Spring’s right on time! Make plans now for our April special dinners!

It’s like a miracle: Spring arrived in Cleveland right on time this year, if not a little early. Oh, maybe we’ve got one last blast of wintry weather to face, but with the date reading late March and the temperatures reading in the 70s and 80s, it’s difficult to believe. Here at the Bistro, we’ve already opened the patio, so if you’ve been thinking of stopping by but want to dine al fresco, we’re ready for you!

The weather definitely could not be better for talking about our special dinners coming up in April. We’ll begin with a wine dinner that’s a real family affair: a five-course meal Wednesday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m. featuring wines from the Buoncristiani family winery in Napa, California. Winemaker Jay Buoncristiani will be on hand to join us and tell us more about the wines we’re enjoying. The menu will be as follows:

First Course
Seared Scallop with Spring Ramp Risotto
Wine: Rosato

Second Course
Ceviche Seafood Taco with Pineapple, Jicama, Cilantro and Jalapeno
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc

Third Course
Smoky Duck Ragout with Corn Pudding
Wine: OPC Blend

Fourth Course
Charred Beef Tenderloin with Blackberry Sauce
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon

Fifth Course
Chocolate Bombe
Wine: Syrah

Cost of the dinner is $80 plus tax and gratuity. For those of you wondering “Exactly what are ‘spring ramps’?,” well–they’re some of the freshest, earliest spring greens you can get your hands on, and they’re available for only a short time. This website has more. In short, if you’re tired of hearty winter root veggies and ready for something crisp, fresh and green, this is it!

We’ve also got something special planned for our 3-for-$30 Vegan Night offering. The “It’s Spring!” Vegan Dinner served between 5:30 and 9 p.m. Thursday, April 26, will star these courses:

Wild Mushroom Salad with Pistachios

Asparagus and Meyer Lemon Risotto

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

You can’t get more spring-y than that, can you? Call 216.481.9635 today and reserve your spot for one dinner, or both. And enjoy spring!

Kudos from a foodie blogger!

We’re pleased to know that one of Cleveland’s top restaurant bloggers, Bite Buff, enjoyed her recent first dinnertime visit to the Bistro, and are honored that she chose us to visit first while selecting her personal “Top 10 to Dine” list for local restaurants to review in 2012. Read her review here.

Cuisine of India hits the mark vegan style!

The Tenant is back, to tell you about last night’s Vegan 3-for-$30 Dinner, in case you missed it–and to advise you, if you did and you’re OK with eating meat and love Indian food, you are going to want to make sure you’re signed up for the Flavors of India Wine Dinner next Thursday. If this dinner is any indication, it’s going to be unbelievable!

The first dish was the Chickpea-Potato-Caramelized Onion Samosa with Mint and Coconut Chutney. This was a perfectly toasty little packet of puff pastry full of chickpeas, potato and sweetly savory onions. The chutney, bright green and fresh, complemented it wonderfully.

Once finished devouring the samosa, I had placed before me a huge bowlful of the main entree, Crispy Gardein and Vegetables with Yellow Coconut Curry on Basmati Rice. Again, there was no distinguishing the thick, well-breaded cut of Gardein from traditional chicken–if you didn’t know better, you’d think it was chicken. It sat atop its pile of basmati rice sauced perfectly in the creamy yellow coconut curry, studded with vegetables–zucchini, yellow squash, orange peppers, cauliflower, asparagus, along with matchstick slivers of Granny Smith apple to add a touch of sweetness, and a generous sprinkling of fresh cilantro. It was utterly delicious and ranked right up with any similar dish I’ve enjoyed in an Indian restaurant.

Finally, the dessert–and it was truly distinctive and special. The Mango Parfait with Vanilla Cashew Cream was a parfait dish full of chunks of oven-poached mango, papaya and pineapple, piled atop house-made, raisin-studded vegan granola and topped with a rich cashew cream, garnished with mint. To me, it tasted like an overly indulgent breakfast treat, the kind I would gladly eat again and again!

If you truly love fine vegan dining, you’ll definitely want to sign up for the Bistro’s next vegan offering in April. If you’re an omnivore–especially a wine-loving one–who appreciates the cuisine of India, you’ll want to pick up your phone now and call 216.481.9635 to ensure you don’t miss out on Thursday’s feast. It will include not only a samosa much like this one, but tandoori chicken, coconut shrimp, lamb and other delights, including a wine to match each dish. Don’t miss out!

Passages to India are springing your way in March

March can be unpredictable in many ways, from weather to college basketball–but you can rest assured that whatever else happens, we’ve got fantastic dining coming your way at the Bistro. We hopscotch the globe looking for exciting cuisines, and this month we’re bringing you two opportunities to experience the flavors of India: a Vegan Dinner and a special Wine Dinner.

Our “A Night in India” Vegan Dinner, from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15, takes you on a subcontinental journey vegan style with this 3-for-$30 menu:

Chickpea-Potato-Caramelized Onion Samosa
Mint and Coconut Chutney

Crispy Gardein and Vegetables
Yellow Coconut Curry
Basmati Rice

Mango Parfait with Vanilla Cashew Cream

For non-vegans and wine lovers, our “Flavors of India” Wine Dinner, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22, presents five courses of India’s finest cuisine with specially selected wines:

Mango Lassi Shooter/Tiger Beer

First Course
Potato-Chickpea-Caramelized Onion Samosa
Mint and Coconut Chutney
Wine: Michael David Incognito White

Second Course
Yogurt-Marinated Tandoori Chicken with Grilled Onions
Wine: Mulderbosch Rose 2011

Third Course
Mango Salad with Coconut Shrimp
Wine: Villa Wolf Gewurztraminer 2010

Fourth Course
Lamb Rogan Josh (Kashmiri Lamb Curry)
Grilled Naan
Wine: Felino Malbec Mendoza 2009

Fifth Course
Pistachio and Cardamom Rice Pudding with Fresh Seasonal Berries
Wine: Bugey Cerdon Bottex Sparkling Rose

The wine dinner is $65 per person. We’re taking reservations for both dinners now at 216.481.9635. Whether vegan or omnivore, call us today to book your passage to India!