Symon on Saturday

Yesterday was my birthday and in the fashion of our pre-child life, Matt and I went out to a nice dinner.  He surprised me with reservations at Michael Symon’s restaurant, Lola in Cleveland!  It was amazing and I now have a whole new appreciation for rosemary.  We decided to really enjoy ourselves, so we tried and split the Lola fries and the Bibb and Watercress salad.  I need to grow watercress.  And I need to learn the recipe for the salad dressing.  Matt gave me Michael’s cookbook, Live to Cook, but it’s a new recipe so I will have to suffer without it, I guess.  However, it does include the recipe for the awesome ketchup they serve the Lola fries with, so I will just thrill my taste buds with that instead.
For supper, Matt ordered the Hangar Steak with the pickle and chili sauce.  It was divine and that’s a big statement coming from someone who is picky about steak.  I was thrilled to find the recipe for it in my new cookbook!  I ordered the duck.  It was a new item on the menu and I felt as though I had died and gone to heaven when I took my first bite.  I’ve had duck in a few different places and twice at the same one.  This was by far, the absolute best I’ve ever had.  It was served on a bed of couscous and it was so perfectly seasoned… oh!  So good!
 The obligatory cheesy photo with my new book!
We did finish up with dessert.  We had planned to be home about the time we were ordering dessert so we decided to make the best of it and have the 6am Special.  Matt and I had a little trouble with the GPS since we were coming in via Amish Country instead of 71 as we had orginally planned.  Long story short, we were 45 minutes late for our reservation and I felt terrible.  I called when it was apparent that we would be late and the hostess assured me that we were fine.  We arrived in Cleveland with a little time to spare, but then proceeded to get as lost as one can possibly get in the underbelly of the city.  When we finally found 4th street, we realized there was a reason for the valet that the website offers.  We found a parking garage not too far away and parked there.  Triumphant, we headed for the elevator and to our dinner.  However, as we entered the elevator where few of the buttons worked and it smelled like dead bodies, I became concerned that we were going to become fodder for one of my beloved crime shows’ story lines.  I was never so relieved to be out in a crowded street!  In light of that, I felt that I deserved dessert.  I ordered the 6 am Special since it featured Maple ice cream with BACON in it!  Hello!  Michael Symon is all about the pork, so I had to try it.  I wasn’t really a fan.  Matt on the other hand, loved it.
We had such a wonderful time and I can’t wait to get a chance to try Lolita now!  I am also anxious to work my way through the cookbook and try some new things.  Oh but the ketchup… that’s first on my list!