Sharing the CLE

Hello & happy friday everyone. Hope you have enjoyed your week and have lots on the agenda for your weekly holiday. This weekend, I’m gonna hit up the Weapons of Mass Creation Festival tomorrow to hear Ms. Grace Bonney of Design Sponge speak and maybe try and swing by the Feast of the Assumption in Little Italy for some authentic Italian food. I also might try and finish up a few home projects and get outside to enjoy this almost fall-like weather. What are you guys up too this weekend?

Last weekend was a whirlwind one for me. I’ve sorta been a bit of a hermit since Baby Ninja was born; just trying to get a grip on motherhood as it pertains to “4th trimester” style, personal freedom and let’s not even talk about sleeping…time’s are a changing. However when I was approached by Positively Cleveland about hosting a fellow blogger from Chicago for a weekend I thought it was the perfect segway into getting back out on the town and boy did we ever.

Friday night I met Lauren of Lion and Maven, at the new Urban Farmer for cocktails and and charcuterie. The new hot spot was rockin and there were lots of guests enjoying the patio.  I have to say, it was the perfect place to kick off the weekend and get to know my out of town guest. From there we had dinner at Chef Michael Symons’ East 4th establishment; Lola’s. Dinner included wonderful salads, oysters, beef cheek pierogies, halibut, pork chops and dessert to share. After dinner we wanted to check out the new Red Steakhouse rooftop bar which showcased wonderful views of that part of the city; it’s gonna be one busy bar once the Cavs start up again. Then it was time to go home…I was beat to say the least.

lola_1lola_2lola_3(Friday dinner at Lola’s – beet salad & halibut)

Saturday, Lauren and I met up around noon for a tour of the Westside Market, lunch at Flying Fig and dessert at Mitchell’s Ice Cream. From there I wanted to show Lauren our lakefront and the Rock Hall and so we headed that way. Oh, and did I mention we had a camera crew following us this entire time? Yeah…not what you want right after having a baby but oh well, they focused more on our guest which was great with me!

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(Lauren capturing lunch at Flying Fig, my egg sandwich and brunch-margarita)

photo 1(a beautiful view of our downtown skyline)

After our busy Saturday it was time to show Lauren what the east side had to offer. We drove down Martin Luther King Drive, I pointed out the various country gardens, then a quick tour around University Circle landing us at our evening dining destination, L’Albatros. Not only was the food spectacular (cheese, escargot, radish salad, cod, a cappuccino and a chocolate tart) but the service and people-watching was simply spectacular. If you are looking for a wonderful evening out, get yourself a reservation…it was the best dining experience I’ve had in a long time.

photo 1photo 2(the cheese selection – the “funkier” the better…and my first ever escargot!)

Sunday morning the whole family (including Baby Ninja) picked Lauren up and got breakfast at Luna Bakery. It was the perfect balance of sweet (macarons) and savory (eggs in a nest with salsa) and not too filling as I was still a bit full from the night before.

photo 1(Breakfast from Luna Bakery)

From there, a trip to Cleveland wouldn’t be complete unless we took Lauren to see the Museum of Art, the atrium and Gallery One. The museum is both a place to cherish art history but to also welcome innovation and technology through the arts…I couldn’t be more proud of this institution and with that the weekend had come to a close.

I really enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone and spending the weekend as a tour guide to Lauren. I hope she was able to take home a little piece of the CLE to the Windy City. I am confidant that she will spread the good word about all the excitement, development, arts and FOOD we have going on here.

While I was totally exhausted after the whirlwind weekend, I would do it all again. Thanks Positively Cleveland for entrusting your guest to me for the weekend, it was a blast!