Scare up a great time at our Michael David Winery Premier Vintage Wine Dinner

Who says Halloween is just for kids? You may be too old to go begging for candy house to house, but not to worry—here at the Bistro, we’re ready to get out our cauldrons and cook up some spooky fun adult-style. If you like great food and fine wine, and you’re not above indulging in a few of the seven deadly sins, come to our door at the witching hour of 6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 31, and we’ll have plenty of treats for you at our Michael David Winery Premier Vintage Wine Dinner.

Join winery representative Nicole Gardner as we enjoy five devilishly delicious courses paired with the wines of this Lodi, California-based vintner. Costumes optional!

First Course
House-Made Pumpkin and Mascarpone Ravioli
Roasted Pumpkin-Seed Sauce
Wine: Lust
Zinfandel—Lodi 2010

Second Course
Moroccan-Inspired Chicken B’Stilla
Wine: Rage
Dry Creek Zinfandel 2012

Third Course
Day Boat Seared Scallop with Caramel-Orange Sauce
Bacon- and Pecan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Wine: Incognito
White Blend 2012

Fourth Course
Cola-and-Jam Beef Short Rib
Parsnip-and-Potato Mash
Wine: Rapture
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

Fifth Course
Apple-Pear Marzipan Tart
Brown-Sugar Whipped Cream
Wine: Gluttony
Amador County Old Vine Zinfandel 2009

Cost of this haunting repast is $75 per person plus tax and gratuity. Don’t find yourself all alone in the dark this Halloween—call 216.481.9635 and make your reservations to share a frighteningly good time with us!

Brewing up delights for Halloween tonight!

It’s been a busy day here at the Bistro, getting the dishes ready for tonight’s Witch’s Brew Dinner. If you didn’t see Ruth on TV with her preview on Kenny Compton’s “Kickin’ It with Kenny” on Fox 8 last week, look for it here (for some reason, it refuses to embed) and whet your appetite!

We’ve also got some pictures from today’s preparations:

Our Deep Down Underground Root Cellar Soup is bubbling in the cauldron on top of the stove…

The Tenderloin Vampire “Stakes” are ready to be cooked…

…and we’re adding the last festive touches to our Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. It’s bound to be a dinner that will haunt your memories for years to come.

Don’t let the last remains of Sandy scare you! Join us tonight and allow yourself to be bewitched!

You’ll fall for our special October and November dinner events!

September’s almost over already (can you believe it?), but the fall fun at the Bistro is just getting started. Whatever flavors you savor, you’ll find a special dinner event — and maybe more than one — to your liking:

FALL VEGAN DINNER: As the weather gets a cold snap in it, our monthly 3-for-$30 Vegan Dinner offering warms up. On Monday, October 29, from 5 to 8:30 p.m., we’ll serve up these cozy dishes:

Celery Root-Parsnip-Potato Soup

Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff

Apple Strudel with Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

WITCH’S BREW DINNER: Celebrate Halloween Wednesday, October 31, by enjoying a spooky-but-savory feast with no tricks — just treats. Our Witch’s Brew Dinner at 6:30 p.m. pairs five courses of hauntingly delicious cuisine with an assortment of intoxicating potions:

First Course
Deep Down Underground Root Cellar Soup
(Celery Root-Parsnip-Potato Soup with Creme Fraiche)
Potion: Monks’ Blood Ale

Second Course
Vampire Tenderloin “Stake” with Garlic Butter
Potion: Freak Show Cabernet

Third Course
Baby Spinach, Avocado, and Pumpkin-Seed Salad
Potion: Witches’ Cackle Cocktail

Fourth Course
Black-and-Orange Shrimp Pasta (Orecchiette Pasta with Nicoise Olives, Caramelized Garlic, and Roasted Butternut Squash)
Potion: Bobbing for Eyeballs Cocktail

Fifth Course
Pumpkin Whoopie Pie
Potion: Warm Mulled Mead

This wickedly tempting feast costs $55 per person plus tax and gratuity.

ENCORE CLAMBAKE: If you missed our September Clambake — or you made it and are hungry for more — we have great news. We’re bringing the Clambake back Thursday, November 8. Once again, between 5 and 9 p.m., for $58.50 per person, you’ll get 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 are $12 per dozen; order when you make your reservation to be sure to get your share.

VEGAN THANKSGIVING DINNER: Vegan Thanksgiving feasts a week before the calendar date have become an annual tradition at the Bistro, and this one is no exception. Watch this blog for more details on the menu for this year’s event, Wednesday, November 21.

NOVEMBER WINE DINNER: Our wine dinner for November will be Thursday, November 29. Mark your calendar now and watch this blog for theme and menu details.

“NOVEMBERFEST”: Ein prosit! We’re going to make sure nobody misses the fun of Oktoberfest this year by having our own three-course  “Novemberfest” of classic German cuisine paired with hearty beers. Dishes will include local sausages, sauerkraut, potato pancakes, and apple strudel. Again, watch this space for more details.

To make reservations for any of these upcoming events, call 216.481.9635 and get ready to enjoy an autumn harvest of incredible dining experiences!

Join us for a bite at our True Blood Dinner Oct. 27

We wanna do…um, actually, good things with you!

What’s the story behind our theme for October’s special dinner at the Bistro?
Well, if you’ve ever had a chance to talk with Chef Ruth about the topic of TV, one thing you know is that her favorite show is HBO’s True Blood. She can’t get enough of the saga of the vampires, telepaths, and shapeshifters that inhabit Bon Temps, Louisiana, where the good times bleed as much as they roll. So what better theme for the month of Halloween than a dinner based on True Blood?

It wasn’t long before Ruth came up with the perfect tribute: a dinner composed entirely of red dishes and red libations, from appetizers to dessert. And quite a few of them are inspired by classic Louisiana cuisine. Here’s what’s on the menu:

First Course
Shrimp Fritters with Red Devil Aioli

Second Course
Jambalaya with Andouille Sausage
Red Beans and Rice

Third Course
Roasted Red Beet and Pomegranate Salad
Balsamic Drizzle

Fourth Course
Seared Ahi Tuna with Red Cherry Sauce

Fifth Course
Roasted Beef Tenderloin Medallion with Red Wine Sauce
Root Vegetable Mash

Sixth Course
Red Velvet Cake with Raspberry Coulis

The dinner starts promptly at 6:30 p.m. on October 27 and is $65 per person, tax and gratuity additional. But the dinner itself isn’t the whole story. Sign up for this one and you can earn yourself a nice treat while helping up to three other people — and possibly even saving their lives.

As you may have heard, right now our region is in desperate need of blood. This time of year is often a low time for donations, and the need is critical. Because when it comes to “true blood,” there is no substitute!

That’s why, when you register for the Bistro 185 True Blood Dinner and donate blood between now and October 27, you’ll earn a $25 gift certificate good for a future visit to the Bistro. Simply show us your Red Cross blood donor card indicating the date of your donation to receive your gift certificate.

To make a donation appointment or for more information, call 1.800.RED.CROSS or visit the Red Cross blood donation Web site. To make donating easier, we’ll be publicizing locations and times of blood donation opportunities over the next month here on the blog. You can also find donation locations and times near your area on that site by plugging in your ZIP code. (The locations and times we list here on the blog will be based on our ZIP code, 44119.)

Here are a few locations you can take advantage of tomorrow!

Donation Locations and Times

Sept. 29
Cleveland Clinic Surgical Center
9500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

200 Public Square (former BP Building), Cleveland
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

John Carroll University
20700 North Park Blvd., University Heights
Noon-7 p.m.

Red Cross Warzel Blood Donation Center
3636 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
1:30-8 p.m.

We’ll continue to post blood donation locations and times here on the blog up until the time of the True Blood Dinner. Even if you can’t attend the dinner, we’re hoping you will consider the critical need for blood and make a donation.

Come “Join Us for a Bite” on October 27 and help your community! Call 216.481.9635 and make your reservation today — then call the Red Cross and schedule your blood donation appointment. “True Blood: There Is No Substitute. Donate Now!”

How we celebrated Halloween 2009

If you didn’t stop by the Bistro for your Halloween dinner, here’s some of what you missed:

As you can see, our guests were “goblin” up some wonderful salads, appetizers and entrees. And those desserts…The two we highlighted here are the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie and the Angel Food Cassata with Cranberry-Orange and Lemon Curd. They are every bit as delicious as they look!

For fans of chocolate and peanut butter, or if you love chocolate-covered pretzels, the pie is not to be missed — it has a crushed-pretzel crust and is also topped with pretzels, to give it that salty-sweet hit you love. The cassata is love Italian style: it’s iced with Italian-style meringue, and it combines the sweet, tart, fluffy and crunchy for a perfect treat!

Try these or any one of our other terrific desserts during our James Beard Project or anytime. Oh, and Happy Cleveland Restaurant Week! That means the famous “Three for 30” deal is back: you can enjoy a three-course meal at Bistro 185 for only $30 now through November 14! Just ask your server for our special menu.

Bistro 185 Presents: The James Beard Project

We mentioned earlier that in the wake of the success of the Julia Project, Bistro 185 was going to keep exploring the work of the country’s greatest chefs — and now our newest project is ready for unveiling. “The James Beard Project: A Salute to American Icons in Food” will feature four weeks’ worth of new James Beard-inspired entrees each evening. And, just as with the Julia Project, we’ll be blogging about them right here and letting you know from which cookbooks we’re drawing the recipes.

Here’s what’s in store for Week 1, which begins tomorrow night. Be sure to join us for great dishes inspired by James Beard!

Monday, Nov. 2 — Noodles with Cabbage
Sautéed Medallions of Pork Tenderloin with a French Grainy Mustard and Horseradish Cream Sauce (Beard on Pasta, p. 88)

Tuesday, Nov. 3 — Coq au Riesling
Braised Chicken in Riesling Wine Sauce (Beard on Pasta, p. 116)

Wednesday, Nov. 4 — Walnut-Breaded Filet of Sole
With Lemon Aioli, Grape Tomato Salad and Roasted Baby Redskin Potatoes (The New James Beard, p. 199)

Thursday, Nov. 5 — Roast Duck with Cherries and Wild Rice
(The New James Beard, p. 338)

Friday, Nov. 6 — Ossi Buchi with Orzo
Braised Veal Shanks with Orzo (Beard on Pasta, p. 140)

Saturday, Nov. 7 — Lamb Shanks with Beans
(The New James Beard, p. 399)

Keep checking this blog to read “Behind the Dish” features and descriptions of these great entrees and many others we’re featuring this fall. We’ll also be posting a video soon of last night’s Halloween fun, featuring some of the delicious meals being ordered. So don’t be away for long!