Category Archives: Food

#CLEfood: lunch at Restaurant Trentina (plus a GIVEAWAY)

Disclosure:  As a part of the Trentina friends and family preview, I was invited to attend this lunch tasting menu opportunity with a guest, and to giveaway a gift card to a lucky reader. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Honored to find ourselves back at the Cleveland food scene’s most talked-about dining spot, our long holiday weekend kicked off with a Friday afternoon lunch Restaurant Trentina, located in the University Circle.

Since we highly enjoyed our experience at the friends and family dinner preview in June, Chef Jonathon Sawyer, Executive Chef Matt Danko and the Trentina team developed a lunch menu that provides Northeastern Ohioans the same unique dining experience between the hours of 11AM and 2PM.

On our half-day-Fridays, while soaking in the sun pouring in Trentina’s large front window, Hans and I dined through these dishes from the new lunch menu:

  • Wood-Fired Broccoli with eggplant sauce, anchovies, crab apples, and parsley
  • Red Basket Market Salad with Parmesan, bagna cauda, wood-fired almonds & bread crumbs
  • Scallop with carrot vinegar, marigold, golden rod, spumante, shallot & scallop tripe, roe, foot
  • Beef Carne with herbed and moustarda
  • Gluten-free Garlic Pasta with rice penne, garlic, dehydrated polenta, parmesan & olive oil
  • Swordfish
  • Lemon sorbet with chocolate dust
  • Olive oil gelato with orange zest

trentina collage

Who knew what a culinary treat that lunch could be.  I could have easily ordered a few rounds of our first course (I loved the play of the charred broccoli with the anchovies and eggplant — and that was easily the best non-Caesar “Caesar” salad I’ve had in awhile), but would be thankful as more delicious selections were presented to us.  As Hans savored each bite of his swordfish, I did my best to not devour my gluten free pasta offering in less than one minute. Chef Sawyer checked in on me, sharing the ways he hoped to improve on the rice penne dish in the future — but I was completely content, sharing the flavors were on and the consistency of the pasta was unlike anything else I’ve had dining out.  To then receive gelato and sorbet… we were in heaven.

Prepare your tastebuds, CLE:  Restaurant Trentina starts its lunch service on Tuesday, September 9th. (Open for lunch Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are encouraged but not required.)  Have some free time on September 5th?  The public is welcome to join Chef Sawyer at Trentina’s lunch soft opening that afternoon. Attendees that day will receive complimentary beverage service (includes tea, custom Trentina blend coffee, and/or alcohol), and Dolce and Grazi courses on the house as a thank you.

Want to check out Restaurant Trentina for yourself? Enter to win a $25 gift card from the restaurant — via the Rafflecopter — this week:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have until Saturday, September 6th at 12:00PM EST to enter. The winner will be announced later that morning over at the PIP Facebook pageSince this is for a specific restaurant in Cleveland, I suggest that only those that can use the gift card enter to win!

Stay in up-to-date by following Restaurant Trentina on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Disclosure:  As a part of the Trentina friends and family preview, I was invited to attend this lunch tasting menu opportunity with a guest, and to giveaway a gift card to a lucky reader. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Link It Up: Must Read Posts on 8.22.2014

Sometimes as I’m going about my day, I throw various blog posts, online articles and fun YouTube video URLs in my Gmail drafts folder. Well, when I saw over 80 draft emails (90% of which were these types of links), I knew it was time to revive this blog series. I do love sharing these with you!


My great friend and fellow CLE blogger Amanda at Clue Into Cleveland (on the far right in this photo from Jump Back Ball) is celebrating her birthday this weekend, and I’m honored to join in on the fun. Read her most recent post on how she’s participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge by supporting a good friend participating in the ALS Association’s local walk. Consider donating to Jen’s team here.


Don’t forget: you have until this Monday at midnight to enter my giveaway to win two $25 dining cards to the 10th Anniversary Taste of Hudson. Click over to yesterday’s post to enter this weekend.


If you’re looking for some local dining inspiration, look no further than Bite Buff‘s recent series of posts when she hosted a Pittsburg blogger for a #ThisisCLE culinary tour in conjunction with  Positively Cleveland. She just posted Part Three, which included visits to North Union Farmers Market, Dante Next Door (p.s. they have gluten free pizza!), Lilly Handmade Chocolates and A Cookie and a Cupcake.  Here’s Part One, Part Two and Part Two x2 for you to catch up on if you missed the first two days.

In case you haven’t heard, Cleveland Gladiators are in the ArenaBowl happening this Saturday night. They have the chance to finally bring the good people of Cleveland a championship, so go cheer them on at The Q. More information on the team’s website.

This Sunday includes another Yoga Rocks the Park. Teresa Gorski from Vision Yoga is teaching and long time blog friend Brandon Kocher is accompanying her with his musical stylings. Purchase tickets on the event website or at Tremont’s Lincoln Park morning of the class.

Cleveland Cocktail Week is coming! My very good friend Smitten in Cleveland is very excited to celebrate this Northeastern Ohio gathering September 4th through 8th — check out her blog post for more info or the event website at


Fellow CLE FitBloggin’ blogger Jill shared her grilled maple bacon peanut butter and jelly sammich recipe this week. If eating this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

This fennel roasted veggies recipe from Michael Chiarello over at the Food Network site reminds me of a dish we enjoyed while in San Francisco this past April. This WILL be made once I get my hands on some fennel!

I’m all about a recipe that doesn’t involve anything beyond a bit of chopping, boiling, blending and mixing: I’ll be making Kathryn Budig’s Time-Saving Sun Butter + Coconut Curry soon. It uses brown rice noodles, making it gluten free.

Holly Clegg’s Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad combines roasted sweet yams, crunchy corn, black beans in a light jalapeño dressing — check out the Cleveland Clinic’s Speaking of Women’s Health site for an array of info.


“It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.” ― B.K.S. Iyengar. Rest in Peace and Thank You! #bksiyengar

Got a link to share? Put it in the comments below… and happy Friday!

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event preview: Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration 2014

Disclosure: In exchange for sharing information about this event, I will receive two media passes to attend. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Look who’s back… back again! The Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration is returns this year, and is ready to celebrate the tastes of the world while supporting its non-profit mission.


Learn more about Veggie U: “Veggie U is dedicated to increasing children’s awareness of healthy food options, and teaching them how real food reaches their plate. We believe children who are exposed to growing their own food are more likely to include vegetables in their diet. Our national non-profit organization supplies Classroom Gardens and a standards based, five-week science program to elementary and special needs students.” (source: event page)

This event previously took place on the grounds of The Chef’s Garden. I was lucky attend the 2011 event and was blown away — both as an attendee and local event planner. So many great chefs from around the nation serving so much good food — it was worth the drive to the far far West side!


With Farmer Lee Jones at the 2011 event out at the farm in Milan.

For the event’s grand return, the Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration 2014 will take place on Saturday, July 19 from 7:00PM to 10:30 PM at the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center and Pura Vida spaces in the middle of downtown Cleveland’s Public Square.

Check out this line up of local chefs already confirmed for the July 19th event:

  • Matt Mytro from Flour
  • Andrew Bower from Market Garden Brewery
  • Scott Coffman from Pura Vida
  • Jeff Jarrett from AMP 150
  • Michael Lyons from The Accessible Gourmet
  • Matthew Mathlage from Light Bistro
  • Karen Small from The Flying Fig
  • Nate Barker from Hodge’s
  • Anna Harouvis from Good to Go Café/Anna in the Raw
  • Manny Nieves from Grady’s Fine Wines
  • John Selick from UH Ahuja Medical Center/Sodexo
  • Ky-Wei Wong  from the Tri-C Culinary Arts Program

Other local vendors will donate to the evening, including Certified Angus Beef, LaBella Cupcakes, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, Storm Mountain Coffee, Rockmill Brewery, Vintners Select, Wine Trends, Town Hall, and Whole Foods. Throw in live entertainment, a silent auction and a wine pull — you’ve got quite the non-profit food and wine event!

Tickets are $150 per person. To purchase tickets and learn more about the event, visit or call (419) 499-7500 to place an order over the phone.

Want to win tickets to the July 19th event? Veggie U is giving one Facebook fan the opportunity to attend. Click on over to this Facebook page to enter to win two tickets.

Don’t want to Facebook your entry? Email it instead: Send over your first and last name plus email address to with the subject line “Veggie U Food & Wine Ticket Contest Entry”.  Do it today – you have to enter by July 14th.

Want to learn more about Veggie U?  Check out their Facebook page and follow @VeggieU on Twitter. Follow the hashtag #VUFoodWine2014 

Disclosure: In exchange for sharing information about the July 19th event, I will receive two media passes to attend. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

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