Tag Archives: food

#CLEfood: Restaurant Trentina

The recent New York Times article, Cleveland, a City Repurposed, has been on my mind after giving it a quick scan this past week.  I love the writer’s suggestion of  “what’s old is new again” — and like many other Northeastern Ohioans, it seems Chef Jonathon Sawyer took hold of this way of thinking with the opening of his location, Restaurant Trentina, located in the University Circle building where Sergio’s once was located.

As we were seated promptly for our 8:30 reservation time on Saturday night, we had a few moments to look over the tasting menu for the friends and family preview:

  • Primi Assaggio: Crusto di Polenta, Carne Salata alla Trentina, Tyralean Speck, Vegetables from our Larder & Fields
  • Caviar + Ciccoli: Sumac, Cucumber and Puffed Pasta
  • Crustaceo Crudo: Vintage Ohio Apple and Citrus
  • Sable Fish al Cartoccio: Celtuce, Wild Ohio Crown Tipped Coral Mushroom, TNT Larder Yogurt and Fumet
  • Edible Candle: 24k Gold Honey, Aged Beef Suet, Crunchy Salt and Fresh Bread
  • Pasta alla Chitarra: Ohio Farm Egg
  • Pasta Cuscino: Cabbages, Onion, Spicebush and Formaggio Che Cola
  • Game Birds: Livers and Madeira
  • Beasts Roasted Over Embers
  • Primi Dolce: Strawberries, Yogurt and Pistachio
  • Dolce: Strudel alla Trentina
  • Grazia: Gold Milk Chocolate

 The Primi Assaggio course – plus a certain ginger and his matching beer.

Knowing that Trentina is inspired by Northern Italian cuisine, there’s a lot of the “old” in there — from the progression of the courses, to the ingredients used, and so on. But don’t get too attached to what you know about that style of food — Chef Sawyer, executive chef Matt Danko and their team throw your expectations out on to Ford Drive, mixing up the usual with ways with methods you never could have expected. At least I didn’t.

I’ll let Joe Crea from cleveland.com get in the fine details of this uber fine dining experience — he’s much more versed than I — but know it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen in Cleveland.  I knew Hans and I were experiencing something unique – almost magical – at times.

The most important thing I can share from my experience was the care Chef Sawyer took with my gluten intolerance. He came out to the table before the meal began, asking detailed questions to understand my level of intolerance — even offering to send me home with some farro to try (even though it has a lower level of gluten, I haven’t tried it since going GF in 2010).

Course by course, he guided us carefully through the slight alterations he made as necessary for me — my favorite being his use of pig’s ear for pasta in the pasta course. Yes, pig’s ear — sliced into almost an orzo shape, served with a farm fresh egg that was cooked in a spoon in the embers of the fire.  Chewy, exactly like an al dente noodle, I was mildly shocked at how successful the substitution was.

By the end of the meal, we left incredibly satisfied and completely blown away. As we walked back down Ford towards the Peter B. Lewis Building on Case Western’s campus, I looked at Hans and said, “I think we’ve just got treated to one of the most unique dining experiences of our lives.”

LONG STORY SHORT:  Trentina is not your everyday, run-of-the-mill dining experience.  Every single plate of the multi-course meal that arrived at our table had the care of a fine artist creating a unique piece of their specialized craft — and we were lucky to have the artist come and share his passion for his creation.  Chef Sawyer has given life again to more than just an old Cleveland building, but to a way of dining – and to an experience while eating – that we didn’t even know we wanted.  But if that means saving room for fig leaf gelato, then sign me up.

Get ready, CLE:  Restaurant Trentina opens to the public on July 8th. Stay in the know by following Restaurant Trentina on Facebook, on Twitter and on Instagram.

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

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GIVEAWAY: Market at the Food Bank {to benefit the Greater Cleveland Food Bank}

Personally, my favorite sign of spring? All the non-profit food and wine events, of course!

One of my favorites includes Market at the Food Bank. This year, it’s taking place on Sunday, May 4 and, as always, benefits the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and its Harvest for Hunger campaign.

Each dollar raised provides the Food Bank the resources to distribute four meals to our community members in need. By supporting this event, you can help the non-profit raise enough money to provide more than one million meals in one evening. Truly amazing!

General admission tickets are $85 per person. Purchase online to get your tickets today…

CFB_2013_JG_013

The list of restaurants is QUITE impressive – check out the event website at www.greaterclevelandfoodbank.org/Market2014 for an up-to-date listing.

…or you can enter two win two tickets to the May 4th Market at the Food Bank event this week on the blog! Enter via the Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have until this Friday, April 25th at 12:00AM EST to enter. The winner will be announced later that morning. Since this event takes place in Cleveland, make sure you can attend before entering.  So why not enter to win today?!

Want to learn more about the Greater Cleveland Food Bank?  Check out their Facebook page,  and follow @CleveFoodbank on Twitter, @clefoodbank on Instagram and the #MarketatFB hashtag to keep up-to-date on all of the fine foodie eats that evening.

Disclosure: All images ℅ the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. In exchange for running this giveaway, I will receive two media passes to the May 4th event. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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#HeinensSundaySupper Week One: pork chops with roasted potatoes & asparagus

Congrats to Valerie from Motherhood in Progress  – you’ve won two tickets to Yuri’s Night Cleveland! Didn’t win? Tickets are available at the Great Lakes Science Center‘s event website for the April 12th event.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Disclaimer:  As a part of the Heinen’s #HeinensSundaySupper campaign, I offered to share my photos and thoughts during our Sunday meals. I was given a gift card for my participation. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

It was just last Wednesday I was chatting with an event volunteer that I hadn’t seen in awhile. The subject turned to food and restaurants (as it usually does when you plan those types of events) and the volunteer asked me a very sound question: “which type of foodie are you: one that likes to cook or one that likes the restaurant experience?”

My answer: “I would say I’m sort of both, but I lean towards the restaurant enjoyment because I don’t have the time to create full blown meals on a regular basis.” I then even admitted how much I especially missed making a Sunday night meal for Hans, myself and the occasional additional family member.

With that cue, enter stage left:  Heinen’s.

photo 1

I was recently invited to partake in #HeiensSundaySupper, sharing photos of my end-of-the-weekend meals from items crafted from their stores. What better way to dive right back into a regular weekend cooking routine?

Last Sunday, Hans and I headed out the Brecksville location (a uber quick jaunt down I-77) and came home with the bundle of groceries pictured above. On the initial visit, I was going for pantry staples plus fun, fresh ingredients that I love.

After a prompt unpacking and the heating of our oven, I tossed together an easy, yet tasty Sunday meal for my husband and I:

photo 2

WIth this brutal winter, there was no chance of grilling the pork chops. (AKA I couldn’t talk Hans into going outside!) So with a quick Google search, The Kitchn helped me out with a “sear first, throw in the over to finish” method that made me feel like a culinary genius. (Not so much in the grand scheme of things — just a trick I’ve seen on cooking shows about a million times!)

When we saw the fingerling potatoes and the asparagus at Heinen’s that afternoon, a craving for roasted veggies overtook me. With a light coating of olive oil, sea salt and pepper – tossed along with shallots and garlic – we had the perfect sides for our protein. So easy, so simple, yet so delicious. We paired our meal with a white wine blend we found in the grocery’s Bin 55 (their favorite wines for under $10) and ended the weekend off right.

LONG STORY SHORT: The smile on Hans’ face said it all – he was glad to have a solid meal at home again! I’ve got ideas for the next two Sundays, all based on the ingredients in the photo above. Stay tuned to see how it all plays out… and how I regain my standing of the World’s Best Wife, ha! Thanks Heinen’s for the assist.

Stay in touch with Heinen’s via their social media feeds: on Facebook and on Twitter at @heinens.

Disclaimer:  As a part of the Heinen’s #HeinensSundaySupper campaign, I offered to share my photos and thoughts during our Sunday meals. I was given a gift card for my participation. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. 

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

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