Reminder: You have until Thursday night to enter my Bourbon Street Ball giveaway. Remember you can tweet daily for extra entries!
It’s a rare treat to be able to hop in the car and drive a few minutes for a tasting event that features so many of the area’s restaurants. A fine dining and drinking event in my own backyard.
The convenience is something that sets L’Amour du Vin, the fall food fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeast Ohio, apart from other food events we may attend.
In exchange for hosting a giveaway last month, I was invited to attend the event. When we arrived at the Avon Oaks Country Club last Thursday, we made our way to the VIP lounge. There we started our evening with a westside restaurant that is quickly raising the ranks of our neighborhood favorites – Bistro 83.
As we enjoyed a barrel-aged Gentleman Jack Ward 8 and Woodford Reserve Manhattan from Brown-Forman, we feasted on truffle mini-pancakes topped with thin-sliced beef, as well as a delicious pulled pork on risotto. I preferred the pork and risotto over the beef. The vegetables and spices used to accent the pork did a better job of bringing out its flavor, which offered up a nice kick. And both the risotto cake and pork were more moist than the pancake and beef.
This was followed by even more food from other Avon, North Ridgeville, and Cleveland westside restaurants in the main room. I really enjoyed trying out new-to-me places like Emerald Necklace Inn Tea Room, which featured scones with heavy cream, and Fazio’s, who served up a very ample risotto balls topped with a rich, tomato sauce.
Many of us headed back to the friendly Fazio’s for seconds, and I know I’ll be going back for more when visiting their restaurant in Olmsted Falls.
I was glad to not only see the arancini on their menu, but other appetizing dishes like a cajun-rubbed Mahi Mahi with crab/potato hash and seafood bisque reduction and a penne dish featuring chicken, gorgonzola cream sauce, cherry tomato, spinach and toasted walnut.
I was also happy to see favorites like AMP 150 whose tomato soup (pleasantly) surprised me with the crunch of croutons and a hearty burger from Jammy Buggars. Thanks to the sweet (and entertaining) Kiedrowski’s Bakery as well as Heidelberg wine stations everywhere we turned, Scott and I left the country club very content.
All of this was for the Arthritis Foundation, who raised over $56K at L’Amour du Vin. A win for everyone involved.
This evening of excellent dishes paired with wines from around the world got me thinking about the holiday season and popping a cork over a delicious meal. In the spirit of the event’s name, here are a few links about Midwest wine and food pairings:
- Heart of Ohio’s Fall issue of Pairings
- Pairing Ideas for Midwest Wines
- Taste Ohio Wines’ Food and Wine Pairings Guide
And while these aren’t Midwest-focused, these two were too good not to share:
- MyRecipes.com’s Fall and Winter Wine Pairings with Recipes
- Whole Foods’ Wine, Recipe and Cheese Pairings (even better!)
I hope they help you find “l’amour du vin” this season!