How to say “Happy Holidays” AND “Bon Appétit!”

Are you scanning your holiday gift list and pondering what to get for that friend of yours who had such a good time with you in the summer going to see the movie Julie & Julia, and following up the trip with a visit to Bistro 185, where you enjoyed dinner and dessert Julia Child-style to cap off your evening? We have a great idea for you.

As it so happens, Julie & Julia has just been released on DVD and Blu-ray. So, here’s what to do: Go get a copy of the movie, get a Bistro 185 gift certificate, wrap them up together, and give them to your friend. You can even get creative with your wrapping: tie a few wooden spoons or a metal whisk into the ribbon bow.

And what about your other friends, relatives, colleagues, etc., who appreciate great food and could use a nice night out? Bistro 185 gift certificates are always just right. Whatever they enjoy in cuisine — adventurous dishes or old reliable standards — they can find it here at the Bistro. And you don’t have to mess around with the crowds and parking at the mall to get this gift, either — just ask your server. Gift certificates are available in $25, $50, $75 and $100 denominations.

Get a lot of your holiday shopping done quickly and painlessly — give the gift of Bistro 185!

PERFECT PAIR: We’re trying out something new on the Bistro’s dinner specials menu: wine and beer pairing suggestions for many of our nightly offerings. Next time you stop in, take note of the wine or beer we list along with some of our dishes as a suitable accompaniment. It’s a great way to try something new and different, even if you don’t feel comfortable enough with your own knowledge of wine or beer to make a selection yourself. Also, always keep in mind that if you’d like us to suggest a wine or beer for your dinner choice, we will happily do so.

Ruth Levine Events caters a wedding

In early September, Ruth had the opportunity to create a very special catered menu for a highly special occasion: the wedding of our son Ari.

She wanted to create a wedding feast that would reflect the South American heritage of his bride, Ursula. With that type of cuisine in mind, here was the menu she devised:

Baby Lamb Chops with Curry Mojo Glaze

Seviche on Spoon

Tequeños

Chilean Sea Bass with Platano Maduro Frito (Fried Sweet Plantains)

Arepa with Roasted Corn Salsa

Mache and Baby Sprouts and Greens with Brunois of Mango, Papaya, Strawberry and Corn Nuts with Broken Sherry Vinaigrette

Black Bean, Goat Cheese, Roasted Pablano and Jalapeño in Saffron Ravioli with Spicy Tomato and Crème Fraiche Sauce and Annatto Oil Drizzle

Mojito and Pineapple-Basil Sorbet

South African Mini Lobster Tail with Hollandaise Sauce and Tomato-Basil Concasse

Black Truffle Risotto with Herb Paste and Sautéed Shrimp

Cuban Black Beans and Rice for Table

Pan Cubano and Medianoche Breads

Guava Cheesecake

Dulce Con Leche Crêpes with Sautéed Apple

Croque en Bouche

Not all these dishes may be familiar to you, so here’s a glossary:

Seviche — raw fish marinated in lime or lemon juice, often with oil, onions, peppers and seasonings, and served especially as an appetizer

Tequeños — fried breadsticks formed by wrapping dough around queso blanco; a popular appetizer in Venezuela, especially at weddings

Arepa — a bread made of corn, originating in the northern Andes, similar to a tortilla

Mache — a salad green with a mild, lettuce-like flavor

Brunois — a very small dice

Annatto oil — a dark red-orange oil made by infusing an oil with annatto (achiote) seeds, used in South American cooking

Pan Cubano — A Cuban type of bread, with a distinctive taste created by its starter and enriched with lard that creates a smooth texture

Medianoche bread — A sweet, eggy type of bread roll, the type used to make a smaller version of the “Cuban sandwich” known as the “midnight special” (that’s another story)

Croque en bouche — a tower of tiny cream puffs, glued together by a caramel glaze and drizzled with the glaze (ours had a large cake as a base)

Here are some pictures, courtesy of our son Zachary:
Black Bean Ravioli with Tomato SalsaLobsterTail with Corn Pudding and Hollandaise SauceMojito and Basil-Pineapple SorbetBlack Truffle Risotto with ShrimpCroque en BoucheOne of the nicest things about this wedding was, of course, was that we got to enjoy playing the exalted role of Parents of the Groom. Here we are in a position you don’t often see us: relaxing and enjoying our own food, right along with everyone else.

Ruth and Marc at Ari's Wedding DinnerThe ceremony was held in our backyard in Pepper Pike, and the lovely late summer weather helped create a magical setting for the perfect wedding and a lovely and intimate wedding dinner.

If you have an event like a small, intimate wedding coming up in your future — or want to plan something special for the holidays (sorry we can’t provide weather like this for that!) — we invite you to find out what Ruth can do for you. Visit the Ruth Levine Events Web site and call 216.404.0500 or send her an email to set your plans in motion.