Monday, November 16, 2009

Love, Lola and Laughs

This past weekend, Andy and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary a bit early.  The Fabulous Food Show was coming to Cleveland this weekend and we have been trying to go for the past 3 years.  This year everything worked out so we could go.  No one was sick or tanking things and my mom was more than willing to babysit for the weekend.  So, Andy made reservations at Lola, Chef Michael Symon's restaurant in downtown Cleveland, for late Saturday night with reservations at a hotel not too far from the convention center.  

We left midday Saturday. Wanting to not only get on the road, but to also get away from 3 overly excited children who knew they were about to be spoiled to death at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  The drive from Columbus to Cleveland is fairly boring, but we didn't care.  Because for the first time in a LONG time, we got to talk, really talk about things that mattered without little ears listening or voices chiming in.  It's something that many parents find rare, but we find near impossible given our kids and their needs.

We took our time and even stopped about an outlet mall to do a little shopping.  We got to the hotel at around 4 and decided to just relax.  We ordered a romantic comedy, laid down and just watched a movie together.  It was fun.  It made me remember our times back before kids when life was a whole lot simpler. 

Dinner that night at Lola was exceptional.  The food was amazing and the service incredible.  I can totally see why Michael Symon is such a celebrated chef.  Every dish, every course was so well done.  Our Beef Cheek Perogies were litterally melting in our mouths and the pork chop I had was divine.  (Andy said his scallops were amazing as well. )  By the time we finished dessert and coffee (also amazing), it was already pretty late so we heading back to the hotel.

The next day was the Food Show.  Andy scored us some 3rd row center seats for Bobby Flay that morning when we realized our tickets didn't have a reserved chef demo attache to them.  We say him first and really enjoyed getting to see him live. He is just as fun and knowledgeable as he is on Food Network.  We took a TON of pictures and some video because Bobby os one of our kids 2 favorite Iron Chefs.  

After Bobby, we walked the show a bit, sampling some stuff here, getting brochures and ideas there.  We tried a WII game called Cook or Be Cooked and I destroyed Andy in the head to head battle over bacon and eggs.  The game was cool but not something we'd get as it's too hard for the kids to enjoy.  Still, the guy running the booth gave us some chef's hats for the kids that we know will be treasured.

Wandering back towards the Main Kitchen Theater, we realized that Michael Symon was about to start and we were able to sit in the back bleachers and see him.  It was super amazing to see him and we were just so impressed with his cooking.  His food isn't full of techniques and such that you need fancy equipment or a culinary degree for.  It's simple, food done well.  (Very, very well)  The kind of stuff Andy and I could easily do at home.

After leaving the show, we managed to get a place in line to have him sign a copy of his cookbook.  He's the other favorite chef of our kids.  We met the little boy that he pulled on stage during the show and found him incredibly fun.  He reminded us a LOT of Jason and spent the time in line shooting the breeze with his family.  We had our book signed to the kids instead of us, since we knew how cool it would be for them.  We also told Michael that our boys argue over who gets to be him when they play Iron Chef.  He got a good belly laugh out of that.

By the time we headed home, we were tired and really missing our kids.  I think they would have loved this show and is we can pull it off, hope to bring them next year.

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Gina Cooper said...

Beef cheek pierogies. What does that mean? It's not made out of beef cheek is it? I love the pictures - now I wish I had gone on Sunday. It sounds like you had an awesome time.

Jenny said...

The filling was made from beef cheeks and it was sooooooo good. Seriously, it melted in my mouth and getting the recipe is one of the reasons I bought his cookbook, lol.