Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's not too late to enjoy Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week

With all the negative talk about Cleveland lately (thanks, Forbes), you'd think this city has nothing going for it.  But us Clevelanders know better.  We may be the laughingstock to some other cities, but true Clevelanders know how to find a good time around town.  

Take, for instance, Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week, running now through February 27.  A whole slew of restaurants are offering special "restaurant week" menus and pricing - ranging from $15 per person to $30 per person - for a three course meal.  To sweeten the deal, you can print out a $2 parking voucher to be used at select downtown parking lots.  Could it possible get any better?

Being into food and not really into cooking in my furniture-less house, I checked out one of the restaurant week specials at Bricco with my friend Kelly the other night.  I'd never been there, but for $15 dollars for a 3 course meal, it was worth a shot.  

I started out my meal with something not on the restaurant week menu - an ice wine martini.
It sounded sort of strange, so I felt like I had to give it a try.  It tasted just like it's described on the menu - like ice wine with vodka - which was surprisingly awesome!  (and strong - this one little drink prevented me from trying any of the other interesting sounding martinis on Bricco's extensive martini list)

For my first course, there were multiple vegetarian options (score!).  I could have chosen the tomato soup which was really delicious...but instead, I got the fried pickles.


If you've never had a fried pickle, your life really isn't complete.  The mixture of fried goodness with pickle crispness in unlike anything you'll ever eat.  I first discovered fried pickles on a business trip last year and fell in love at first bite.  Sadly, they don't seem to be as popular here in Cleveland.

For my main entree, I ordered a pasta dish with tomatoes, olives, and spinach. (the martini kicked it at this point and I forgot to take a picture)  It was pretty good...but a little oily.  My friend also let me try her margarita pizza.  Not the best pizza I've ever eaten, but still good.

Probably the best part of my meal was the dessert.  I'd hoped to get the brownie parfait listed on the restaurant week menu website, but the restaurant was out of that dish.  Instead, they offered up lava cake.  (what's the only dessert that's comparable to brownies in my mind?  lava cake!)


As all lava cakes should be, this one was heavenly.  Chocolately.  Gooey.  Delicious.  Slathered in ice cream.  It couldn't have gotten any better.

Overall, I was impressed with Bricco.  I'd definitely go back and try out some of the items on their regular menu...or their martini list.

Don't let the snowpacalypse scare you away from making fun plans for the weekend.  Get some great grub at a reasonable price and support your local restaurants.

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