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.

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!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Laura of Pembroke Comes to CLE

Laura of Pembroke is a family-owned retail store based in Canton, OH. They recently expanded to the new Pinecrest lifestyle center, bringing their beautifully curated boutique to Cleveland.
I was invited to their grand opening where guests were greeted at the door in style.
As I sipped and shopped, I was delighted by this beautiful store! Look at those light fixtures!
It features women's clothing and accessories, home furnishings, gifts, bar items, lighting and more. They also offer interior design consultations, personal stylists and a wedding registry.

Their website says that their lovely mix of items ranges from reasonable to frivolous, and I couldn't agree more! The mix of items is on point. It's the kind of place you could easily run in and grab something for a hostess, friend, co-worker or family member. But to be honest, you will probably want to keep everything for yourself!

Here are some of my favorite items from my visit during their Grand Opening celebration on June 7th. There were soooo many things I wanted to bring home with me - this is just a small sampling.

Why didn't I buy these? I will be going back to get them for sure!
Basically, I want to transport this whole set up to my house. But then I would never get off the couch. So pretty!
And this bar cart...and everything on it!
If I invite you over, and you bring me these as a hostess gift, you will get many many more invitations!
Look at all these super cute wedding themed items! Perfect for newlyweds and your favorite love birds too.
Two of my favorite lines include these gorgeous serving trays ~ both are not what they seem. These white and blue pieces are plastic! Absolutely perfect for summer outdoor entertaining or transporting goodies to a party. They come in more colors too.
And these silver beauties are both freezer and oven safe! I love that you could bake and serve using one tray or bowl. Another bonus - they don't scratch.
While I love to cook and entertain, I also adore fashion and accessories and I loved the selection. My only complaint is a common one for boutiques - the sizes of clothing are limited. They generally range from XS to L with an occasional XL or one size fits most item. If you are very busty or plus-sized, you will find it nearly impossible to find things that fit. And that is a real shame because the clothing is fabulous! Look at this cute Kate Spade dress I found.
I definitely will be a repeat customer. I feel like Laura of Pembroke is the perfect mix of everything I love shopping for. Not only is the store full of beautiful and affordable things, the staff is super sweet and really interested in providing great customer service. Everyone is really helpful and makes sure that your experience is A+.
Thank you so much to Laura of Pembroke for the invitation! It was really fun participating in the Grand Opening festivities and I look forward to visiting again. 

You can follow Laura of Pembroke on Facebook and Instagram.

*** Disclosure: This post was written in partnership with Laura of Pembroke.
All opinions are my own. I was invited to attend the Grand Opening and
was provided a swag bag in exchange for sharing my experience. ***

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Shake Shack Comes to Cleveland!

One of my Must Do stops in NYC has always been Shake Shack. Now you can skip the trip and try this cult favorite right here in CLE!
Today Shake Shack opens at the new Pinecrest right off 271 in Orange. Yes, this means that all of the West Siders will need to cross the Cuyahoga - but trust me, it's worth it!
What started out as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Garden in 2001 has now evolved into full-fledged restaurant chain with a cult-like following. This modern day roadside-style burger stand serves up delicious burgers, grilled all-beef hot dogs, crinkle cut fries, milkshakes, beer, wine and more.

This is a chain you can feel good about supporting. They use 100% all-natural Angus beef, vegetarian fed, humanely raised and source verified. No hormones or antibiotics are ever used. Plus they support sustainable agriculture, take recycling seriously, donate to charities and use recycled and reclaimed products in their shops. Another reason to love Shake Shack is that they support the local communities where they are located. In the Cleveland area, this means partnering with Luna Bakery & Cafe and Platform Beer Co.
I was invited to their Cleveland Housewarming Party and stopped back again during their soft opening. Here's some of the YUM you'll find there.

Burgers and Chicken Sandwiches

Hot Dogs
Crinkle Cut French Fries - definitely get the cheese sauce for dipping. It's addictive.
Milkshakes, custard, root beer floats and more will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Concretes are delicious mashups of ice cream and mix ins. The Pie Oh My is made from vanilla custard and a slice of bourbon pecan pie from CLE's own Luna. I did not get to try this yet...but I definitely want to!
photo credit
Beer from Brooklyn Brewery and Platform is available plus wine. 
If you are a vegetarian you can eat here too. The 'Shroom Burger is a fried portobello mushroom cap stuffed with melted cheddar and muenster cheeses, topped with ShackSauce, lettuce and tomato. Yum! And they have gluten-free buns too! Everything is absolutely delicious! If the weather is nice, definitely try to snag a spot on the patio. 

You can follow Shake Shack on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

ideastream Grand Tasting Recap...and the time I met Jacques Pépin

As a huge fan of public radio and TV, I was really excited when ideastream contacted me to help them promote their Grand Tastings and Seminars. 

This two day event is packed full of wine samples, food, and education for NE Ohio's wine lovers. We were provided complimentary admission on Friday and were excited to meet up with some friends that were also attending, as well as my giveaway winners, for a really fun night.
From the moment we walked in, I could tell that this event was catering to wine lovers when they provided a lovely Reidel wine glass. It was nice to be served wine in a proper glass at an event for a change, plus it came with the cutest ideastream charm - such a great souvenir! 
I loved that the event took place in the ideastream headquarters! It was nice to get a glimpse of where the magic happens. The venue felt cozy but not cramped thanks to being spread out over several rooms and floors.
The event booklet made the event very easy to navigate. With multiple rooms, it helped you find specific wines and also made it pretty simple to come up with a system for tasting. Champagne first of course! You could keep track of your favorites and they also included pricing for all the wine so you knew if the wine was a splurge or something you could enjoy more often.

The food paired well with the wines and consisted of the obligatory cheese, fruit and crackers...
...and also included deviled eggs, chicken salad lettuce wraps, mini meatballs, devils on horseback, salmon...
...and the best little goat cheese tarts with caramelized onions!
Dessert was an assortment of cheesecake bites and lemon squares and there were also savory and sweet offerings from Miceli's including the hazelnut marscapone filled dark chocolate spheres.

We took home some fabulous silent auction items - my hubby got a great basket overflowing with stuff for cycling and I scored two bottles of fancy French wine for a steal.
We thought that the fun was over but then my friend told me she wasn't able to attend the following night and offered us her tickets. We eagerly said YES and did it all over again the next night.

The wine and food offerings were the same but I decided to be more strategic in my wine samples and sought out specific wines. This ended up being a great plan because I found some amazing wines I totally missed the night before.

My favorites were:

- Darioush Caravan Cabernet Sauvignon - an amazing special occasion wine $52.99

- Kim Crawford Signature Sauvignon Blanc - a perfect summer wine that won over this red wine drinker (It also won a Gold medal in the Luxury Win Competition.)

- Alexander Valley Vineyards Dry Rosé of Sangiovese 2017 - a beautiful rosé that I want to be sipping all summer long.

- Tattinger Brut Française - this champagne was amazing and a great value at $59.99. Splurgy but won't totally break the bank.

- Beringer Brothers Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 - this had amazing flavor thanks to the bourbon but it wasn't overwhelming. $25.99.

As a special treat on day two, legendary culinary expert (and one of the first "celebrity chefs") Jacques Pépin appeared with his daughter Claudine for a personalized cooking demonstration and a VIP dinner. I didn't sign up for either of these because I was supposed to be out of town. But much to my surprise, I ending up getting to meet Jacques Pépin and Claudine!
After he was done with the VIP dinner, he wanted to come to the event and walked around with his daughter mingling and dazzling everyone. I was beyond excited to get to meet this legendary chef in person. And you better believe I smooched him French style on each cheek! 

Thanks to ideastream for partnering with me! While they provided complimentary tickets for Friday's event, all thoughts and opinions are as usual, my own.

You can follow ideastream on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Donut Trail

Today is National Donut Day! This post is dedicated to all my fellow Donut Lovers out there. Here's a taste of our recent trip to the Butler County Donut Trail thanks to the sweet folks at the Butler County Visitors Bureau.
If you are a donut lover like me, head to Butler Co. Ohio just north of Cincinnati for a real treat. The Donut Trail consists of 12 independently owned donut shops sprinkled throughout Butler County
Here's how it works: 

You pick up a map and visit the donut shops along the Donut Trail. You can go in any order and set your own pace. At each spot, you get your Passport stamped (you can get the Passport at any of the shops or download it online) Once you visit all of the shops, you turn in your Passport for a t-shirt. (Cute husband not included.)
Each donut shop also has an awesome punny sign that makes a great photo prop. Whoever designed these signs is a genius - so cute!!
The shops on the Donut Trail range from super tiny take out only spots to Instagram worthy cafes with tables and refreshments. 

If you have the time, I recommend that you spread the trail over multiple days. We visited them over 2 days and were only able to have a small bite of the donuts because even with two people, it's impossible to eat even half of all the donuts without making yourself sick.

Pro Tip: Bring XL plastic storage containers, zippered plastic baggies and a cooler with you to store the donuts during your adventure

If you want to ensure that you can get the specialty donuts at the shops, you'll want to get up really early - those are the first to disappear. But we got a late start one day and even then, nobody had run out of donuts - the selection was just smaller.

Some standouts:

Jupiter - they have a great themed shop packed with art to match and they roast their own coffee. Grab a few bags of beans for a great souvenirs. The blueberry cake donut with lemon frosting is awesome.
Mimi's Donuts - they have some giant twisted donuts, apple fritter,s and bite sized donut holes. The ladies here are even sweeter than their donuts. Definitely get the tiny filled glazed donuts - the peanut butter filled with chocolate frosting is dreamy.

Milton's Donuts - the Banana Pudding donut was one of the very best that we tried. Loved the graham cracker crumbs on top.

Holtman's Donuts - it's definitely the fanciest of the bunch. The space is gorgeous and so are the donuts. Get the S'more donut and be wowed by the giant square homemade marshmallow on top. The gorgeous red, white, and blue donut below is their Red Velvet - so good!
The Donut House - it's not really a house, but they made us feel right at home. Definitely get the Pinecone - a HUGE pull apart cinnamon yeast glazed donut that is big enough to share with some friends.
While we were on the Donut Trail, there was a special Donut GeoTour for GeoCachers event going on at the same time. We met so many people from all over - New York, Washington State, Australia and more! The donut shops made special donuts for the occasion too.
There was truly something for everyone on the Donut Trail. Whether you like classic plain glazed donuts, cronuts, filled, sprinkled, tiny or ginormous - you will find it here. And you'll be supporting locally owned shops while taking a tour of beautiful Butler County. 

There's a lot more than donuts in Butler County.  Check out my posts about other fun in Butler County and the incredible Jungle Jim's grocery store.

Interested in learning more? You can get a copy of the Butler County Visitor's Guide by mail or online.

*** Disclosure: We were invited to take a trip down to the Donut Trail by the folks at the Butler County Visitor's Bureau. All thoughts and opinions are my own.***