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!