OH 44120
(216) 921-3333