Fall is a fantastic time in NE Ohio! There's not any snow (yet!), the leaves are gorgeous and it seems like every day there's something fun to do. This weekend is no different. Here are three of my favorite things to do this weekend.
Everyone thinks of the Lake Erie Islands as a summer destination. Did you know that the fun doesn't stop when summer ends? They have wine festivals, haunted events, special dinners and more. One of the most anticipated is the Put-in-Bay Oktoberfest. This year is the 19th festival and it's Saturday from 11am-7pm and Sunday from noon to 5pm. The will have all sorts of German food (potato pancakes and sauerkraut balls FTW!), beer, hot spiced wine, and live polka and German music. It's Put-in-Bay's Homecoming Weekend. Jump on the Miller Ferry for only $6.50 each way. Click here for their fall departure schedule.
The east side of Cleveland is the location for the next event. Edwin's Leadership and Restaurant Institute is hosting Taste the Potential, a fundraiser on Sunday 10/14 at 6pm at Chris Axelrod's gorgeous home in Bratenahl. When I heard about this event, I knew it was a Must Do!
Brandon Chrostowski, general manager of one of my very favorite restaurants L'Albatros, founded this innovative not-for-profit restaurant program that helps people in at risk neighborhoods and those who have been released from prison learn job skills by working at the soon to open Edwin's restaurant. The participants receive free housing, medical care and job placement. They also attend life-skills classes and obtain counseling that helps ensure that their transition will be successful. This unique and very worthwhile program helps ex-cons return to society as productive self-supporting people - that's an often overlooked segment of society that really needs our help.
Tickets cost $200 per person with $125 of the ticket price being tax deductible. It's a lot of cash I know, but the money raised helps so many local people right here in Cleveland. The event is packed with fantastic food and local chefs that we all love: Zack Bruell, Karen Small, Paul Minnillo, and Chris Hodgson.
David & Karen Waltuck of New York City's must loved (and sadly closed) Chanterelle Restaurant will be bringing their James Beard winning talent to CLE for the event as well. Pastries from Adam Gidlow of On the Rise Bakery and wine pairings will round out the night.
There's only a few tickets left - you can get yours here.
If covered bridges are your thing, you are in luck! This weekend is the Ashtabula Covered Bridge Festival. You can participate in a drive yourself tour of the 17 bridges or attend the festival at the Astabula County Fairgrounds or both! You can visit the Harpersfield Bridge (the longest historic covered bridge in the state) or a recent addition, the Smolen-Gulf built in 2008 and said to be the longest covered bridge in the United States. The bridges are all unique and they have activities, food and crafts set up to entice you to linger. The festival costs $3 per person and includes entertainment, demonstrations, a farmers market, a quilt show, chain saw carving, rides, games, a parade and more. Lots of food will be available of course too. Click here for the full schedule.
I like to use this festival as an excuse to visit the many wineries in the area as well. Lunch or dinner at Ferrante is always delicious. And it's the perfect time to pick up some of their Celebration Spice wine for mulling.
And as a bonus, here's another event:
Johnny Mango's in Ohio City is the place to be on Monday. Did someone say margarita's? From 11am to 11pm, dine for a cause. Just print out this flyer
and present it to your server and 20% of your purchases will be donated to the American Liver Foundation. That's a win/win in my book!
**Disclosure: I will be attending Taste the Potential thanks to a ticket provided by Edwin's. That does not affect my opinion in any way. I would support this worthy cause regardless.
My awesome friend and fellow blogger Katrina is organizing the American Liver Foundation fundraiser. Again, this does not affect my opinions in any way. **