Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Home & Garden Show and My Secret Restaurant

Recently I went to the Great Big Home & Garden Show for my annual escape from winter that always starts me thinking of spring. This year's feature gardens theme was US Landmarks and as usual, the vendors all did a great job. This is by far my favorite part of the show. 

One of my favorites paid homage to baseball icon Wrigley Field:
There were so many beautiful and creative designs but my heart belonged to the Central Park garden...we even smooched on the bridge as we reminisced about the day we were engaged.
Napa, Central Park, and Cedar Point
But there's more than just gardens. We made sure to stop by to see Ohio-born Top Chef Chris Crary chat and cook up some chicken and barley stew with kale.
And the Q104 Legged Fashion Show is a must see - the pups were adorable and really seemed to enjoy all the attention.
Slider showed off his pup and I got a smooch from a pooch
This year they definitely improved the food choices by offering actual sit down meals that looked fresh and tasty but we had other ideas for filling our bellies.

Amp 150 is right around the corner and one of my favorite restaurants so we couldn't resist. While they get tons of accolades, I still feel like they are my own special little secret. Their airport location makes them a somewhat of a destination for most but they are definitely worth the drive. Located in the Airport Marriott they aren't where you would expect to find fine dining.

The food is always outstanding and surprisingly affordable - most entrees are under $20. The best bet in my opinion is their 4 course Chef's Choice tasting menu. For $35 you get four courses of amazing food selected for you by Chef Jeff Jarrett. It was an easy choice.

We started with an amuse of tomato soup...one of the few soups I normally hate. Well, Chef Jarrett is such a rock star in the kitchen, his soup had me changing my tune - delicious! 


Next up was a spinach version of their speck salad - loved the runny egg on top and generous lardons but the vanilla vinaigrette really impressed.

Duck confit over Caroline cheesy style rice with frizzled sweet potato shards was a bowl of homey goodness. By this time, first timer Mark could understand why I rave about Amp 150 all the time. Mustard pork and fried jalapenos served over cranberry beans and apple butter rounded out the savory items. The portions are perfect - satisfying but leaving you wanting just one or two more bites before you move on to the next course.
I was really hoping that dessert would be their sublime milk chocolate pana cotta and I was not disappointed. Far from it, considering that 2 other treats were included as well - a swoon worthy blood orange tart (like lemon curd, but better!) and a chocolate mousse topped with chocolate sauce and dried orange peels. I added my orange peels to the tart and it really gave the pana cotta a run for its money in the best dessert category.
Seriously, how can a plate hold this much yum?!
I was struggling to finish everything so I only nibbled on the tart crust and had one very small bite of the mousse and still was wishing for comfy pants instead of real clothes as we left.


We also had a great bottle of wine...
love me some tempranillo!
...and magical entertainment to round out the night. If you sit in the bar, see if Magic is working and ask him to show you his tricks. He's awesome!
We left our mark with our card stuck on the ceiling ~ what a great trick!
If you aren't up for the 4 course feast, I highly recommend the braised beef short ribs - they are ridiculously good. 

They have a special Seafood Dinner on March 8th at 6:30. 
For $65 you'll be treated to 5 courses:

course one
housemade seafood sausage, ricotta cavatelli

course two
arugula, tomato confit, feta cheese, crispy shallots, lemon vinaigrette

course three
olive oil poached swordfish, white bean puree, escabeche

course four
thyme basted monkfish, celery root and sunchoke gratin, red wine jus

course five
angel food cake, lemon curd, strawberry cotton candy

I don't know about you, but I'd like to go just to see what seafood sausage is all about! Call them at (216) 706-8726 to make your reservation. 

And if you are in the area, or even if you have to drive across town, be sure to add Amp 150 to your Must Do list. But keep it our little secret...



** disclosure: I was given two tickets to the Great Big Home & Garden Show, as well as two to give away on this blog. Also, our bottle of wine was comped as a surprise for us at Amp 150. 
As always, my opinions and thoughts are my own. **

3 comments:

  1. It has been too long for me since my last visit to Amp 150

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chris Crary is SO cute.

    This is going to sound crazy, but I've never been to Amp 150! I went to the Dinner in the Dark there but that's it. I need to reconcile that asap!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kevin and I don't repeat a lot of restaurants because CLE is full of options, but we've been to AMP 150 a few times. We've never been disappointed.

    ReplyDelete

Love to hear from you!