Seriously Food Network: did it take THIS long for Michael Symon to clue you into all the culinary happenings in our town? I’m just kidding Iron Chef. Not only did our food truck scene get some attention via Hodge Podge’s participation in last night’s The Great Food Truck Race premiere, but their sister station The Cooking Channel is lovin’ on the Cleve as well.
The Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats has been in town for the past few days, filming at Dim and Den Sum, Momocho and The Greenhouse Tavern – check out WhyCLE’s weekend recap for her GHT taping experience! Yesterday, Washington Place Bistro & Inn got its turn to feature its modern American cuisine.
Upon my arrival, I found my guest – my sorority little Danielle (in town from North Carolina) – and fellow blogger Stephanie from Hungry in Cleveland at the bar, where we would be seated for the taping. As this was a unique experience, the kitchen was not taking orders by table, but sent out items from the menus as they saw fit. Luckily, I remembered this, mentioned my gluten-intolerance and staffer Greg took great care of our group.
Upon Greg’s ordering, this is what came out of the kitchen:
Heirloom Tomato and Micro Basil Salad with Mackenzie Creamery chevre, EVOO, balsamic gastrique:
Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad with chef’s garden beets and greens, almonds, fennel, red onion, Mackenzie Creamery ranch:
Airline Chicken Breast, pan roasted with creamed chef’s garden spinach, fresh morels and nutmeg:
“Mack & Cheese”: mackenzie and baricelli cheeses, local chorizo, goat cheese strudel, micro greens:
Pan Seared Canadian Salmon with asparagus and citrus salad, pickled onion, shaved fennel, citrus lacquer:
Deep Fried Donut (from Presti’s in Little Italy) with Vanilla Ice Cream:
Ice Cream Trio with housemade waffle cones: flavors included chocolate chip, blackberry chocolate chip and mint chocolate chip:
With two long distance runners and a four month pregnant woman in our party, there was NO chance of those plates going back empty!
Things we highly enjoyed included:
the variety of tomatoes: Danielle had never had a green tomato before. I think this one might have set the bar pretty high!
the beet and Mackenzie Creamery ranch combo: I just may try making beets for the first time at home after eating this dish. One of the best beet salads I’ve had in a very long time.
the “airline” chicken: perfectly cooked, the breast was incredibly moist while the skin was wonderfully crispy and well seasoned.
the creamed spinach: For all the spinach I eat, this was my first experience with it in this preparation. It paired perfectly with the chicken, giving the dish a bit of creamy smoothness that it needed.
the citrus lacquered salmon: I’m picky about salmon. It’s not my preferred fish option of choice. But I would eat this dish every day if I could. The citrus topping took it to a new level.
the goat cheese strudel in the mack & cheese: both Steph and Danielle were diggin’ on that entire dish, but seemed to really enjoy those nuggets of cheesy goodness!
the Presti’s donut dessert: when our waiter went to clear our dishes from dessert, one diner might have made sure to snag one last bite of that doughy treat. I don’t blame her – it looked divine!
LONG STORY SHORT: At the end of our meal, I leaned back and said, “well that might have been the best lunch I ever had”. While we never saw a single camera, we were grateful to take part in this exciting television moment for the restaurant and the city of Cleveland. Even with that array of dishes, I felt like I had a very unified food experience at Washington Place Bistro & Inn that afternoon. Congrats to the entire team at Washington Place for continuing to provide an excellent product and amazing service.
Disclosure: I was invited to attend to the Unique Eats taping at Washington Place Bistro & Inn via Michelle at Cleveland Foodie. As always, my thoughts and opinions were 100% my own.