Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lola (Cleveland)

Lola on East 4th Street in Cleveland
Lola Bistro on East 4th Street in Cleveland

I was in Cleveland on Saturday and took the opportunity to finally check out Lola with my future mother-in-law as an early Mother's Day celebration.

Lola is located at the end of a vibrant stretch of East 4th Street in Downtown Cleveland that is pedestrian-only and patio-friendly.  Inside, Lola is quite spacious, with the lighting kept dim.  We had a seat with a view of the open kitchen; the chefs were clearly busy on this weekend night, but if they were at all stressed, they did not give it away.  We were actually quite amazed by their composure and tranquility as they prepared food for a full house.

The menu at Lola is not particularly large, but everything sounded so amazing that it took us probably more than 10 minutes to finally come to a decision on what to order.  I am not allergic to gluten, but those who are would be pleased to learn that Lola offers plenty of gluten-free options.

I settled on the Beef Cheek Pierogi with wild mushrooms and horseradish crème fraîche for an appetizer, which was exquisite. I thought the horseradish crème fraîche was brilliant.

Beef Cheek Perogi at Lola
Beef Cheek Perogi ($12)

For my entree, I had the Walleye, with ramps, redskin potatoes, clams, and an herb shellfish broth.  The fish was perfectly tender, and the sides complemented it well.

Walleye at Lola
Walleye ($29)

Future mom-in-law loved her Artichoke Soup, a special of the evening, and her Wild Pacific Salmon entree.

Finally, I just couldn't resist a dessert that features maple bacon ice cream!  The 6 a.m. Special also came with brioche French toast and caramelized apple.  The ice cream had a subtle maple flavor with bacon bits throughout, which went very well with the rest of the dessert.

The 6 a.m. Special at Lola
The 6 a.m. Special ($9)

The service was top-notch as well.  Our server, Mark, was attentive, professional, and helpful.  Even though it was a Saturday night, and I knew Lola was fully booked, there was not a moment when I felt rushed.  Au contraire, I felt as though Mark was giving us the space and time to savor our meal in a leisurely way.

All I can say is, if you wish to score big brownie points with your mother-in-law, take her to Lola.  But be sure to book EARLY - as in at-least-three-weeks-in-advance early - if you're looking to go on a weekend. Lola is wildly popular, and now I understand why.

Restaurant Info:
Lola Bistro
2058 E 4th St, Cleveland, OH 44115
On the web:  http://www.lolabistro.com
On Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lola.bistro
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/lolabistro

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