This past weekend, my friends Erin and Brian were up from Columbus and we were overdue for one of our Cleveland nights out. This time, instead of sending over my list of potential suggestions, Brian had his heart set on a Northeast Ohio favorite: Michael Symon’s Lolita in Tremont.
Our previous visit to Lolita was three years ago – this month exactly – so it definitely a welcomed suggestion. We checked out the dinner menu online ahead of time where I was happy to find gluten-free indications listed. While some of them were incorrectly labeled as not-gluten-free (when they were) and vice versa, it at least gave me some comfort knowing that the restaurant was ready for someone with my kind of ordering situation.
With 7:30PM reservations, we were sat by 7:45PM – which on a busy Saturday night, I was understanding about. I used to be a hostess – I don’t envy those in that position at one of the most popular spots in Cleveland. Another server other than our own got us set with drinks: white wine for me, red wine for Hans, and Erin & Brian split a Bam Biere Farmhouse Ale. They were very excited to find that option on the drink menu.
For starters: they split the Warm Olives with fennel, chiles, oregano and olive oil, which was happily consumed.
I opted for the Roasted Beet Salad with apple, pistachio, ricotta salata and truffle vinaigrette.
The beets were that vibrant and quite delicious. Even Hans – not usually a fan of beets – enjoyed a few bites.
For his main, Hans ordered the Pork Sausage Pizza with tomato sauce, chile, house mozzarella and roasted sweet peppers.
In true husband fashion, he demolished the entire thing. Guess he liked it!
Brian chose the Buccatini with pulled pork, pancetta, organic egg yolk and pecorino.
Brian was kind enough to share and my fellow three diners were all fans of this pasta option.
Erin went with the Ravioli with beef shank, mushrooms, beet greens, bone marrow and grana padano.
Seriously – with beef shank and bone marrow, how do you go wrong?
I was happy to try the Roasted Chicken with salsa verde, chickpea puree, carrot, radish and orange. For my side, I opted for the broccolini (not pictured).
This portion of protein was generous. I took half of it home, happily consuming all my veggies and leaving with a full belly.
For dessert, Erin and Brian split the Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding with chocolate brioche, white wine poached pears, hazelnut ice cream and milk chocolate caramel (again, no picture – sorry). They both made that “OMG-this-tastes-so-good” face while enjoying their last course, especially noting how they really loved the hazelnut ice cream.
LONG STORY SHORT: Like our first visit, we left feeling quite satisfied with our meals at Lolita. While keeping up with a busy restaurant, the staff were great at keeping our meal moving yet giving us the chance to enjoy ourselves. I said this last time and mean to keep it this time: I will return more often in the future – especially for that $5 happy hour!