July barbecues coming your way…and more!

It’s as if there’s something deep inside us — especially those of us forced to spend so much time indoors during the winter — that calls to us when summertime hits and compels us to start a fire and throw something on the grill until it gets really crispy, juicy and tasty. At Bistro 185, we’re no different. That’s why July is going to be Barbecue Month in terms of our special dinners — even the vegan one!

We actually start out with the Vegan Barbecue, on Thursday, July 14. This will be another 3-for-$30 special, featuring Grilled Caesar Salad as the appetizer. The main course will be Smoked and Grilled Tofu Glazed with a Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Barbecue Sauce, Grilled Corn and Pinto Bean Succotash with Roasted Sweet Potato and Jalapeno Cornbread. We’ll top it off with Strawberry Shortcake for dessert.

The following week, it will be time for the meat eaters to gather ’round. On Wednesday, July 20 at 6:30, the Bistro will celebrate south-of-the-border spice with a five-course Latin American Barbecue Dinner. This $60 feast will feature the following courses paired with the following wines and other beverages:

Opening Beverage
Marc’s Special Sangria

First Course
Shrimp Ceviche
Beverage: Caipirinha

Second Course
Smoked Chicken Empanada
Brazilian Black Beans
Lo Tengo Torrontes

Third  Course
South American Style Jicama-Orange-Avocado Salad with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette
Beverage: Vinho Verde

Fourth Course
Argentinian Grilled Flatiron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
Plantain Chutney
Peruvian Corn Pudding
Beverage: Guentota Malbec

Fifth Course
Quesillo de Coco: Venezuelan Coconut Flan
Beverage: Pisco-Rita

You will want to be in your seat for this exciting fiesta, so call and make your prepaid reservations now at 216.481.9635.

Is this all we’ve got planned for special fun this summer? Not quite. In August we celebrate locally grown food with our special dinners…but aside from even that, we’ve got some tricks up our sleeve that we’ll be revealing soon. Watch this space for more details to be announced!

You’ll nibble these bones ’til they’re naked


If you’re a rib lover in Cleveland, Bistro 185 is the place to be tonight. Our Chile Glazed Country Ribs will hit your sweet spot for sure — and your spicy spot, because they’re a wicked combination of both and are getting reviews like “phenomenal.” The sauce is brown, thick and clinging to every crispy, juicy bite of the fall-off-the-bones meat. If you’ve never had a rib with anything but a tomato-based sauce, you owe it to yourself to try this change of pace. After a half dozen of these, your palate will be wide awake and very happy!

The beans-and-rice dish alongside is a combination of yellow rice and black beans with turmeric and curry seasoning. To finish, we added a little salad of mixed greens topped with the peach chutney we serve with our Asian lump crab cakes — a little bit of a cool refresher to contrast with the heady spicing of the ribs. Don’t miss these — whether you eat them with a knife and fork or just slice them apart and pick them up with your fingers. As Julia herself might say, “BONE Appétit!

Behind the Dish: Sea Scallops and Wild Mushroom and Green Sauce on Risotto

Hi! It’s me, the Tenant, again! It’s my duty to bring to you the story behind today’s Julia dish, Sea Scallops and Wild Mushroom and Green Sauce on Risotto.

This recipe, being one of those in Julia’s “Master Chefs” series, came to her through Southwestern cuisine expert Robert Del Grande. You can find a link to a video of him preparing this dish on this page.

Just as with yesterday’s offering, this isn’t one typically considered “French,” except by Julia’s standards. But it does sound tasty, and I’m going to taste it tonight. If the scallops are cooked anything like they are in the Bistro’s lobster ravioli dish, it should be great. (The lobster ravioli!…my baby sis and I are crazy about that. If we could find a way to hook up an IV line to deliver that buttery cream sauce directly into our veins, we would.)

What goes into this particular dish? For one thing, a base. In the PBS video, Robert Del Grande makes corn pudding as his base, but the Bistro is using a black-truffle risotto instead. I love corn pudding like I love my life, but risotto is fine with me too. The important thing, I guess, is to have a nice creamy bed for the sauce and the scallops.

The green sauce is cooked separately. It consists of tomatillos — small, green, tomato-like fruit that grows inside a husk, with a tart flavor — husked, puréed and sautéed with serrano chilies and garlic. In the Bistro’s recipe, jalapeños will fill in for the serranos. The mushrooms will be shiitakes, cooked in chicken stock, salt and a little sugar added once combined with the tomatillos, if needed to balance out their tartness.

The scallops are seared in yet another pan. Again, keeping the liquid level low and caramelizing is important, to make sure the scallops are seared, rather than boiled, in the pan.

When everything is ready, the risotto goes down first, then is topped with green sauce and mushrooms, with the seared scallops set on top. A drizzle of heavy cream, a touch of tomato salsa and a sprinkle of corn nuts will finish it off.

If that sounds good, plan on coming in tonight and taste it for yourself. Otherwise you’ll just have to settle for my description after I try it!