Earlier, I shared with you the first part of our Anniversary at the West Side Market. You can read about it here. After we rested for a while and got dressed for dinner, we headed over to Lola. Lola is located on East 4th Street in Cleveland. If you are unfamiliar with the area, the picture above is of the street. It is closed off featuring many restaurants with outside dining. It feels very European.
We were lucky to be right across the street from the restaurant. I was standing in the same location for this picture as the picture above. If you notice, the large building says “Arcade” which is the location of the Hyatt Regency.
We had reservations so when we arrived at Lola we were seated immediately. We were presented with menus as well as a wine list on an iPad. It was so nice to be able to click on the wine and read descriptions. It made the process of choosing a glass much easier.
This is the warm sourdough butter served at Lola. I had to mention it because it is from Pittsburgh! If you have not been to Mediterra Bakehouse yet, the bread is perfection. You can visit the bakery in Robinson, but it is sold in other locations. In Cleveland, there is a booth at the West Side Market.
The lighting was very low, but I wanted to share this delicious meal with you despite the dark pictures. We started with the Bone Marrow. It was served without the bone but with various accompaniments.
Included in the dish were small dishes of picked parsley, finishing salt, bacon jam, a white sauce (I don’t remember what it was), pickled onions, and lemon. With the combination of grilled bread, we thought the bone marrow was a fun, interactive start to our meal. I enjoyed the parsley, pickled onion, finishing salt, and jam with the toast and marrow. I thought the balance of flavors was perfect. The parsley added a needed freshness to the richness of the marrow. The grilled bread had a slightly smokey flavor accentuated by the sweet and savory bacon jam. The onions added a little bite and acid. A really wonderful way to start our meal.
I chose the Beef Hanger Steak as my entree. I ordered it charred on the ouside and red on the inside. It was cooked perfectly and was very cool in the center with a nice char on the outside. The pickle sauce added the acid component to the dish but did not have an overwhelming taste of pickles. The chiles were the subtle star of the dish. The red chiles added just a small kick to the cook, smokey meat and the sour, salty pickle sauce. On the side, the dish came with lola fries. They had the slight flavor of rosemary with some crunchy salt and were cooked perfectly.
Pierre chose the Pork Shank. It was a large shank that had a distinct roasted flavor and just fell off the bone. It sat on a bed of heirloom beans that were creamy but not soggy. It also featured fennel, meyer lemon, and garlic that brought life to the dish. It was well balanced and a must order.
After dinner, they served us two complimentary mini cupcakes. The cupcakes were soft, moist, dark chocolate cupcakes with cardamom cream frosting. Light, flavorful, and chocolatey. That was such a nice touch.
For dessert, we split the chocolate chip. It was a deconstructed chocolate chip cookie that tasted exactly like a freshly baked, homemade chocolate chip cookie only better. It featured a brown sugar blondie that was not overly sweet. The dark chocolate ganache the semisweet chocolate flavor that is expected in a cookie. The crispy milk brought the crunchy component to the dish. The brown cutter and milk chocolate chip ice cream was creamy and made the whole dish feel more like a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich.
The meal ended with a chocolate raspberry truffle. It was perfectly sweetened and rich with chocolate and raspberry. The perfect ending to the perfect meal.
I highly recommend visiting Lola Bistro. It was a fantastic meal from beginning to end.