Dinner by an Iron Chef

Dinner by an Iron Chef

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.

To explore the cocktail menu. They brought me an iPad with pictures and descriptions.

I went with a (blurry) Kentucky Gunslinger, an apricot bourbon cocktail.  

It was beautiful.  And delicious.  I tried to sip it slowly to savor it.

Everything was beautiful, including the menu and the gorgeous silverware.   

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.


  1. Okay, wow. Next time we’re together I want to eat dinner with you. You know how to enjoy a meal and aren’t afraid to try stuff. My kinda gal.

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