quick dinner @ lolita

Since I have a lot of siblings, we started drawing names for Christmas gifts a few years ago. Last year we decided to forgo the traditional gift exchange. Instead, you would have one year to do something nice for the person you picked. Kinda corny I know, but it was actually a lot of fun and better than the alternative. For example, I had my brother so I surprised him and his wife with a wine tasting at Sawyer House in Mentor last March while we watched the kids. My brother-in-law had me, so I got a gift certificate to Lolita. I know that sounds more like a gift then doing something nice, but knowing how much I love food and after hearing all our stories about Lolita, he figured it was ideal – he was right.

We used the rest of the gift certificate to grab a quick dinner this past Sunday before we went to watch the Cavs lose (by 30 points, ouch). We went around 5:30 p.m. so I didn’t think to call for reservations. Well, apparently word has gotten around about Michael’s big win (ha) because we lucky to snag a couple of seats at the bar, which is actually where we often prefer to sit.

We both started off with a glass of the Lolita red (a Greek blend of sorts). It was ok, nothing I would be in a hurry to order again. For dinner, Jamie of course had the burger (he is very loyal to that burger – he’ll be crushed if it ever disappears from the menu). I started off with the beets with honey and ricotta cheese and a half-order of the pasta special – think Sicilian farmhouse rigatoni with veal meatballs.

I don’t know how else to describe the beets except amazing. Even Jamie liked them, who appeared surprised that a beet could taste so good. The honey and ricotta made this dish. The pasta was also enjoyable, especially the rich tomato sauce and meatballs (all meatballs should be veal). Ordering the half size was definitely the right call.

For dessert, Jamie had the chocolate pot du crem (another given) and I had the cheese plate. For $6, you really get a nice sampling of different varieties. My favorite was the goat cheese from Lake Erie Creamery.

From my Christmas gift, we had two great evenings at Lolita filled with a lot of laughs. I hope my brother-in-law draws my name again for future gift exchanges because that’s a gift I’d take anytime.


  1. BBC
    Posted February 14, 2008 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Have you thought about contributing to some of the travel guides out there?

    We need some Cleveland visibility. Thanks for posting and whetting our appetite for life outside the ordinary.

  2. michelle v
    Posted February 15, 2008 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Hello and thanks for the nice comment. I haven’t thought about that but will look into the possibility. Anything to help spread the word about our great city!

  3. maybellesmom
    Posted February 16, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    lake erie creamery is so hot right now. Have you read this article? ( http://ourohio.org/index.php?page=goats-milk-cheese ) The cheese plate at bar cento also had a nice oregonzola (sp?). You should definitely try it. it makes me think that you should do a feature about each chef’s favorite cheeses (or maybe top three.) Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how each of our neighborhood chefs line up?

  4. Anonymous
    Posted February 16, 2008 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Jerry from Lake Erie said he should have raw milk feta for us in march. We tried the sample a couple of months ago and it was really good.

    Sorry I missed you, you have to stop saying I wasn’t there or Michael will know that I take a day off!!

    Have a good day, Matt

  5. michelle v
    Posted February 17, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Goodd article, thanks for sharing.

    Hey Matt – look forward to trying that cheese. Hope you enjoyed your day off :)