Thursday, February 24, 2011

Target - GO International Design Collective

image via

The one that got away.  It's happened before.  It will happen again.  Target releases a designer collection and by the time it hits the web and stores in your area your coveted look has been snatched up.  Target understands this connundrum and on March 13th they are reissuing 34 of their most popular dresses from their famed GO International collection.

What started as a neat little idea with Luella in 2006, has become part of our pop-shopping-culture turning such designers as Libertine, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler into affordable, wearable names for everyone.

The GO International Designer Collective releases 34 of their most coveted looks from 17 designers.  Here are the ones I'm trying to get my greedy little paws on.

Luella Bartley

Tracy Feith

Tracy Feith

Erin Fetherston


Proenza Schouler

Alice Temperley


Behnaz Sarafpour


All the dresses will be available at March 13th and in stores April 10th. (however I'd start checking the stores after March 13th since Target has been known to be a little sketchy on their release dates.) The best part?  They all retail under $50!

images via

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

RW Blue Point Grille

Blue Point (image via)
As I mentioned yesterday, the husband & I went to Blue Point Grille last night.  As we headed out into the snowy, icy night...(did I say ICE?) I started to wonder how many people this had deterred from the first night of Restaurant Week.  Would the people who lived downtown and nearby cities show, but the suburbanites stay home?  My husband's office is in Strongsville and he said the ride home from work wasn't pleasant. 

image via

We started off with drinks at Metro Bar + Kitchen.  I haven't been here since it was the Metropolitan.  (and always sat outside) It's gorgeous inside.  Lots of open spaces, windows and a lovely front dining area with huge, red, comfy chairs and tables.  It was especially gorgeous to sit inside and watch it snow through those huge floor to ceiling windows.  We had just missed happy hour (which ends at 6:30).  The bar menu has something for everyone, and I decided on a white pear martini and the husband had a Malbec.

I'm not a fan of alcohol being artificially flavored or sweetened.  I like my drinks the old school way - when the bar infuses the spirits themselves.  Thank you VTR & Speakeasy.  But this was pretty good.  Not overly sweet, with slight hints of pear and refreshingly clean and simple.  Score!  The only downside was that the entire place smelled of bleach.  Not just faint hints, but eyes watering, bleach.  Nothing ruins a cocktail or the ambiance like the smell of bleach.  We had a good laugh about it, were glad that we weren't eating there that night, but made a point to remember to come back and try the food at a later (bleach-free) date. 

Blue Point Grille

We walked across the street to Blue Point Grille.  We haven't been here in quite some time and I was excited to check out the menu.  Restaurant Week is a great way to get out and hit spots that you either haven't been to or keep forgetting to go back to.  We were seated, had a lovely waiter and got comfortable. ( I forgot how great their service and the knowledge of their waitstaff truly is!)  My husband enjoyed his Malbec across the street, so he ordered another one here.  Where it was $2.50 cheaper a glass.  Yes, you heard that right.  Not the other way around.  Same brand, same vintage.   I ordered a Petit Syrah.

I knew I was ordering off the RW menu and my husband was ordering off the regular menu.  Which here, is all the same, as the have the prix-fixe menu printed onto the regular menu.  I can't even tell you how long we waited or how many times our kind waiter came to check on us, as my husband could simply not make up his mind.  This has never happened.  He looks a menu over and in 5 seconds knows what he wants (and it usually involves lamb!)  But there were so many things he liked that narrowing it down was amusing to watch.  (At this point he'll probably tell you that I'm over exaggerating). 

Neither of us are oyster people, but seeing the beer battered oysters on the menu seemed like a taunt.  We ordered those and I got the Nag's Head grouper w/ lobster mashed potatoes.  This is an entree that the restaurant is featuring as an app for RW.  It was unbelievably good.  I'll be back and ordering that as an entree soon.  The grouper was light and set atop the most succulent lobster mashers.  I could eat that all night long.  The oysters were cute perched on their shells, served with a roasted red pepper salsa, cilantro and radish. We soon realized that anything beer battered tastes, well, beer battered. The salsa was pureed and had a lovely kick of horseradish.  We had a good chuckle and thought it was a good first foray into the oyster world and we were now open to trying them the traditional way.

For our entrees, I ordered the crab topped filet and he ordered the Bluenose Sea bass.  Mine came perfectly prepared with a generous lump of crab and bearnaise.  The sea bass came in a large shallow bowl filled with mussels and rock shrimp, yukon golds and a bouillabaisse broth.  The fish and mussels were wonderful, but he realized he's not so much of a bouillabaisse fan.  Not the taste, but the concept of food and broth.  He noted he'd totally order the fish again but from the 'simply prepared' part of the menu. 

As part of my menu I also got dessert and settled on the chocolate bomb.  It was everything you'd imagine, a similar concept on quite a few restaurant menus these days.  Large enough to share accompanied by a wonderful vanilla bean ice cream. 

If you aren't able to make it out this week, the RW menu is listed throughout the winter as a Winter Prix-Fixe with a price of $36.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Food & Inspiration - CLE Style

This has been quite a week for us in Cleveland.  With a peek at spring, everyone was stepping out and we all got a much needed shot-in-the-arm of sunshine.  But it wouldn't be CLE if the temps didn't swing from 2 to 60 degrees then back to the ice and snow within a matter of days.  We roll with the punches here!  But there has been some really great stuff in the works and there's a lot of fantastic things to do this week.

This week the James Beard Foundation announced their semi-finalists and CLE was well represented!

Outstanding Chef: Michael Symon, Lola
Best Chef - Great Lakes: Zachary Bruell, L'Albatros.  Eric Williams, Momocho
Rising-Star Chef: Jonathan Sawyer, The Greenhouse Tavern
Keep an eye out as the finalists will be announced March 21 and the awards handed out May 9th.  Good luck, gentlemen!!

Cleveland Restaurant Week - 2/21-2/27

This year along with the $30 prix fixe dinner options, many restaurants are offering $15 lunch specials as well.  Check out the participating restaurants and their menus here.  Every day this week select hot spots are also hosting tasting events.  Tonight I'll be at Blue Point Grille with a stop at XO later in the week.  Where are you headed?

Tuesday 2/22 -  Adele '21'

Grab a bottle of wine and feed your soul with Adele's sophomore album, 21.

Wed 2/23 - Battery Park Wine Bar wine tasting 7-9pm    16 wines and apps for $20

Thurs 2/24 - Ladies Bite Out at Suite Sixx 8pm

Get some girlfriends together and head over to the Warehouse District to sample up some decadent goodies.  Champagne and tasting demos from some of our most fabulous local chefs.  All for free!

Thurs 2/24 - Great Lakes Brewing Co - Names Behind the Brews series.  Commodore Perry India Pale Ale w/ Douglas Bazar.  $10/person - appetizers.  Cash Bar

2/24-27 Lakeland Jazz Festival

Sat 2/26 - Explore the wines of Portugal 5-8pm   Wine & Design  For $15 you can sample 5 wines with small apps.

image via

The films for this year's Cleveland International Film Festival have been announced. The festival runs 3/24-4/3. Tickets go on sale to the public March 11th.

3/27 Food Truck Festival - well, they're still working on a name, but all your fave food trucks are planning to get together in one location for a fab foodie truck gorge-fest.  They plan on making it a monthly event and I can't imagine a better way to work our way through spring.

April 15th 9am - TEDxCLE - Capitol Theater. 
Get moving.  Get motivated.  Get inspired.  This is the event to get out of work for.  Spend the day creating conversation to inspire change in our city.  Some of the speakers and topics include:

Jonathan Sawyer - Greenhouse Tavern (debunking food myths)
Valerie Mayen - Yellowcake (building community in cleveland through the arts)
David Franklin - Cleveland Museum of Art (art in the age of algorithms, portraits in the age of pixels, museums in the age of megabytes: why museums still matter)
Chris Clark - Sunflower Solutions (electricity as a basic right)
Ari Maron - MRN Ltd. (the future of urban cleveland)
Ted Howard - Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland (using co-ops to drive community revitalization and personal development)

Find a full listing here.  Tickets go on sale Fri 3/18 from the Capitol Theatre site, where a unique web address will be provided closer to the sale date.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gym Inspiration & Random Awards

When I think of the Grammy Awards, I think of outrageous fashion, wacky rocker-chic and mind-blowing performances.  This year had all of that but all I could think about was how I need to get to the gym. 

I'm a wishy-washy gym goer.  I don't like to go between December and March, cause I'm still comforting myself with food :)  But as a friend recently reminded me (thanks Krys!) I also am a baby when it's super crazy August hot out.  The thought of sweating at the gym then nearly suffocating from the heat when I get out is just too much for me.

After Sunday night's show I'm determined to get one of these hot bodies.

Jennifer Lopez via

Gwyneth Paltrow via

Gwyneth Paltrow via
Lady Gaga (those abs!) via
Lea Michele via
Eva Longoria via
So between hitting the gym and my recent purchase of  The Biggest Loser Challenge for the Wii, I should be in top shape soon!

Here are my random awards Grammy Edition:

Best Interpretation of a Victoria's Secret Angel

Katy Perry via
Best Reinvention of the Michelin Man look

Rihanna via
Best Creepy Black Widow Spider Lashes

Christina Aguilera via
Best Showing of your Babymaker

Heidi Klum via
Best Furrrocious Revival of Cats

Nicki Minaj via
Best There's Something About Mary Hair

Patrick Monahan via

Monday, February 14, 2011

Romantic Ruffles

Happy Valentine's Day my darlings!

Nina Ricci S/S 2011 (paris) via

This Valentine's I'm completely in love with flowy, breezy, spring-like ruffles.  They were fluttering on the spring/summer runway shows and play off really well in real life.  So go soft and romantic today and put a little spring in the air.

Natalia Vodianova in Valentino via

Felicity Brown (Italian Vogue)

Nina Ricci

Valentino Couture Spring 2011 via

Macy's $58.99

Macy's $54.99

Maggy London - Nordstrom $158

LaRok Luxe $288 via

chiffon top $39.90 - Express

White House Black Market $150

Francesca's Collections $44

AK Anne Klein - Macy's $59

Monday, February 7, 2011

Valentine Menu Ideas

caramel pot de creme

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  I'm not sure if that's the case for all men, but it sure is the case for me.  Both my husband and I are slightly obsessed with food.  We talk about it, think about it, dream about it.  There are many romantic dinner options in our fine city, just check out Cleveland Independents for a list of Valentine offerings.

I prefer to stay in.  I prefer to not have to buy cards or gifts.  I prefer to lounge in the kitchen with a glass of wine and whip up something romantic while listening to a little Ella.  Here are some of my go-to recipes for a sure fire romantic evening.

pear and pomegranate salad w/gorgonzola and champagne vinaigrette

scallops and filet with manhattan sauce
coq au vin
duck breasts w/ pinot noir and cherry sauce
seven spice lamb chops

lobster tails w/ clarified butter

veal chops w/ roasted shallots
polenta w/ wild mushroom saute
porcini parsley pasta
sky blue potatoes
affogato (image via here)
Pour 1 shot espresso over a small scoop of ice cream and stick a cookie in the side.  I'll be making my affogato with Jeni's goat cheese and cognac fig ice cream, espresso and Trader Joe's mini almond biscotti.

image via here
image via here

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