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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