Plain Dealer has high praise for our “eclectic” Happy Hour

In the mood to take a quick globe-hopping tour of world cuisine during happy hour—for not much money? As the Plain Dealer just pointed out in awarding us “4 out of 5 olives,” you can do it here. From fried ravioli to sesame noodles to mussels marinara, we’ve got plenty of $6 plates to please your palate, plus $5 wines, $3 drafts, and a “Cocktail of the Day” on Thursday. Stop by tonight—you’ll be happy you did!

Farm-to-Table Wine Dinner Benefit to be rescheduled

If you’ve been looking forward to our 5-Course Farm-to-Table Wine Dinner with Laurello Vineyards at Cavotta’s Garden Center, or you just found out about it and want to be sure you’re there, please bear with us; we are rescheduling from the original date. Remember, this dinner will be at Cavotta’s at 19603 Nottingham Road in Cleveland, not at the Bistro. Also, 100% of the proceeds will benefit Hospice of the Western Reserve, a wonderful resource in our community.

A listing of the menu and wines planned for the dinner is here. You won’t want to miss this special event. We’ll let you know as soon as we have a new date set.

Beat the heat with our Summer Specials

Looking for a break from the heat and humidity? Cool off with some breezy summer specials from the Bistro:

Citrus Sun Ceviche
Served with Guacamole and Yuca Fries

Patatas Bravas
Served with Fried Egg and Romesco Sauce

Lamb Chops
Served with Potato Gratin and Mint Sauce

Don’t forget: Fridays and Saturdays are Frog Legs nights! If you haven’t tried them, stop in on a weekend and see what you’ve been missing!

With a mint mojito garnished with mint from our rooftop garden in your hand, you’ll feel cooler already. Don’t forget to finish your dinner by enjoying one of our many homemade tortes, cakes, pies, or some refreshing scoops of Chef Julie’s ice cream!

Don’t sweat it this summer—come to the Bistro and chill out!

Our June 19 Martini Dinner will shake you up and stir you!

Maybe you can’t resist a good martini. Maybe you love the idea of pairing imaginative cocktails with deliciously creative dishes. Or maybe you’re really having a tough time being deprived of Mad Men again until next year. Whatever the reason, we invite you to join us to celebrate National Martini Day at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at our Five-Course Martini Dinner. You’ll enjoy course after course of inspired cuisine and glass after glass of unique and intriguing martinis. Take a look at the lineup:

First Course
Catalonia, Spain-Inspired Tapas
“Pan Tumac”
Local Seasonal Tomato and Herb Bruschetta
Martini: Hendrick’s Gin with Muddled Cucumber

Second Course
Romaine Crab Salad Wrap with Blood Orange Segments and Sweet Limoncello Drizzle
Martini: Honey-Lemon Citron
(made with Richard Stein’s famous honey-lemon simple syrup)

Third Course
Seared Beef Tenderloin Medallion
Potato Gratin
Spinach and Horseradish Crème Fraîche
Tomato Confit
Cilantro-Pear Fricasee
Martini: Rooftop Cilantro Vodka Martini with Local Pears

Fourth Course
Parmesan Puff Pastry Napoleon with Crispy Proscuitto-Wrapped Local Organic Asparagus
Hollandaise Sauce and Olive Vinaigrette
Martini: Peppadew Martini

Fifth Course
Goat Cheese Beignet
Fig Coulis
Balsamic Drizzle
Sweet Lavender Drops
Martini: Bistro 185 Champagne Martini

The price for this special dinner is $49 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Make your prepaid reservation now at 216.481.9635 and prepare for a journey into summertime martini magic! 

A special “farm-to-table” wine dinner for a special cause

As fans of the Bistro may already know, the Hospice of the Western Reserve is an organization dear to our hearts. It does more for the community than many people know. The Hospice not only provides care for individuals in the final phase of life—whether at home or in one of its residences—but compassionate support for their families, education and resources, and bereavement support that is available to the entire community, not just those who lost a loved one in hospice. It’s for this reason that we’ve teamed up with Laurello Vineyards of Grand River Valley, Ohio and Cavotta’s Garden Center to present a very special summertime dinner to help benefit these wonderful neighbors and friends.

Our Farm-to-Table Wine Dinner, Thursday, July 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Cavotta’s, 19603 Nottingham Rd. in Cleveland, will bring together a bounty of the freshest, most perfectly prepared summer produce with a carefully paired complement of Laurello wines in five courses that will put the best of the season on your plate.


First Course
From the Cavotta Garden: Heirloom Tomato and Herb Salad with Locally Made Boccocini
Wine: Josephine Chardonnay-Viognier

Second Course
Locally Sourced Pork Tenderloin Grilled Chinese Style
Cavotta Garden Grilled Baby Bok Choy Finished with a Sesame-Miso Glaze
Organic Freekah Pilaf
Wine: Cosmo-Sangiovese Merlot

Third Course
Indian-Inspired Tandoor Style Grilled Organic Chicken Thigh
Saffron-Scented Organic Brown Basmati Rice
Cavotta Garden Kale Salad
Grilled Naan Bread with Cumin-Scented Ghee
Wine: Illuminata-Reisling-Muscat Gewurztraminer

Fourth Course
Grilled Shrimp Kabob with Local Herb and Olive Oil Marinade
Local Watermelon-Mint-Feta Salad
Wine: Unoaked Reserve Chardonnay

Fifth Course
Selection of House-Made Desserts and Fresh Seasonal Berries
Wine: Sweet Genevieve Vidal Blanc Ice

Price of this unique banquet is $150 per person, including tax and gratuity. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Hospice of the Western Reserve.

To reserve your place for this very special event, purchase tickets here at Eventbrite. Participants must be age 21 or over. Eventbrite will add a $9.25 service charge. Tickets are transferable, but all sales are final (no refunds). Please bring your ticket to the event.

We hope to see many of you at this one-of-a-kind dinner to benefit a one-of-a-kind organization. Join us!


“Travel down the Pacific Coast” with us May 22; enjoy our Vegan Dinner May 29

Now that it’s finally full-out spring, we’ve got wanderlust in us, and we want you to join in. Explore and travel with us for an adventure in food and wine down the Pacific Coast Highway at our Pacific Coast Highway Wine Dinner Thursday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m. It will be a five-course adventure in California cuisine paired with the fruit of its great vineyards. Take a look:

First Course
Pan-Roasted Oysters
Persian Lime Aioli
Wine: Fiddlehead Cellars Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc

Second Course
Chili Pepper Asian Leg of Lamb
Crispy Baby Bok Choy
Roasted Seaweed Crumble
Wine: Fort Ross Pinot Noir

Third Course
Baby Pea Shoot
Poached Organic and Local Egg
Pickled Red Onion
Champagne and French Mustard Vinaigrette
Wine: Husch Chenin Blanc

Fourth Course
Roasted Pacific Halibut
Tomato-Ginger Confit
Freekeh Pilaf
Wine: Harmony Chardonnay

Fifth Course
Orange-Glazed Nutella Tart
Toasted Hazelnuts with Fleur de Sel
Brown-Sugar-and-Orange Crema
Wine: Gunflighter Zinfandel

Cost of this quick West Coast escape is $90 per person plus tax and gratuity.

Are you dedicated to eating vegan? Interested in trying it? We’ve got a dinner for you, too. Our Vegan Dinner Series continues Thursday, May 29, with three courses of gourmet cuisine that will delight you with their richness of flavor and variety:

Puff Pastry-Topped French Onion Soup

Quinoa Pilaf-Stuffed Roasted Portobello Mushroom
Tomato-Basil Coulis
Blanched Asparagus

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream
Seasonal Berries

Cost of this fresh-as-spring dinner, available between 5 and 9 p.m., is $38.50 per person, including tax and gratuity.

Whether you’re a wine lover, a devoted vegan or a bit of both, we’ve got something to tempt you this May. Call 216.481.9635 to reserve your place at our table!

Thanks, Cindy, for naming us to your “Five for Friday”!

Of course, we’re already happy because The Plain Dealer has officially named the Bistro to its “A-List” of Cleveland’s top 100 restaurants for the fifth year in a row—and not just any old way, but with a promotion to its new “Cleveland Classics” list, an honor bestowed upon only 20 restaurants in all. That’s wonderful enough, but today more kudos came our way.

The PD‘s weekly “Five for Friday” feature stars a local chef, foodie or other notable Northeast Ohioan providing a list of his or her top five places to find “their favorite indulgences, and the treats they like the most.” Today’s chosen list-maker is Cindy Barber, co-owner-operator of the Beachland Ballroom, one of the city’s most legendary rock venues, located right here in our neighborhood in Collinwood. Where does Cindy go when she’s not busy running the food operations at the Beachland’s tavern or listening to a band in full jam on the stage? “I don’t go very far from my zip code,” she said, and guess which restaurant was amongst her five picks for dining out? You guessed it. Read all about it here.

Thanks, neighbor! Stop by any time!

Pleased to be named among the Plain Dealer’s “Cleveland Classics”!

The Plain Dealer, in anticipation of the release of the 2014 edition of its annual “A-List” Dining Guide, today named the 20 restaurants it considers “Cleveland Classics.” Joe Crea of Northeast Ohio Media Group explains that the team selecting this year’s A-List decided it needed a special way of honoring a select few among the city’s A-List members: “Each is exemplary for its food, service, atmosphere and other elements of a top-shelf foodservice establishment. Yet those restaurants that almost any savvy foodie acknowledges as being among Cleveland’s best deserve an added measure of recognition, don’t they? Especially those that have weathered the test of time—literally, years of consistently fine service.

“Through discussions with the team of editors, reporters and freelance critics who weigh-in on compiling the final A-List honorees, it was decided that the Cleveland Classics would be independently owned and/or locally based restaurants that have been in operation for at least five years.”

We couldn’t be more pleased that Bistro 185 was selected as one of the 20 restaurants on the newspaper’s inaugural list of “Cleveland Classics.” It’s always been an honor to be named to the “A-List,” but to be named a “Cleveland Classic”—in a town full of fabulous restaurants, many of them helmed by household-name chefs—that’s not easy to do. It’s something extra-special, and it makes us want to work even harder to keep the Bistro what you expect it to be: a cozy, inviting place to enjoy an excellent dining-out experience. We hope you’ll stop by soon for a “classic” evening!

Passover perfect: Ruth makes her Matzo Ball Soup on Fox 8

Happy Passover! If you’re in the midst of celebrating this holiday and its message of freedom and joy, you know that matzo is always a major component of the meals prepared during this season. The crackerlike matzo represents the unleavened bread the Jews took with them when they fled slavery in Egypt, leaving the land of the Pharaoh so quickly they had no time to allow their bread to rise. And one of the most traditional recipes in the Jewish cookbook is matzo ball soup, rich pure chicken broth filled with delicious round dumplings made of matzo meal. To cook, and to eat, matzo ball soup, at Passover or at any other time, is to pass down a longstanding tradition and feel a deep and comforting connection with one’s family and with the past.

That, of course, is as true of Ruth as of anyone else who grew up Jewish, and now she’s shared her recipe for Matzo Ball Soup with Fox 8—and with you. Watch the video and get the recipe here.  Try it at your Seder, and chag kasher v’same’ach!

Who will win the “Battle of the Rye Whiskeys” April 30? You!

History is replete with stories of famous conflicts. The Battle of Hastings. The Battle of the Bulge. The Battle of Britain. The Battle of the Brians. (If you’re a figure skating fan of a certain age, you know that last one.) And soon, the Bistro will be adding one more to the list of these legendary clashes: The “Battle of the Rye Whiskeys,” Wednesday, April 30 at 6:30 p.m. If you’re a rye whiskey lover, this is one fight you won’t want to miss!

This “battle” is one for your favors, as four different rye whiskeys duke it out to see which one you will name as tops. Each will be paired with a delicious course of cuisine. Take a look:

First Course
Blue Cheese and Pear Tart
Local Arugula with Balsamic Reduction
Blue Cheese and Bacon Crème

Second Course
Coriander-and-Cumin-Rubbed Leg of Lamb
Freekah Pilaf

Third Course
Smoked Salmon Chowder

Fourth Course
Chocolate Mousse
Orange Coulis

Whiskey pairings will be announced soon—watch this space.

Cost to attend this much-anticipated bout is $50 per person plus tax and gratuity. Rye whiskey fans, jump on this one right away—call 216.481.9635 to reserve your ringside seat. Will it be tough choosing which you think is best? Maybe, but it’s guaranteed to be fun trying!