Michael Symon’s Lola Bistro

Kitoula at Lola Bistro


On Friday 11/11/11 Yianni and I met some friends for dinner at Michael Symon’s Lola Bistro in downtown Cleveland. Iron Chef Michael Symon is Greek and Sicilian. His show, “Cook Like an Iron Chef “, is on the Food Network Cooking Channel. I did spot him that evening and when he smiled at me I felt like a certified food groupie! Our experience was nothing short of fabulous. Yianni managed to snap quite a few photos with his iPhone, so I will share them with you here with as much description as I can.

iPad Liquor Beer Wine List



The waitress brought over an iPad for us to use to select our drinks.





Samuel Smith organic pale ale


I ordered a Samuel Smith organic pale ale and Yianni ordered a single malt scotch. Later, Yianni switched to wine. I continued with the pale ale that was, according to the menu, selected by their sommelier.

Apple & Goat Cheese Salad



Yianni had an Apple & Goat Cheese salad with beets, walnut, bourbon and mizuna. Mizuna is the deep green and saw-toothed leaf you see on the plate.
Fois Gras atop Pumpkin Pie


I ordered the Fois Gras which was served atop pumpkin pie with pickled apples and ice wine vinegar. This might be the best appetizer I’ve had yet.




Wild Salmon


Yianni ordered Wild Salmon with salsify, beets, spinach and dill for his entree. Salsify is a root vegetable.


Rib Eye Steak


I had the Rib Eye steak with smoked onion, blue cheese and oregano. It was excellent.



Dark Chocolate Creme Cake


For dessert I ordered the Dark Chocolate Creme Cake with walnut, dried cherry and sweet potato. Again, delicious.

Honey Nut Tart

Here is their Honey Nut Tart with almond & orange ice cream, blue cheese and port caramel. We finished with cappuccino.

Dinner at Lola’s was a great experience. If you are headed toward Cleveland, call ahead, make a reservation and thoroughly enjoy yourself.

iDine at Pier III

iDineLast night Yianni and I had dinner at Pier III restaurant using our iDine rewards program for the very first time.

iDine* is a free rewards program where you can earn up to 15% back by dining at any of their 10,000 restaurants nationwide. Enroll with your credit/debit card and then all you have to do is eat, earn and enjoy! Every time you visit a participating location, pay for your meal with the debit or credit card you registered, complete a quick survey about your experience (emailed to you after your visit) and your savings are tracked and released to you as an American Express Reward Card.

iDine at Pier III iDine Pier III too


I chose Pier III from the iDine website because it had authentic Greek cuisine on its menu. The drive to Pier III was enjoyable in the lovely autumn weather. Pier III is located in the quaint boating community of Harrison Twp about 40 minutes from Detroit.

Pier III Full Bar & Bread basket

                                                                        Pier III has a full bar and they bring a bread basket to your table with your drinks. Our dinners came with soup or salad.

Pier III Avgolemono Soup



I enjoyed the Avgolemono… it was authentic.




For the main entree Yianni ordered Eggplant Parmesan and I ordered the Lamb Shank.  Yianni really enjoyed his Eggplant Parmesan. Pier III Eggplant Parmesan

I would have preferred the Lamb Shank to be cooked longer. I like it stewed for a very long time until it falls off the bone, but it was very flavorful.



Pier III Brownie dessert

The desserts were really delicious. I had the brownie sundae and Yianni had the carrot cake. The coffee was also very good. Coffee is important to me, so Pier III gets a high-five for having good coffee!Pier III Carrot Cake






iDine* generously wants to give my readers a little something by way of a contest! Sign up for iDine on their site. Then provide a comment on this post about which iDine restaurant you would like to visit in the metro Detroit area or a city near you. The comment will be your entry to win a $20 American Express gift card. One winner will be picked at random using the WordPress plugin “And The Winner Is….”.  Be sure to follow @iDineDetroit or your specific city on Twitter and if you tweet about the contest use the hashtag #iDineRewards.

Looking forward to your comments! Best of luck!

*Disclosure I am receiving an American Express gift card in exchange for sharing my experience about the iDine program. All opinions about iDine and Pier III are my own.

CRUSH Birmingham

Yianni and I attended CRUSH Birmingham 2011 Wine and Food Classic at The Townsend Hotel benefiting Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan on Saturday night September 24th. My friends from Identity Marketing & Public Relations, Nikki Little and Brandon Chesnutt, along with their client, Jacki McIntosh from Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan were some of the folks behind-the-scenes at this fantastic event.The evening was star-studded with world renowned wine experts and culinary masters. It  included 13 wine and food pairing stations that made for an extraordinary dining experience. We tasted halibut cheeks with bacon & caper braised leeks with chicken liver sauce paired with white wine from Tuscany from Reserve in Grand Rapids .
We sampled sliced tenderloin with porcini rub drizzled with EVO & aged balsamic paired with red wine from Bordeaux from Capital Grille in Troy.Chefs of some of the best restaurants from all over the state of Michigan were Tallulah Wine Bar & Bistro and The Forest Grill of Birmingham, Cuisine of Detroit, La Bécasse of Maple City, Toasted Oak Grill of Novi, Zazios of Birmingham and Kalamazoo, Reserve of Grand Rapids, Capital Grille of Troy and Trattoria Stella of Traverse City, just to name a few.
We tasted house cured lonza with roasted artichoke, fennel & confit of tomato salad paired with champagne from Forest Grill.Master Sommeliers paired food with delicious wines from all over the world.
The evening also included a live auction with proceeds benefiting the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan.
Yianni and I did our best to capture the evening with photos. Here is our slide show of the event. Thank you CRUSH Birmingham for a wonderful evening!