Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brasserie 33 (Shadyside)

UPDATE: Brasserie 33 is closed.

Coq au Vin at Brasserie 33
Coq au Vin

Bouillabaisse at Brasserie 33

We drove back to Pittsburgh on the day of our anniversary and had dinner at the French restaurant Brasserie 33...which is interesting because we had just had French for lunch as well. Methinks somebody misses Paris (our honeymoon destination)!

Located in a small strip mall in on the Ellsworth side of Shadyside, this was my first trip to Brasserie 33 and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. My first impression was that it reminded me of some of the nonchalant, down-to-earth restaurants we had visited in Paris. There was a certain charm to the place, and the extremely friendly service contributed to that charm.

The food was great, too. Not Paris-great, I don't think, but solid. We had each ordered a traditional French dish—Coq au Vin for him, Bouillabaisse for me, and both were good. We would have loved to try some dessert, but we were quite full by the end of the meal. Perhaps next time!

Restaurant info:
Brasserie 33
5863 Ellsworth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15232
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Le Petit Triangle Cafe (Cleveland)

Le Petit Triangle Cafe (Cleveland)
Le Petit Triangle Cafe

Poulet, Cheddar, and Chutney Crepe Le Petit Triangle Cafe (Cleveland)
Poulet, Cheddar, and Chutney Crepe

Poulet, Cheddar, and Chutney Crepe at Le Petit Triangle Cafe (Cleveland)
Poulet, Cheddar, and Chutney Crepe

We started out the day of our wedding anniversary in Cleveland, and since most downtown restaurants are closed on Sundays, we thought we'd venture out to Ohio City to enjoy some brunch at Le Petit Triangle Cafe—a super cute French restaurant reminiscent of some of the French cafés we had seen in Paris on our honeymoon. We each ordered a savory crêpe, mine being one with roasted chicken, white cheddar cheese, and mango chutney. R. had one with mushrooms, caramelized onions, and scrambled eggs that normally comes with blue cheese as well but he skipped the blue cheese. All in all, the crêpes were tasty and the atmosphere pleasant—a nice way to ring in our second year of marriage!

Restaurant info:
Le Petit Triangle Cafe
1881 Fulton Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ristorante Chinato (Cleveland)

The night before our first wedding anniversary was a Saturday in May and we happened to be in Cleveland. I had really hope to visit Lola again, but didn't make a reservation early enough for a table at a decent hour (grumble...), so instead we decided to try Ristorante Chinato just down the street since we had heard good things. Chinato's atmosphere is upscale, but lively. The food was great, and the service was fabulous as well. Here's a quick photo recap of our delicious meal:

Beef Tongue with Salsa Verde
Beef Tongue with Salsa Verde 

Flattened Chicken Breast at Chinato (Cleveland)
Flattened Chicken Breast

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake at Chinato (Cleveland)
Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake

Arancia Panna Cotta at Chinato (Cleveland)
Arancia Panna Cotta

Restaurant Info:
Ristorante Chinato
2079 E 4th St, Cleveland, OH 44115
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Friday, September 6, 2013

Pura Vida (Cleveland)

It's been a few months since R. and I spent a weekend Cleveland, but I still remember our two evenings at Pura Vida quite fondly.

I discovered Pura Vida by chance, having walked past it when I was in downtown Cleveland last year. The funky lighting inside had caught my attention and made me wonder if it was a restaurant or a trendy club of some sort. Remembering this place a year later, R. and I decided to come and check it out.

We stopped by our first night in Cleveland for an early supper—and we were utterly impressed by the quality of the food. My salmon was crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside. On the side was rice pilaf, which I don't normally like, but this was amazing. I suppose it was fried as the rice was a bit crunchy, with a surprisingly delicious nutty flavor. R.'s African Peanut Stew, with sweet potatoes, curry, kale, and of course peanuts, was phenomenal, while his Trout Po Boy was also excellent, the fried trout being complemented with just the right amount of sauce. The sweet potato hash that came with it was great as well. Our server, Jen, was also excellent.

Pura Vida
Pura Vida

Salmon at Pura Vida
African Peanut Stew at Pura Vida
African Peanut Stew

Trout Po Boy at Pura Vida
Trout Po Boy

We were so impressed with Pura Vida that we decided to return the next evening for drinks, as a pre-celebration of our wedding anniversary. (One year already!) Catching my eye was the Taste of Thailand, made with coconut vodka and a ginger/lemongrass/Thai chili simple syrup. And it was everything I could have hoped for in a drink with coconut and ginger—some of my very favorite flavors! R. ordered the very unique Rum-Vida, made with red bell pepper-infused rum, ginger simple syrup, and ginger beer, with a layer of red wine poured on top, and it was tasty as well. Chatting with the friendly bartender, Dave, who explained the inspiration for all of his creations, I definitely gained a whole new respect for craft cocktails, and it made me want to explore them further. We finished off our evening with Dave's version of Margarita.

Taste of Thailand at Pura Vida
Taste of Thailand

Rum-Vida at Pura Vida

Margarita at Pura Vida

This is hard for a Pittsburgh girl to admit, but I am actually looking forward to going back to Cleveland—mostly because I can't wait to go back to Pura Vida!

Restaurant Info:
Pura Vida by Brandt
170 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114
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