Seafood lover or vegan, we’ve got great dining for you in September!

August is almost over, the kids (and some of the adults) are headed back to school, and another fall season is almost upon us. Which means we’re getting ready for a new season of good times and great dining here at the Bistro. Once again we’ll celebrate the coming of fall Cleveland-style with one of the city’s most popular feasts, and savor delightful tastes from another country in our monthly Vegan Dinner Series.

RETURN OF THE CLAMBAKE: Yes, it’s time again to satisfy your seafood cravings with our Bistro Clambake Thursday, September 20. Between 5 and 9 p.m., for $58.50 per person, we’ll be dishing out dinners with a full complement of seaside cuisine, including New England clam chowder, a 1-lb. whole lobster, one-quarter of a barbecued chicken, 1 dozen clams, corn on the cob, a roasted sweet potato, coleslaw, and cornbread. Extra clams will be available (be sure to order ahead) at $12 per dozen.

VEGAN DINNER SAYS “OLE!” TO THE FLAVORS OF SPAIN: This fall, we’ll serve up vegan cuisine with a Spanish accent at our “Flavors of Spain” 3-for-$30 Vegan Dinner Thursday, September 27. The meal will begin with a Trio of Spanish Tapas, followed by a Paella of vegan “sausage,” mushrooms, wine-braised artichoke hearts, and saffron rice. Dessert will be Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Orange Sauce.

To reserve your share of either one (or both) of these tasty dining options, call 216.481.9635. Again, if you’re ordering the Clambake and you’d like extra clams, be sure to request them when you call. Don’t delay — last year’s Clambake was a sellout!

Taste the latest wines from Chile at our special September dinner

For our next wine dinner, we’re taking another trip without leaving the Bistro — because our destination will be coming to us! Our excursion on Wednesday, September 12, will be to South America, where we’ll savor the colorful and intensely flavored cuisine of Chile while uncorking a brand-new line of Chilean wines from Epica and meeting the winemaker.

Our Epica Chilean Wine Dinner menu will be as follows:

First Course
Laughing Bird Shrimp Ceviche
Wine: Epica Sauvignon Blanc

Second Course
Beef Empanada
Tomato-Onion-Avocado Salad
Lemon Vinaigrette
Wine: Epica Red Wine

Third Course
Roasted Chilean Sea Bass
Plantain Stew
Wine: Epica Chardonnay

Fourth Course
Chicken Thigh Chimichurri
Green Chili Corn Pudding
Wine: Epica Cabernet Sauvignon

Fifth Course
Chocolate-Cayenne-Cinnamon Creme Brulee
Wine: Obtuse Cabernet Port Justin

As always, our wine dinner will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. Cost of our Epica excursion to Chile is $65 plus tax and gratuity. Book your reservation on this trip now by calling 216.481.9635 and get ready for a delicious journey!

Happy Julia’s Birthday! More links for you to love

The day has arrived! Hope you made reservations for our sold-out Julia Child Birthday Dinner, because we’re looking forward to a terrific event! In the meantime, whet your appetite with these commemorations of Julia’s 100th birthday:

  • Today’s Google Doodle pays tribute to Julia.
  • The New York Times features an article on Julia Child recipes that home cooks still make, even if they don’t always (or never have) tackled her more challenging dishes.
  • Have you visited Julia’s kitchen at the Smithsonian? It was transported to the National Museum of American History from Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2001. The whole thing is there, right down to the pegboard for all her pots and pans, with each one outlined in Magic Marker so it was easy to see where to replace them after cleaning. Take the virtual tour here (requires Flash 6 player).
  • This 2009 Vanity Fair article tells the story of Julia’s romance with her husband Paul, and includes a picture of their 1956 Valentine’s Day card, featuring a photo of Julia and Paul in the bathtub (oo la la!). It also describes how her early TV appearances made Julia a star.
  • Julie Powell, on whose blog and book the movie Julie & Julia was based, writes here on how Julia taught her to cook — and live.
  • Julia’s friend Ariane Daguin writes here on how Julia founded “the cult of the kitchen.”
  • The Washington Post presents videos in which chefs, restaurateurs and household hint doyenne Martha Stewart talk about what they learned from Julia.
  • This review by The Atlantic of a book featuring correspondence between Julia and a close friend uncloaks the perseverance it required for Julia to have her first cookbook published.

These and many more articles and videos are available to help get you ready for tonight. Bon Appetit!

Enjoy this “Julia Child Remixed” video and don’t forget to enter our contest!

It’s almost celebration time! As you can see, PBS has given Julia Child a fresh new sound for her 100th birthday — enjoy it here in “Julia Child Remixed.” Let it serve as your inspiration, if you haven’t done so yet, to submit your entry to our “Courage of Your Convictions in the Kitchen” Contest! We’re looking for the best story (500 words or fewer) about a time you exercised the courage of your convictions, either in your cooking or your eating. So tell us about that salvaged souffle, that tricky Thanksgiving turkey, or the time you sampled that dish that your friends thought belonged on Fear Factor but that actually turned out to be wonderful. Send the story to ruth@bistro185.com with “Julia Child Contest Entry” in the header before the end of today, and you could win a $50 Bistro gift certificate!

We’d like to thank you for your enthusiasm about our Julia Child Wine Dinner that caps off our festivities tomorrow night: it’s sold out. We’re looking forward to a fantastic evening and we want you to have fun — you’re invited to come dressed as Julia if the spirit moves you! But the only requirement is that you bring your appetite and your sense of adventure. It’s sure to be a celebration you’ll remember for a long time to come!

Celebrate Julia Child with videos, TV, books

The celebrations of the Julia Child centenary are ramping up, as you can see from the musical tribute above–and you can be part of them. In addition to joining us next Wednesday for our Julia Child 100th Birthday Wine Dinner, on this coming Saturday, August 11, watch the WVIZ/PBS “Petite Marathon” of three classic episodes of Julia’s pioneering cooking show The French Chef. These episodes haven’t been broadcast since the 1960s, so don’t miss them! WVIZ/Ideastream is also inviting you to cook up your favorite Julia Child recipe and share your experience, as well as tell about how you’re celebrating Julia’s birthday.

But that’s not all. You can find information here about three new Julia Child books (including a definitive biography and one about her cats!) and an iPad/Nook app that provides a condensed version of the cookbook that started it all, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Whether you love to cook or just love to eat, the Julia Child centenary has something for everyone!

Which reminds us–have you sent in your entry for our “Courage of Your Convictions in the Kitchen” contest? If not, better do so soon! (If you need some inspiration, Ruth will provide that in a future entry to the blog. Be looking for it!)