Vegan Thanksgiving sets a delicious holiday mood

The Tenant returns…the non-vegan Tenant who nonetheless has been enjoying the Bistro’s Vegan Dinner Series very much, and enjoying the special Thanksgiving vegan dinners doubly so…and this latest one was no exception!

We began our feast with a mug of a hot spiced rum drink, which to my mind was just what the doctor ordered on such a cold, rainy, miserable day. It may have been nasty outside, but spirits inside the Bistro were as warm as that drink, and they stayed that way, because our first course was another seasonal spirit warmer: Celery Root Soup with Granny Smith Apples and Chive Oil. The soup arrived thick and hearty, full of flavor, with a small sprinkling of apple chunks and just the slightest drizzle of bright-green chive oil. It was just as delicious as last year’s chestnut soup and seemed to be a big hit with everyone.

The second course, Roasted Pear and Toasted Pumpkin Seed Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette, was a fascinating contrast in tastes, textures and temperatures. The centerpiece of each salad was a warm pear roasted to potato-like tenderness, sitting on the bed of mixed greens. Not only pumpkin seeds but a healthy scattering of pomegranate seeds added to the sweet-tart nature of this dish, along with the delightful vinaigrette. I’ve never had a salad quite like this one, and it was just marvelous.

Our entree was a really imaginative work that provided plenty of protein as well as savory classic fall flavor. We each received a phyllo-dough Beggars’ Purse tied with green onion–a huge, plate-sized sack–with an interior stuffed with a mixture of onion, lentils, quinoa, wild mushrooms (I believe Ruth said they were chanterelles and shiitakes), and sun-dried cranberries. This was kind of like the most fortified stuffing you could ever eat, only it was stuffing phyllo purses rather than the traditional bird. Each purse was drizzled in the rich Roasted Curried Butternut Squash Sauce and surrounded by the Roasted Brussels Sprouts and French Chestnuts. Altogether, this made for a rich and satisfying dish indeed. Both the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts had been roasted to caramelization and could not have been more delicious. Truly, if you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you owe it to yourself to try them cooked this way–they’re not even the same vegetable! As for the chestnuts, they were sheer heaven. I learned some years ago, from a man who both had a real fireplace in his house and used it, that chestnuts roasting on an open fire are not just some nostalgic cliche from a Christmas tune: they are unbelievably yummy. So were these. For this course, we were all poured a very nice Pinot Noir to add to our enjoyment.

Finally came the dessert that just couldn’t miss being amazing: the Pecan Pie with Spiced Vegan Whipped Creme. Surrounded by a scattering of fresh raspberries, it was every bit as tasty as anticipated. And all of it done without a single animal product. Once again, hats off to the Bistro for creating a true vegan pleaser! It certainly looked as if everyone else was enjoying it just as much as I did.

If you couldn’t make it to this one, you can enjoy it secondhand through the video. Then make sure you sign up for the next Bistro vegan dinner. You won’t be sorry!

Black Friday Gift Certificate Sale today only!

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Remember, today we’re having our Black Friday one-day-only gift certificate sale…buy $100 worth of Bistro 185 gift certificates and receive a $25 certificate free! While you’re at it, enjoy a nice lunch or dinner with us while kicking off your holiday shopping. Hope to see you today or tonight!

Mark your calendar for these tasteful end-of-year events!

Last night’s Vegan Thanksgiving was indeed something special…and we’ll be getting video and a review up over the next few days, so keep an eye out for them. In the meantime, get out your calendar–paper, electronic or otherwise–and save these upcoming dates to make sure you don’t miss out on any of our upcoming tastings, dinners or special offers!

“BLACK FRIDAY” SPECIAL RETURNS…Our “Black Friday Gift Certificate Special” was so popular last year that we’re bringing it back. If you’re having trouble thinking of the perfect holiday gift for people who seem to have everything, we can make your search simpler and less stressful. Stop in THIS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25 ONLY, 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) and you’ll receive a $25 certificate FREE! Give the special people on your list the gift of a relaxing afternoon or evening out, away from the stress and strife, enjoying a superb meal, and your thoughtfulness will be remembered a long time.

Remember, while we sell gift certificates anytime (and highly recommend them as the perfect all-occasion gift), this offer is good on Black Friday only, in person. Admit it, you were looking for an excuse to rest and have a bite to eat during or after hitting the stores (or even if you refused to hit the stores!), so why not relax and get a lot of your shopping done at the same time? You might even want to keep that free gift certificate for yourself…your call.

Here’s one more advantage: you don’t have to leave the house Thanksgiving night or at the crack of dawn Friday morning to take advantage of this special. Trust us, at 5 a.m. this Friday, we’ll be in bed! But come around during lunch or dinner, and we’ll sell you as many certificates as you want to buy. See you then!

WINE AND BEER DINNERS IN YOUR FUTURE… Remember our “Julia Project” in the summer of 2009? We had a great time together enjoying the world of French cuisine with our takes on the classic recipes of Julia Child. This Wednesday, November 30, at 6:30 p.m., join us for a wine dinner that’s sure to bring back memories of those special days. Our French Wine Dinner (see menu at the link) will feast you with five courses of incredible wine and dishes from la belle France. Sign up for this $65 happy flashback by calling 216.481.9635 to make your reservation now!

Is beer your preferred refreshment? You’ve still got time to reserve a spot at our UniBroue French Canadian Beer Dinner (see menu at the link) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, December 15. From Poutine with Duck-Fat Fries to Chocolate Creme Brulee, this menu will amaze you as you sample hearty beers brewed by our northern neighbors.

WINE TASTINGS TO HELP YOU MAKE YOUR PERSONAL HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENT SELECTIONS… Love entertaining guests, but not sure which wines will suit your menu or are most likely to please? Maybe you’re looking for something special to sip by the fire this winter. Our December wine tastings are your perfect opportunity to try a few before you invest in a bottle. Our Tuesday, December 13 tasting, at $25 per person, will feature hors d’ouevres and four French wines: Jules Bertier Sparkling, Louis Laurent Vouvray, Brotte Côtes du Rhône and Chateau le Paradis Côtes de Bourg. We’ll have more information about the Monday, December 19 tasting, at $15 per person, soon. Both tastings run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. To sign up for either, call 216.481.9635 now.

FINISH OFF THE YEAR WITH A POP!… The holiday season is about tradition, and we’re continuing yet another so many of you have enjoyed: our year-end Champagne Dinner. For those who prefer a more civilized alternative to the New Year’s Eve craziness, this gives you the opportunity to toast the New Year early while enjoying a delightful variety of the bubbly and sumptuous food to go with it. Plan now to join us Wednesday, December 28, for “Amuse-Bouche,” our latest incarnation of this annual classic. Our $75-per-person menu will feature these five courses:

First Course
Escargot en Croute
Caviar-Creme Fraiche-Chives
Pernod Cream Sauce
Champagne: Dr. L Riesling Sec

Second Course
Duck Confit
Duck-Fat Fries with Sea Salt and Rosemary
Roasted Garlic Aioli
Champagne: Adami Garbel 13 Prosecco

Third Course
Scallop Rockefeller
Lemon Shallot Sabayon
Champagne: Ayala Brut Majeur Non Vintage

Fourth Course
French Braised Short Rib in Coquette
Root Vegetable Mash
Wild Mushroom Saute
Champagne: Ayala Brut Zero Dosage Non Vintage

Fifth Course
Boule de Neige with Hazelnuts and Raspberries
Champagne: Norton Demi Sec

Be sure to call 216.481.9635 and reserve your place–this dinner is always popular!

One more tip: for those who enjoy hitting the town on New Year’s Eve proper, we’ll be offering something special this year. Watch this space for more details.

Oh, and while we’re open today and tonight, we are closed Thursday to give all our staff a well-deserved day to spend with their families. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Whet your appetite with pics while we get Vegan Thanksgiving ready for you!

Feeling a little hungry about now? If you made reservations for our Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner tonight, we’ve got some coming attraction shots to get you in the mood!

Our Celery Root Soup has been simmering on the stove:

The pears for the salad have been roasted…

…and the pumpkin seeds are waiting to be toasted while the cranberry vinaigrette stands by…

The Beggar’s Purses with Sweet Onion, Lentil, Quinoa, Wild Mushrooms and Sundried Cranberries are filled, tied up and ready to be baked.

Here are some of the wild mushrooms that went into stuffing them:

The Roasted Curried Butternut Squash Sauce is all ready to top them once they’re done…

The Brussels sprouts that will accompany them are here fresh, green and waiting for roasting…

…and the French chestnuts that will dress them are not far away…

Last but far from least, the pecan pie is also prepared…

So, there you have it: a glimpse of what awaits you tonight at our vegan Thanksgiving table. Hope these images will get you through the rest of your day and warm your spirits on a cold, rainy November afternoon. See you tonight for spiced wine cocktails and great feasting!

Vegetarian or vegan? Join us Tuesday for an early Thanksgiving!

Today we’re giving a shout-out to Roxetta, who writes the Cleveland-based vegetarian blog Vegetarians Taste Better. She’s blogged a delightful piece about our Vegan Dinner Series you can read here. We’re glad you’ve been enjoying them, Roxetta, and we’re looking forward to the next one just as much as you are!

If you’re vegetarian or vegan (or even if you’d just like to give it a try) and haven’t yet signed up for our latest Vegan Thanksgiving feast this coming Tuesday, call 216.481.9635 and ensure your place at our table. We’ll be happy to have you!

All Bistro fans, especially wine lovers: keep watching this space for upcoming information on wine-related events in December and other things you should know about. Also, keep in mind that as you plan get-togethers during the holiday season, Bistro 185 will be pleased to serve your group that special lunch or dinner. You can even have Chef Ruth specially cater an event for you through Ruth Levine Events. Pick up the phone and book now!

UniBroue Beer Dinner postponed to Dec. 15

If you’re looking forward to enjoying our multiple courses of cuisine French Canadian style with a selection of artisnal Quebec beers to match, be patient and your day will come. We’re postponing our Unibroue Beer Dinner a month and will instead hold it Thursday, December 15. If you haven’t yet signed up but it sounds good to you (take a look here to review the menu and beer selections), why not do it now? Plan now to reward yourself after a day of holiday shopping or just relax with a good meal and some special brews. Call 216.481.9635 to reserve your spot!

Back by popular demand: CLAMBAKE November 18!

When you’ve got something good, why end it too soon? True, it’s getting colder and snow is even on the ground in some places, but that doesn’t have to mean clambake season is over in Cleveland, where the response to our Bistro clambake was so huge we’re going to do it again by popular demand!

On Friday, November 18, from 5 to 9:30 p.m., you’ll be able to enjoy one last hurrah of beach-style cuisine with our encore Lobster Clambake. At $49.50 per person, this feast includes a 1¼-pound whole steamed lobster, a dozen clams, one-quarter of a barbecued chicken, chowder, cornbread, a roasted sweet potato and slaw.

Our encore clambake is again by prepaid reservation only, so call 216.481.9635 now to make sure you get your share! We’ve got a whole lot of winter coming up…plan now to get your last taste of clambake goodness!

Enjoy our 3-for-$30 menu during Cleveland Restaurant Week!

It’s Cleveland Restaurant Week, and Ruth is especially excited because she’s just been elected to the board of Cleveland Independents, the group that sponsors this annual opportunity for you to sample our unique, locally based restaurants at special prices.

If you’re a loyal Bistro 185 guest, you already know what we can do, and we hope you’ll plan to join us during Restaurant Week for more. If you’ve never visited before and are thinking of giving us a try, we’re eager to have you stop by and sample the pleasures of dinner with us.

Plan now to come in Monday through Friday (through November 11) and choose your three-course feast by selecting one from each category:

Salads and Starters
Soup of the Day
Chicken and Vegetable Pot Stickers
Field Greens Salad
House Tempura Vegetables

Chicken Parmesan with Pasta Marinara
Slab St. Louis Ribs, House Fries and Slaw
Medallions of Beef Filet, Hollandaise Sauce, Mashers and House Tempura Vegetables
Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with Sesame Peanut Noodles
Sautéed Walleye with Hollandaise Sauce, Mashers and House Tempura Vegetables
Pan-Roasted Salmon with Pecan Butter, Sweet Mash and House Tempura Vegetables
Jambalaya with Andouille Sausage and Chicken, Topped with Rice and Black Beans

Key Lime Pie
Coconut Cream Pie
House-Made Ice Cream
Chocolate Crème Brulee
Warm Chocolate Molten Cake

Please note that entrees are not available for sharing and there are no substitutions; price also does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. The $3-for-$30 menu is available dine-in only.

If it’s been a while since you had a nice night out and you want to support the local economy when you plan that occasion…if you’re tired of the chain restaurant experience, but afraid that any “tab for two” at a one-of-a-kind place will end up in the three figures…or you just want to get together with some friends over a truly first-class meal without breaking the bank…you owe it to yourself to come to the Bistro and see how far we can stretch your $30! We know you’ll come back!