event recap: Dinner Lab Cleveland featuring Chef Matthew Mytro

Disclosure: I accepted an opportunity to share info about/attend Dinner Lab’s latest Cleveland pop up from Brickhaus Partners. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As I teased on Wednesday, Hans and I headed to our first Dinner Lab experience to 1) celebrate nine years of  wedded bliss and 2) to check out this new-to-Cleveland dining phenomenon. Brickhaus Partners‘ surprised everyone with the location of the dinner earlier that day: the soon-to-be 95 Lake complex, to be built on the location of the former St. Thomas Lutheran Church on Lake Avenue.

I have to admit — walking up to the empty, dated religious complex left me with an energetic shift: after the many years of it being used for the gathering for a spiritual purpose, I was slightly saddened for a moment knowing it was sitting unused. But upon getting inside, I felt another immediate shift as the 85 some guests plus Dinner Lab staff filling the space enlivened the environment with their excitement for food, community and surprises.

With a few loud clinks on a wine bottle, Samantha from the Dinner Lab team got things going, welcoming Chef Matt Mytro from Flour Restaurant to say a few words. His menu for the evening, Antico E Moderno, was inspired from his work in the Flour kitchen — definitely apparent in the Italian inspired dishes listed on the cards at each place setting.

dinner lab CLE menu mytro

Armed with a copy of Edible Cleveland and a handful of new culinary loving friends/dining mates — thanks to the long table seating arrangements — it was time to dine. Here’s what we had…

dinner lab collage amuse and salad mytro

 PreMeal Featured Cocktail, the Negroni Mytro

 First Course: Warm Burrata with vanilla infused potato and pickled chili

dinner lab collage salad and fish mytro

Second Course: Mock Beet Salad with pistachio, whipped ricotta, dried olive and sorrel

Third Course: Swordfish Alla Bagnara with smoked lemon & potato, caper berries and garlic & parsley

dinner lab collage pasta and dessert mytro

Fourth Course: Sweet Corn Rigatoni with lamb neck sugo, tomato and ricotta salata

Fifth Course: Cereal Milk Budino with toasted marshmallow, cocoa nibs and banana

My thoughts? While I enjoyed certain aspects of the dishes more than others, I think Chef Mytro overall knocked it out of the park:

  • The cocktail was tart yet refreshing, waking me up from a post-work slumber (there might have been a nap on a certain couch in Parma before arriving that evening) — also setting the mood for some excitement to come.
  • The burrata was lovely, but it was the addition of the vanilla to the potato chips that had our table talking. Sneaky yet scrumptious.
  • The beet salad was more cheese and less “salad” — not that I’m complaining what so ever — as the whipped ricotta was something I’d like to smear on a gluten free bagel every morning of my life. The creative use of the beets in the sauce “dots” (you’ll notice in the photo above) mixed with the cheese were a sweet, sweet treat.
  • The swordfish was perfectly prepared, but yet again, the potato stole the scene –- its lemony taste suprising diners.
  • The rigatoni was an extra special treat as Chef Mytro offered a gluten free offering for gals like me. The pasta was like no other GF option I’ve had before, and solidified my need to check out Flour in person STAT. By far my favorite course.
  • The budino reminded me of a part pot de crème, part pudding — all deliciousness. The cocoa nibs were a nice finishing touch to the last course of the meal.

LONG STORY SHORT: I owe a big thanks to Dinner Lab, Brickhaus Partners and Chef Mytro. Not only did I have a fun and unique culinary experience, I made some new friends, tried some new ingredients, plus celebrated with the love of my life enjoying some of the things I love most: community, food and the reimagining of all that is Cleveland. Cheers to the team for making Wednesday night possible — here’s to many more Cleveland chefs being featured at Dinner Lab events!

Stay in-the-know by following Dinner Lab on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. A special thanks to Brickhaus Partners for making our attendance possible — follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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event preview: Dinner Lab featuring Chef Matthew Mytro from Flour Restaurant

Disclosure: I accepted an opportunity to share info about/attend Dinner Lab’s next Cleveland pop up from Brickhaus Partners. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Images ℅ Dinner Lab. 

It’s a special day in these parts as Hans and I are celebrating our ninth anniversary today. (My how time flies!) Being fans of good food and unique dining experiences, I was pretty excited to learn that I’d be able to treat my wonderfulhusband to a night out at a new-ish to Cleveland dining opportunity: Dinner Lab.

dinner lab collage 2

Images from Dinner Lab’s Facebook photo feed

Described as “a roving night out that is forever changing and always an experience to remember”, you might be asking yourself “how does this work?” — Dinner Lab explains it on their site

  • GET NOTIFIED: When a dinner is available we’ll email you all of the juicy details.
  • BUY TICKETS: When you see a menu that looks particularly mouthwatering, you may purchase tickets on the event page.
  • RECEIVE THE LOCATION: A day before the event, we’ll send you an email revealing the location of the dinner.
  • EVENT DAY: Your name will be on the list at the door. Once in, you’re welcome to find the bar and your seat; next up, rate the food!

Brickhaus Partners is bringing the next Dinner Lab to Cleveland TONIGHT — perfect timing for our anniversary celebration! They’ve been offering clues to the dinner’s location on their Instagram feed, plus @CLE_eats and yours truly also got in on the fun so that you can figure out where it all will come together later today. Check out Brickhaus’ latest Facebook post here for your chance to win two tickets to the Chef’s Table for tonight’s dinner! Post update: A winner has been selected!

As for the food itself, we have a lot to look forward to with Chef Mytro (@chef_mytro on Instagram) from Flour Restaurant leading the charge this evening. The culinary style that he and Co-Chef Minnillo at Flour takes “old world flavors and supplements them with new techniques for an unparalleled, enhanced level of nostalgia.” I understand tonight’s menu — called Antico E Moderno – is inspired by the work they do at the kitchen at the restaurant, so I know we’re in for quite the treat.

dinner lab collage

 Pictures from the previous Cleveland Dinner Lab event — all photos from Dinner Lab’s Twitter feed

So check out all the clues, figure out where dinner will be served, and join us in celebrating the Cleveland culinary scene with Dinner Lab and Brickhaus Partners tonight. I can’t wait!

Stay up-to-date by following Dinner Lab on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and Brickhaus Partners on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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GIVEAWAY: Cleveland Magazine’s 2015 Best of Cleveland Party

Disclosure: I accepted an opportunity to provide two event tickets as a reader giveaway to the Cleveland Magazine Best of Cleveland Party in exchange for two media passes. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Images ℅ Cleveland Magazine.

With another year nearly 3/4 of the way complete (#whendidthathappen), I’m getting giddy for the celebration of all things that are great in Northeastern Ohio via one of Cleveland’s finest publications, Cleveland Magazine. And what better way to celebrate than to throw a party? So come celebrate with us at Cleveland Magazine’s Best of Cleveland Party - this year presented by Mercedes-Benz of North Olmsted, benefiting Breakthrough Schools:

BOC2015BalloonsThe 10th annual Best of Cleveland party will take place on Friday, October 16, 2014 at Public Hall in downtown Cleveland. This event brings together the tip top that Cleveland has to offer based on reader and editor picks from the October issue of the magazine.  Hans and I attended the 2013 and 2014 events and had a wonderful time at both.

The event always has an impressive list of participating winners (full list coming soon!), plus I always look forward to the SpaWest VIP Lounge.  Where else can you dine on tasty treats from CLE’s fine dining establishments AND get your nails done?

Plus a fun addition to this year’s event: Cleveland Magazine wants to know what you think makes Cleveland the best via its photo contest: take a picture of something you love about CLE and enter for a chance to win four VIP tickets to the Best of Cleveland Party on October 16. Enter your best photo here and tell your friends to do the same!

BOC PhotoContest

You can purchase tickets at the event website — $75 for general admission, $150 for VIP — or you can win two general admission tickets on the blog this week by entering via the Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have until THIS FRIDAY, September 25 at 11:59PM to enter. A winner will be announced the next morning. As this is a local event taking place in Cleveland, Ohio, I highly encourage entries by those that can attend the event on Friday 10/16/15. 

Get ready to celebrate all that is the BEST of Cleveland with Cleveland Magazine: Like the event’s Facebook page, follow the event’s Twitter feed (@BestOfCLE) and keep an eye on Cleveland Magazine‘s Instagram feed for even more information.

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