Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Guest Post: Meet The Mexitalian - Burst Tomato Caprese Dip

I'd like to introduce you to one of my very favorite bloggers, Alyssa from The Mexitalian. Alyssa is originally from Michigan and came to CLE via Charlotte, NC. She shares original recipes, recaps her travels, and talks about all things food on her blog. Follow her this summer as she heads to northern Michigan, Fairfield County, Ohio and even Portugal! She's also a huge fan of fresh local and seasonal produce and is obsessed with her CSA, City Fresh NEO.

Hello Eat Drink Clevelanders,

I’m Alyssa, The Mexitalian, and I am so thrilled to be chatting with you on my friend Crystal’s blog today. Crystal was one of the first people I connected with before I even moved to Cleveland last summer. I had a feeling a fellow Italian girl with a passion for food and all things local would be amazing and we’ve been friends ever since we met!

While I’m here, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite quick and easy summer appetizers. This Burst Tomato Caprese Dip is super simple yet completely impressive.

I cooked the heirloom cherry tomatoes on the stove top until they burst – I am not about the oven life in the summer! Extra points if you have local and seasonal cherry tomatoes. Since some of my tomatoes were on the larger side, I cut them in half, the different sizes work well in the dip.

The sweet and juicy burst tomatoes are tossed with Ciliegine, cherry-sized fresh mozzarella balls, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and fresh ribbons of basil.
I love this spin on traditional caprese salad served with crackers, slices of crusty bread, or even as a side to grilled chicken.
The salad will stay well in a sealed container in the fridge for two or three days, if it can last that long at your house.

Burst Tomato Caprese Dip

16 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes (I used heirloom and cut the larger ones in half
8 oz. Ciliegine fresh mozzarella balls, drained
2 T + ½ t extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons
1/8 t fresh ground black pepper
Pinch of salt, to taste

Heat ½ t olive oil in a large skillet to medium heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they get soft and start to burst, about 7-10 minutes. Do not allow the tomatoes to break down completely, they should have some bite and many will retain their shape. Allow the tomatoes to cool completely.

Toss the cooked burst tomatoes with the mozzarella, basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Serve immediately or store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

Doesn't that sound delicious? Give me a loaf of crusty bread and some wine and it's a perfect summer dinner. 

For a tasty sipper to help you beat the heat - try The Mexitalian's Grapefruit Cilantro Spritz.

Many thanks to The Mexitalian for sharing her summery recipe! Besides reading her blog, you can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook for more delicious recipes. If you try one, (and you should!) tag #Mexitalianrecipes when you share a photo of your dish.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Happy Hour: Turn at The Ritz

There's a new Happy Hour in town and this one happens to be at one of my favorite spots, The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland. 

The OFF-THE-CLOCK HAPPY HOUR will be available on a first come-first served basis at the recently transformed Ritz-Carlton Monday through Friday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. 


Draft Beers | $5
Select Wines by the Glass | $7

Slider Trios | $9

Sriracha Honey Chicken - Wasabi Aioli, Citrus Sesame Slaw
Short Rib - Fried Pickled Onions, BBQ Demi
Smoked Pepper Jack Burger - Caramelized Onions, Blue Cheese, Bacon-Onion Marmalade
Five-Spice Tuna Lettuce Wrap - Pickled Ginger, Scallion, Cilantro Vinaigrette
Black Bean Burger - Avocado, Roasted Tomato

Waffle Fries | $6
Sweet Potato Fries | $6

Follow Turn at the Ritz-Cartlon Cleveland on Facebook to find out more and learn about upcoming events.

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Generous Pour at The Capital Grille and a Giveaway!

When I go out for a good steak, ordering wine is a Must Do. The Capital Grille is offering you a chance to take that drink order to a whole new level. From July 9 to September 2 you can take advantage of The Generous Pour Summer Wine Event.
For just $28, you can try seven luxurious wines with your meal. You will be able to taste and toast the legacy of winemaker Dan Duckhorn during this event. Since its first vintage in 1978, the winery has become one of California's most highly regarded vineyards, so you know the wines will be fabulous!

The full list is yet to be released but you can check The Capital Grille website on July 9 to discover all of the California and Washington wines that will be offered during this special promotion. Selections are from California’s Napa Valley, Sonoma, the Sonoma Coast and the warmest wine region of Washington State: Red Mountain, Columbia Valley.

Be sure to make your reservations and take advantage of this special event.

If you don't want to wait until July 9th to dine at The Capital Grille, you can get a preview of the delicious dining experience at their fabulous Cocktail Time, available Monday through Friday from 4-7pm. I was recently invited to try the Cocktail Time menu and I can assure you that it's not your average Happy Hour! I especially enjoyed the Bottle Cocktails ($10 each), the Korean Fried Chicken Sliders (2 for $10) and the Oysters Casino.
And thanks to the great folks at The Capital Grille, I'm giving away a $50 gift card to one lucky reader!

There are three ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment here on the blog. Check out the menu at The Capital Grille and let me know what you would order when you go. There are so many good choices, feel free to list several! Some of my favorites are the jumbo lump crab cocktail and the bone-in filet (when available.)

2. Instagram: Go to this post and follow the steps to enter.

3. Twitter: Follow @CapitalGrille @LegacyVillageOH and @EatDrinkCLE and Tweet the following: I want to enjoy a #GenerousPour with @EatDrinkCLE at @CapitalGrille at @LegacyVillage. Enter to #win a $50 gift card here. https://bit.ly/2IeIYIF

Giveaway ends Friday June 29th. Winner will be randomly selected from all entries. Please make sure you include a way to contact you. Anonymous entries will be excluded. Good luck!