I had been battling with myself on what to do for Hans’ 30th birthday. Throw a surprise party? Take him to a Browns game? Buy him a puppy? Okay, that last one would have been more for me than him. But then as if the birthday gods smiled upon me, I saw on Facebook that Deagan’s Kitchen & Bar in Lakewood was planning to hold a Pumpkin Fest on November 17th. At least the restaurant made selecting the meal part of the birthday celebration easy!
I knew we would be in for a treat when I saw the Pumpkin Fest menu, but my dining companions were surprised to see all the ways pumpkin could be utilized:
With Southern Tier Pumking Ale and pumpkin martinis on the Featured Drinks menu, a few of those were ordered for the table throughout the evening.
After the October OBA meeting, I have been craving a certain item from their charcuterie and antipesto boards. I ordered the Assorted Olives & Peppadews for the table, featuring house crafted pickles.
So much flavor in such little bites!! I could eat these alone all night long.
My mom stared with the Deviled Eggs, featuring Lake Erie Creamery goat cheese and English mustard.
After previously brunching with WhyCLE, I knew these were a winner. Mom agreed!
The guys ordered one of the pumpkin specials: the Local Pumpkin Bisque with Southern Tier Pumking syrup and toasted pumpkin seeds:
I snuck a spoonful of the bisque. It was incredibly creamy and rich. Hans loved the Pumking syrup as it added just enough of sweetness to the soup without overpowering it. The combination of the hot soup and rich flavor allowed them to savor this course while the entrees were prepared.
I started with my old standby: the Baby Lettuce Salad with palm hearts, avocado, tomato and shallot vinaigrette:
Simple. Clean. Veggies. Delicious. I need that vinaigrette recipe…
As much as I wanted to order of the pumpkin menu, that whole damn gluten issue got in my way, so again, I stuck with one of my Deagan’s favorites: the Prince Edward Island Mussels with fennel and saffron tomato nage:
Definitely in my top three mussels dishes in Cleveland. I was slurping the broth when all the mussels were gone. Love this dish.
Both the birthday boy and my mom ordered the Pumpkin Sage Gnocchi, made with candied local pumpkin, roasted shallots, hydro watercress, the chefs garden micro sage and sage brown butter sauce:
You know when someone takes the first bite of a really good dish, and their eyes close so they can fully savor the taste even more? Both Hans and Mom did this upon diving into this entrée. The gnocchi was perfectly constructed and cooked and the sauce was flavorful without being overly heavy. The dish was surprisingly filling as both ended up taking home at least a third of it at the end of the night. Hurrah for leftovers on Friday!
My mom’s friend ordered the DKB TURDUKEN from the specials menu. It was made with local creamcicle sweet potatoes, Killbuck Valley mushrooms & sausage stuffing, stewed cranberries and turduken gravy:
The picture doesn’t do this justice. As mom’s friend made his way through the dish, he loved the flavors that came together with every bite. He wished for more sausage stuffing, but really enjoyed guessing which protein he was eating in each bite! He destroyed as much as he could and left with one very full belly.
Finally, it’s not a Hans birthday with out your customary pumpkin dessert! The staff at Deagan’s out did themselves with their housemade Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake:
The cheesecake was surrounded by whipped cream and berries on each side. On one side was a smear of chocolate. On the other, a smear of caramel. The cheesecake was lovely on its own: pumpkin filled without loosing the cheesecake vibe, it was perfectly balanced. My mom enjoyed the gingersnaps in the crust especially. But then we call dug in to the “accessories” and found out just how good the pumpkin was with the raspberries and blueberries. A solid finish to a great meal!
LONG STORY SHORT: It takes a lot for Hans to get stuffed to the brim, but Deagan’s Kitchen & Bar succeeded in filling up the birthday boy. They presented him with one incredibly delicious meal from start to finish. I’m grateful to our kind server Jen, “the Dans” (as I lovingly call them) and the rest of the staff at Deagan’s for making Hans’ birthday dinner one for the record books. I encourage you stopping in – the pumpkin items are still around, but not for long!