Night at the Oscars: Giant and Ropa Vieja

For our “Night at the Oscars” special entree Thursday through Saturday, we’re honoring the film that won the 1956 Academy Award for Best Directing for George Stevens, the widescreen saga Giant. This movie about the effects of the oil industry — and a fierce personal rivalry — on two Texas ranching families deserves a dish with flavors as big as the Lone Star State itself. And some of the best of those flavors come from the influences of Spanish cuisine on American food, from the Southwest with its Tex-Mex cuisine to Miami and its Cuban, Caribbean and Canary Islands influences. Our entree is actually an example that originates in the Canaries, but which we’re treating with a Southwestern flair: ropa vieja.

Ropa vieja gets its name from the Spanish words for “old clothes,” possibly because of its “torn-up” look. But this concoction of shredded flank steak in tomato sauce tastes nothing like the laundry! We made ours by giving the steak the sous vide treatment overnight, heating it slowly in vacuum-sealed plastic with Southwestern seasoning to imbue it with plenty of tenderness and flavor. Then we combined it with bell peppers, onions, cumin, garlic, cilantro, tomato and jalapeño peppers to make it dance on your tongue even more. We’re serving it on a bed of corn pudding, accompanied by black beans prepared Southwestern style and topped with the Mexican cheese queso blanco. There’s freshly prepared pico de gallo sauce including chopped tomatoes, onions, chiles, lime juice and cilantro nestled in between the two. And we’re even adding freshly fried-up chicken empanadas for a finishing touch.

James Dean, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor never had it so good down on the ranch as you can have your dinner at Bistro 185 tonight. So come see us and enjoy a dish that will satisfy even a (wait for it) giant appetite. Olé!

Night at the Oscars: Moonstruck and Baby Osso Bucco

Sick of the Cleveland winter? Feel like your life is going down the toilet? Well, snap out of it! Bistro 185 has the solution to your blues with our “Night at the Oscars” special for this Monday through Wednesday. Instead of honoring a Best Picture winner this time around, we’ve chosen a movie that picked up three other Academy Awards for 1987: Best Original Screenplay (John Patrick Shanley), Best Actress (Cher) and Best Supporting Actress (Olympia Dukakis), Moonstruck.

Of course, Moonstruck is all about the moon and the magic it can work on the lives of we humans down on Earth — especially on love Italian-American style. For centuries, full moons have been associated with insanity (it’s where the word “lunatic” comes from), and although we know the moon doesn’t really make you crazy, it does seem to have that effect on people in danger of falling in love. And as it so happens, there was a full moon Sunday…and there’ll be a near-full moon for the next three nights!

So why not take full advantage of this crazy time and enjoy our version of romance Italian-American style: Baby Osso Bucco over Pappardelle Pasta in a fennel, carrot and tomato sauce, garnished with onion straws? We think you’ll “love it awful”!


Night at the Oscars: Lawrence of Arabia and Middle Eastern Lamb

This week, Monday through Wednesday, come along with us on a culinary adventure through the desert as we pay tribute to the 1962 Academy Award-winning Best Picture, Lawrence of Arabia. Our featured dish will be a lamb shank prepared Middle Eastern style, with apricots and cinnamon, accompanied by Moroccan couscous studded with raisins and pine nuts.  It’s a sweeter treatment of lamb that really brings out its depth of flavor and makes for a refreshing change of pace. Taste it and feel that desert breeze melting the chill in your winter soul!

Veal scallops, in the best of taste

One of our guests, heard commenting on tonight’s Julia Project dish, Escalopes de Veau à l’Estragon with Brown Tarragon Sauce: “Oh my, I picked the right dish!” Our presentation included spring peas and was served on the same thin, wide pappardelle pasta that accompanied our Chicken Fricassee of Tuesday night. The sauce for this dish is a bit lighter than that of the previous two entrees we have presented, but no less delicious for that, and redolent with the flavor of tarragon straight from our rooftop garden (each plate was decorated with a tarragon sprig). We hope you had the chance to enjoy; if you did, tell us about it!

Excitement is already building for tomorrow night’s dish, another masterpiece from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1: Foie de Veau Sauté with Sauce Crème a la Moutarde, Calf’s Liver with a Cream and Mustard Sauce. And don’t forget, the movie Julie & Julia opens tomorrow at area theaters. Save your ticket stub; if you make reservations for a party of four or more and show us your stub, you will receive one complimentary dessert per table. And what desserts we have to offer you: sinfully rich and sublime, whether it’s banana cream pie, raspberry-almond-and chocolate torte, carrot cake, peanut butter “s’mores” pie…save room!

We’re making plans now for which Julia Child dishes to feature in next week’s dinner specials. Watch this blog to see what’s coming next! If there’s a dish you’d especially like us to offer, make a request here — you just might see it on a future menu.