Food and wine top every list for interesting things to do when coming to Cleveland. Just had time to read a recommended article from the Pittsburgh Gazette concerning the hot spots. A couple of years ago Bill and I were seated on a rooftop garden overlooking the downtown area with some of Cleveland’s finest chefs and urban sophisticates.
Thats saying quite a bit when you think that we boast an Iron Chef, the founder of the regional culinary movement, and a nationally acclaimed culinary writer. We also seem to have our fair share of master chefs who have studied and worked around the world and returned to their roots to raise families and the expectations of those of us who love to eat.
Anyhow…,this table featured lively discussions ranging form the great menu that was being featured to local politics (and that is always interesting) and the rebirth that Cleveland is undergoing. Parker Bosley (that aforementioned founder of regional cuisine) mentioned that everything on the menu, even the iced coffee being served, was grown or produced in Ohio. We are probably the only state that could close its borders and be agriculturally self-sustaining.
I was amazed to find that the coffee was grown outside of Cincinnati, the shrimp farmed on the banks of the Ohio near Marietta, and the micro-greens and veggies grown i nearby Milan at the Culinary Vegetable Institute. This farm provides produce to many of the country’s top restaurants. And their Veggie U is one of my favorite charities. This entire menu was conceived by chef/owner Ben Bebenroth of Spice of Life Catering and prepared by his staff. Ben’s company specializes in sustainable dinners.
The Gazette article did mention some of my favorite Cleveland spots including Crop Bistro, the West Side Market, and BSpot. There is so much more to dining in Cleveland. I have found that it is very easy to tailor a culinary experience to just about any taste.
Cleveland offers a diverse ethnic selection of restaurants. One of the best parts of Cleveland is the neighborhood feel of the many ethnic communities. The glue that holds these communities together is the central role of the neighborhood restaurants. Of course, my favorite is Little Italy. Sitting on a bench in this neighborhood and talking with the neighbors is like a revisit of my childhood. Although there is not one drop of Italian in my veins, all of my best friends were. I lived for those care packages in college from my Mama Vargo. Love you Weegie!
Enough about my loves! What are your favorite places to eat? even better, if you were coming to Cleveland for a culinary adventure, what would delight you? Just how adventuresome do you want to be?
Comment below and let me know.