steppin’ out with my baby

Though it feels like a lifetime ago now, I use to work as a bartender and server at the old Club Isabella. Though short-lived, it was a fun gig. You couldn’t beat all that jazz.

Well, the live jazz is now (sadly) gone as is the restaurant itself. Well, sorta. The physical location that I worked at is now part of UH but the restaurant, minus jazz, has now found itself a new home after a three-year hiatus in Little Italy.

To celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, we stopped in last weekend for dinner before we made our way to see Tony Bennett.

Since reopening, the buzz has been rather positive, for both chef Fabio Mota’s food as well as the space itself – a space that (thankfully) looks nothing like its original digs. It’s warm and sophisticated with a beautiful, open dining room and a lengthy, attractive bar that’s worthy of meeting friends post work for cocktails. It’s really well-done.

As for the food, I have to admit we are split. My husband really wanted to celebrate at Washington Place and I pushed to try something new. I’ve already been informed I don’t get to pick next time.

I had the arugula salad with cherry vinaigrette followed by braised lamb shake with lemon risotto. Jamie started with the wedge salad with a deep fried egg and the beef cheek ravioli with mirepoix beurre blanc. We shared an order of the cauliflower cakes and I had a bite of his tiramisu.

I was a much happier diner than Jamie. While I wouldn’t say my lamb was exceptional or something I’d be eager to order again, I did think it was nicely prepared, rather tasty and had no regrets with my order. And I just loved the cauliflower. Jamie, unfortunately, did not care for his pasta. In fact, the only thing he liked about his entire meal was the fried egg and dessert. I tried the ravioli and didn’t have quite the same reaction. I do agree though, the tiramisu was rather good. And the best part – their plating of the dish looks just like the Cleveland Foodie logo!

Bottom line – I would go back to Club Isabella and try something else. It just won’t be with my favorite dining companion.

Post dinner, we headed to the State Theater to watch the timeless Tony Bennett. What a treat this was – to see this legend perform was simply spectacular. He put on one amazing performance and we were just in awe. I can’t get over he’s in his eighties and how wonderful he sounds, moves and captures your attention. If you’re a fan, and ever have the opportunity to see him, go.

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