Well, I've been in Cleveland for about three months now. I already settled into my new place in downtown, started the new job, have seen lots of snow and experienced COLD weather, but at the same time I've done a great deal of exploring of the city. Of course, that includes a great deal of eating out. A few places that stood out are mentioned below.
One of the first places I went to after moving in was Greenhouse Tavern, which is only a few blocks away from my apartment. I went there with my parents because I thought they would be excited about a place with a creative meat menu. One of the items is a whole pig's head!! I was sure my dad would want to order that. Instead, he scorned at it and got the hot wings.... Well, at least he said he liked them. My mom got the lamb burger. The burger was juicy and delicious, with strong, but not overwhelming lamb flavor. The fries that it came with were also crispy and great. I opted for the pasta because I didn't feel like having a large meat course. The pasta came with grilled tomatoes, pancetta and green beans in a black garlic sauce. It was relatively light and flavorful, but a tad dry. Still, I definitely want to go back to Greenhouse Tavern and get that pig's head!!
Another very memorable place was Lolita, which is owned by iron chef Michael Symon. I went there for my birthday with a group of friends, so we ordered several things. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of any of them :( My appetizer was dates with almonds and bacon. It was sweet and rather heavy, but definitely very delicious! The eggplant dip was on the lighter side, but also very good. It came with a wonderful flatbread that I couldn't get enough of. For entrees, a couple of us ordered the octopus and bone marrow risotto. I thought the dates were rich, but the risotto was rich on another level! After all, what can you expect from a creamy risotto, which already has an indulgent texture, after adding pure fat in the form of bone marrow to it? At the same time, it was still edible and very pleasant to eat. It did melt in my mouth. And because it was so rich, I could barely eat half of it and had dinner for the next day :) Finally, what very pleasantly surprised me at the restaurant was that they brought a dessert for me - meaning, it was free :) It was some kind of cake that had custard in the middle and caramelized pears on top. But it resembled a molten chocolate cake than a layer cake. The cake itself was spiced (probably with cinnamon, etc.) and very very moist because of the custard. It was simply outstanding - one of those desserts that make you eat them even though you're stuffed...
Based on these two places and lots of others, I'm very excited about living here and trying out more things. Stay tuned!