Vegan Dinner menu is ready!

The menu for our three-course prix fixe Vegan Dinner Wednesday, December 15, is ready!

Starter
Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Vidalia Onions

Entree
Eggplant Parmigiana with Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Vegan Mozzarella Cheese and Slow-Cooked Marinara

Dessert
Apple Pie and Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

Remember, this dinner is $30 plus tax and gratuity, by prepaid reservation only (open seating). Make your reservation today at 216.481.9635 so you don’t miss out!

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Your Black Friday shopping just got easier!

We know a lot of you are out shopping today, and are going to be exhausted from getting up early and struggling to get those bargains before they’re gone — so we’re doing something to make finding the perfect gift much simpler and less stressful!

Stop in to Bistro 185 today, not just to take a break with a nice lunch or dinner out, but to get some of your holiday gift shopping done deliciously! TODAY ONLY, if you purchase $100 worth of Bistro 185 gift certificates (in any denomination — one $100 certificate, two $50 certificates, one $75 certificate and one $25 certificate, or four $25 certificates), you will receive a $25 certificate FREE! You can use that one as an extra gift, or to treat yourself!

Bistro 185 gift certificates are the perfect choice for foodies who already “have everything.” You never have to worry about color or size, they never lose value or expire, and there’s no such thing as having too many! What’s more, you don’t have to fight anyone to get them — just ask your server!

You won’t just be giving a gift of delicious food, you’ll be giving the special people in your life the gift of a relaxing afternoon or evening out, away from the stress and strife. And who couldn’t use that kind of break?

Remember, the “Buy $100, get $25 free” offer is good TODAY ONLY, in person! So stop by and get lots of your shopping done easily at Bistro 185!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Bistro will be closed tomorrow, so we wish all of you the happiest and safest of Thanksgivings. We will be back open on Friday, but if you miss us in the meantime, you’re welcome to try your hand whipping up our recipe for Chestnut Soup for your own Thanksgiving table — vegan style or otherwise! Find the recipe in this terrific article by Janet Podolak in Lake County’s News-Herald, which also provides other recipes for lighter Thanksgiving dishes that make terrific leftovers.

DON’T FORGET, WE’RE ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER!: Keep up with us on Facebook, and on on Twitter at @Bistro185, to find out what’s new and what we’re cooking up for you — and feel free to offer us ideas, suggestions, compliments, or just a friendly hello!

Hot News! Wine tasting Dec. 6; Vegan Dinner Dec. 15

The holiday season continues to heat up here at the Bistro!

Our wine tastings have become so popular that we’re adding another to the schedule for Monday, December 6. Four wines will be available for $10, along with hors d’oeuvres you may purchase in addition.

Not only that, but our Vegan Thanksgiving Wine Dinner was so popular that we’ve decided to offer a prix fixe three-course Vegan Dinner on Wednesday, December 15. This dinner will feature a vegan appetizer, entree, and dessert, all for only $30 plus tax and gratuity. Watch this space for the menu to be announced soon!

To make reservations for either of these events, call 216.481.9635 and prepare to enjoy yourself!

A reminder: Bistro 185 is in the running for “Best New American Restaurant” on the Fox 8 “Hot List”! Please vote here to help us win–voting ends December 3!

Great excuses to treat yourself!

The Tenant is back, with the specific purpose of giving faithful Bistro 185 fans (and even new friends) a handy excuse for treating yourself to a meal at the Bistro soon. Because I’ve done that recently, and not just for the Vegan Thanksgiving Wine Dinner. I thought I’d share a few of those experiences here.

Last week, I tried the Veal Meatloaf with Shiitake Mushroom Bread Pudding. This was not your plain old mom’s meatloaf! It was tender, delicious and full or rich flavor, and cut quite thick as well. As for the bread pudding, it was an amazing savory reworking of traditional sweet bread pudding…when you think about it, an excellent alternative and analog to the traditional stuffing so often served with turkey and chicken dishes. Chef Ruth revealed to me that the secret to its flavorfulness is setting the pan for the bread pudding right below the meatloaf in the oven so the meat drippings fall right onto the pudding. Now that’s rich!

On another night, it was the Coconut Curry Chicken with Cashews. This was a pot of incredible goodness Asian style–a rich, spicy sauce filled with chunks of chicken, sweet potatoes, chickpeas and, of course, plenty of cashews and topped with snowy white coconut flakes.

These dishes are pretty typical of what Chef Ruth and company have been cooking up in the kitchen lately. If they don’t turn you on, how about Chicken in the Pot with Matzoh Balls, or Veal Osso Bucco with Herbed Polenta? And last time I looked, some of the classic favorites were still on the specials list, from Boeuf Bourguignon to Lobster Ravioli to Four Cheese Macaroni & Cheese to that incredible stuffed double cut pork chop. You know that after you’ve had your fill of Thanksgiving food, you’re going to want something different…maybe even before Thanksgiving…so why not stop by? (For the record, the Bistro will be closed Thanksgiving Day, but open and ready for business again Friday!)

If the dinner entrees alone aren’t enough to lure you in, I’ve got another piece of news to get you in the door…regarding the desserts. Lately one of the standouts has been Red Velvet Macadamia Lollipops, delicious single-serving balls of chocolate red velvet cake with macadamia nuts, drenched in a chocolate or white chocolate ganache, on a stick. They’re served with raspberry coulis for dipping. Need I say “heavenly”? If your entree is so filling you can’t eat another bite, take a few of these babies home. They freeze well. Although they won’t stay in your freezer long, I guarantee.

And then there’s the new form of decadence Ruth just came up with, pictured here. I call it Bacon Chocolate Parfait. She calls it “S’mores on Steroids.” It’s rich, thick Mexican chocolate cream, kind of like a mousse, served in a goblet atop graham-cracker crumbs, topped with miniature marshmallows, and speared with a long, crispy slice of chocolate ganache-dipped bacon. Yes, bacon. All with a little kick of cayenne pepper added. I really don’t know how to tell you how delicious this one is. There’s really only one way to know.

In short…if it’s been a while since you’ve been to the Bistro, you need to come back. Hey, even if it hasn’t been all that long, come back! You’ll be glad you did!

Vegan Thanksgiving Wine Dinner: No turkeys admitted!

The Tenant has decided that given how long it took to post her last dinner review, she’d better be quick with her review of this one — hate to keep the fans waiting! Of course, better than reading a review of this feast was actually being there to enjoy it.

First, let it be said: I’ve always been a meat eater. Even the idea of going vegetarian or vegan never appealed to me greatly, in part because I imagined condemning myself to a life of tofu this, tofu that, and, well, tofu tofu tofu. Am I getting the message across that I have never really been into tofu? Okay. But since Chef Jakub started helming the Vegan Dinner Series here at the Bistro, my horizons on the world of vegan options have been considerably broadened. Yes, I asked for my Masamaun Curry with chicken. But my first experience with Gardein (in the form of schnitzel) was a real revelation. So I was looking forward to seeing what Chef Ruth and Chef Jakub would be cooking up for this banquet.

First, the Bistro is delighted that this dinner received such a terrific reception. Nearly all the “restaurant side” of the Bistro was full of guests for this dinner, which may make it the biggest special dinner yet. Obviously, the vegan community in the Cleveland area is hungry for this kind of restaurant option and if you cook it, they will come!

Dinner began with a wine aperitif, Peter Lehmann Layers. This wine from Australia’s Barossa Valley blends five different types of grape to create a dry white wine with a complexity of flavors. It was fitting preparation for our first course, Chestnut Soup, which arrived at the table streaked with vegan yogurt and garnished with a frizzle of fried leeks and just a dab of black truffle paste. I love chestnut soup, and this one was fabulous! It derives its creaminess from almond milk, and if you want to know how to whip up a batch for your own Thanksgiving feast at home, keep an eye on the food section in next week’s News-Herald, as we’re sharing the recipe with them. The accompanying wine, Marimar Estate Chardonnay Acero, is a Sonoma County white, steel fermented without a touch of oak, dry, bright and crisp on the tongue.

Now for the “meat” of the meal, which was, of course, not meat, but Spiced Apple Cider-Glazed Supreme of Gardein. The Gardein “cut,” bathed in the slightly tart, slightly sweet glaze, sat atop an herbed polenta cake mixed with vegan sausage and dressed with sautéed shoestrings of zucchini, yellow squash and carrot. The combined effect of the very chicken-like gardein, the gentle glaze, the polenta and vegetables, and the savory sausage was just fantastic and said “fall feast” in every sense of the word. It was served with Flora Springs Soliloquy, a Napa white that served as a fine complement.

This point of the meal was perfect for a salad course, and the Field Greens with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Pomegranate Seeds and Oranges dressed in Blood Orange Vinaigrette fit the bill. It combined sweetness, tartness and crunch to make the perfect salad. In an unusual twist, this course was served with a red wine, Peter Lehmann Layers Red, but it worked. This Layers wine is also a five-grape blend, with a big fruity bouquet and, I thought, a little chocolaty hint in it. Whatever the flavors, they combined really well with the salad.

Course number four was Quinoa and Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash, slices of roasted acorn squash glazed with agave syrup and fitted out in the middle with little quinoa timbales including chopped green apple and big fat pecans. Well, I have now learned that quinoa, which happens to be a high-protein, high-fiber, gluten-free food, is as delicious as any rice or pasta, and lower on the glycemic index to boot. This is good to know! Maybe I should be eating more quinoa and fewer complex carbs. For this dish, the wine was Green Truck Organic Petite Sirah, a Syrah-Merlot blend, peppery and fruity.

Last came a very elegantly plated dessert that tasted as good as it looked: a Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Cranberry Coulis. This variation on the traditional panna cotta, sauced with tart cinnamon-spiked cranberries, topped with a foam of almond milk, and garnished with mint leaves, was as satisfying as any traditional pumpkin pie. Alongside, we had tiny glasses of Hobbs Dessert Grenache, a rich, sweet red dessert wine with an intense flavor that comes from the grapes being partly dried out before pressing. It was the perfect conclusion to a most satisfying meal.

So, that’s the story. If you’re vegan or vegetarian and you live anywhere near Bistro 185, you owe it to yourself to sign up to be there the next time a dinner like this one is in the planning — or at least keep an eye out to see when the next Vegan Night is coming up. This is one experience where you won’t have to wonder or ask whether all of your meal was prepared vegan — you’ll know. (Trust me, they’re very careful about this!) If you’re normally an omnivore, get ready for a surprise as you learn exactly how varied, interesting, and refined vegan cuisine can be in experienced hands. Bistro 185 served up the kind of Thanksgiving feast even a turkey could love.

Review of “True Blood” Dinner is ready!

…and you can read it here. If you missed it, you missed a good one! But have no fear, because one thing you can be sure of is that Bistro 185 has more special dinners coming up in the future that will amaze you with a combination of incredible food preparation and sublime beverage selections. Our Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner with organic wines this Wednesday is up next, and in December we’ll ring out the old year and welcome the new one with a menu of dishes and champagnes worthy of celebration. What are you waiting for? Call 216.481.9635 and reserve your spot for the future!

Toast the New Year early with us!

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The plans for holiday fun go on! Save this date now — Tuesday, December 28 — for our second fantastic Champagne Wine Dinner! Yes, it’s so popular we’re bringing it back. A fabulous menu of dishes paired with a variety of delightful champagnes, all for $75 plus tax and gratuity. Don’t miss out — reserve your spot now by calling 216.481.9635! We’ll provide a menu and champagne list soon!

Wine pairings for our Vegan Thanksgiving dinner are ready!

Take a look at our organic wine pairings for our November 17 Vegan Thanksgiving Wine Dinner here. And, if you haven’t yet, call 216.481.9635 and make your reservations for this delightful repast!

In the meantime, keep in mind that with the holidays on the way, it’s not too soon to make plans for your own entertainment festivities. If you’re planning a special lunch or dinner out for your work group, Bistro 185 will be happy to have you. Call 216.481.9635 to make sure you reserve your date now. Or, if you’re planning a catered event or party, Ruth will be happy to talk to you about what she can do for you. Take a look at the Ruth Levine Events Web site, let it inspire, and call 216.404.0500 to get Ruth started on plans for your feast!