One of the highlights of my Cleveland trip was dinner at Lola, the restaurant by Iron Chef Michael Symon.
Last time I was in Cleveland, I spotted it, but we didn’t have reservations, and it’s a busy place. So when we found out we were returning, I knew I wanted to go to Lola. I made a reservation for one because my coworker I traveled with isn’t much for adventurous eating. And even though I dined alone, I made friends with some nearby tables (who talked to me first, I didn’t interrupt their meals!), and I was so into the food, I’m sort of glad I didn’t have to talk over it! Ha!
Lola had beautiful al fresco dining, but I ate inside the restaurant.
I decided to splurge. While we are blessed to get a per diem from work, I totally went over that with this meal…and it was WORTH IT. Every penny. I got a cocktail, appetizer, entree, and dessert. And I was stuffed, but again, it was WORTH IT.
I tried to take pictures without flash, which was tough in the dimly lit restaurant. I HATE that this picture is blurry because this was DELICIOUS. It was a beef cheek pierogi, a potato pasta ravioli-type food. I got two little raviolis for the appetizer, and I wish I had gotten 10 of them. The filling was smooth and savory, and the sauce was velvety. I dipped my bread in the sauce to sop up every ounce of goodness. There were a few mushrooms on the dish, which only added to the savory wonderfulness of the dish.
For my entree, I ordered the beef hanger steak. It was amazingly tender and cooked perfectly. The steak came topped with pickled peppers and onions, and the pickle-y sauce was the perfect component to the wonderful steak. I was also served a HUGE side of Lola fries, which were thin crispy fries tossed in sea salt and rosemary. I never want to eat fries without rosemary ever again.
I stopped eating my entree with a few bites left so I could enjoy dessert. The waitress told me the best dessert was something called the 6 A.M. Special, so I went for it. It was a brioche french toast covered in maple bacon ice cream and carmelized apples. And it was the best thing ever. Like I would have eaten this until it made me pop. The perfect combo of crispy, sweet, smooth, salty, cold, hot….just perfect.
If I had eaten with someone else, we would have split the appetizer and dessert…but since I tackled it all myself, I didn’t finish everything. In case you’re wonderful, my meal came to $70. And it was completely worth it. Quality food, beautiful restaurant, great service. I would go back in a heartbeat.