Monday, June 27, 2011

NEO Food Tour - Tremont

Wednesday was a much anticipated event offered by NEO Food Tours - a culinary tour of Tremont. This was their 3rd event and I had been eagerly hoping to join them. The whole crew was friendly and excited about the event. Todd did an exceptional job with the city tour portion. He provided a lot of interesting history and commented on the unique architecture in the area. Tremont is a foodie dream neighborhood with a rich cultural history so it was a perfect location. The tour is set up like a progressive dinner - you start at one restaurant and then walk to the next ones along the way, eventually enjoying a full meal. With wine  : ) Brooke was our neighborhood embassador and added some additional details and history as well.
My neighbor and I met many fun people and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening! In fact, we met a local food blogger Brad from Cleveland Food and Brews who encouraged me to finally make the move and get writing - many thanks Brad!! Check out his blog too - he did a great recap of the evening with a lot more details than I could remember. Some other nice people on the tour didn't drink wine so we got some bonus glasses...

Another cool blogger was in our group too - Amanda from Clue into Cleveland was also there. You can find her here.

I'll add my abbreviated review here, even though we both shared a lot of the same feelings about it. I absolutely LOVED every bite of food I ate! The only complaint whatsoever is that the portions were mostly very small, especially for the $85 price tag. We were not full and actually ended up grabbing a slice of pizza at another favorite place, Edison's, afterwards when the group moved the party there. The list of restaurants and details of the meals are in Brad's blog.  


Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit got me to love seared tuna! His was a work of art both in presentation and in the combination of flavors. If you have never been to his restaurant, put it on your Must Eat list - he rocks! He was extremely personable and generous with his offering AND gave us a special treat of fried oysters. Best I've ever had! His wine was also my favorite of the evening - a 2008 Miner Viognier from Simpson Vineyard. Perfectly refreshing for our sultry evening and really complimented the tuna, cucumber and pickled greens.    


Lago was our stop for the entree portion of the tour and it was amazing also. Too small to truly be considered an entree and it left us begging for more. The grilled asparagus and red peppers were a nice contract to the crispy halibut. What made this dish a stand out for me was the English pea emulsion - such an explosion of spring freshness - wow! Josh is someone to keep your eye on. This is another  place you should  definitely experience. They make it easy for you by offering week night specials. 




The Bistro on Lincoln Park  and 806 Wine & Martini Bar  were places that I've been wanting to check out for some time.  The Bistro's Pork Belly, herb salad and berries will ensure that I go back!  Hopefully the regular portions are substantially larger than what we were served.  




806 had a cool patio and I loved the sangria but was utterly and completely disappointed at what was advertised as "summer fruit compote with Fine Artisanal Cheese selection." While the berries were what every berry dreams to be, the cheese and Ritz style crackers were inappropriate at best. I'll leave it at that. 


We were all extremely thankful for the two mini cupcakes from Cookie and a Cupcake - they were gobbled up by all and were the perfect ending to our tour. In spite of the shortcomings, if you consider the amount of fun we had, and the fact that we tried some new restaurants while getting to meet the chefs, we felt it would still be worth going to another event in the future. And you should too!  Here are the upcoming tour locations:

July 20: E.4th / Gateway District: $80: Greenhouse, House of Blues Foundation Room Special Tasting, La Strada, Zinc + more surprises!
August 17: Shaker Square: TBA
September 21: Gordon Square: TBA

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