5 down! 20 to go… Scene Challenge Update

I am 20% done with my Scene Magazine Challenge!!! At this rate, I could finish before my end of summer (September 22) deadline.  But, honestly, I’m not sure my wallet can keep up this pace.  Luckily, I have Groupon, Restaurants.com and Cleveland Independents for discounts and a July birthday.  These things are going to be critical in the completion of this project. 🙂

Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about how I want to document and blog about these restaurants.  If I was as long-winded as I was on the Dim & Den Sum post on every post, no one would want to read them- not even me. So, here is my plan…

1.  Check -in.  I am checking-in on Facebook at every restaurant I go to.  I’m not very good at remembering to get pictures with me in them, so this is verification that I was really there.
2.  Photos.  I’m taking as many photos as I can.  Sometimes, I’m better about it than others.  Usually, I’m better when there is less alcohol involved.  Shocking, right?
3.  Reviews.  For each restaurant I’ll let you know a few things… who I went with (because it’s just not as fun if you go by yourself!), how much it cost/how I paid for it (because price point and what you get for your money is important to me), what I/we ate, what I thought of the food/drink & service, and then an overall summary of the experience.

That sound fair to everybody? GREAT! Let’s get started

First, the Facebook check-ins…

…and now on to the photos & reviews…

2. Momocho (Ohio City)
 I went with:
Chris & my in-laws (Colleen & Jason)
Price:  We went for Sunday Supper- a set 3 courses for $30/couple.  We were celebrating Chris’s birthday, so his parents generously paid for this one. 🙂
What we had: Each couple got 2 salsas (or guacamole), chicken or vege enchiladas and an order of flan for dessert.
Food:  Chris and I have done Sunday Supper at Momocho before, so we knew that we would like it.  Their pico and guacamole is AMAZING and the enchiladas are melt-in-your-mouth good! I was almost too full to eat the flan… ALMOST.  It’s not my favorite dessert but it was a nice end to a great meal. 
Service: The service was a little slow.  They were busy but not packed so I was expecting it to be a little better.  My only other complaint is that our waitress didn’t mention that our request for extra chips was going to cost us $3.  That would have been nice to know.
Summary: I’m a big fan of Momocho and, in my humble opinion, at $15/person, the Sunday Supper is a steal!  It was cold, so we had to eat inside, but if you get the opportunity, eat out on their patio.  It is the perfect location for some guacamole & a margarita!

2. Great Lakes Brewing Company (Ohio City)
Who I went with: 
Chris, Tracy (my sister) & Brian (her boyfriend)
Chris and I spent $47.  We had a $50 gift certificate that my parents got Chris for his birthday so it didn’t cost us anything.
What we had:  Way too much Holy Moses. We split a buffalo chicken pizza w/Brian & Tracy and Chris and I split the Spinach Salad and Pulled pork sandwich.
Food:  This trip was a celebration of Holy Moses season.  It is my favorite Great Lakes beer and makes me happy. As for the food, Chris and I go to the brewery a lot and I find that the menu is hit or miss.  I can usually find one or 2 things I like and then they change it!   I recommend getting down to Great Lakes asap because the Buffalo Chicken Pizza is DELICIOUS!  The spinach salad was great too- it had walnuts, apples, bacon and bleu cheese. Yum.  The pulled pork sandwich was just that- nothing super exciting there, but it was good. 
Service: When we got there at 7:30 on a Saturday, there was an hour wait for a table upstairs.  Even the cellar (where we generally hang out) was really crowded.  Luckily, we knew one of the bartenders, Leigh, so she took great care of us.  We ate our pizza and drank a few beers at the bar and then grabbed a table that opened up.  The whole thing was rather rushed because we were trying to make a 9:30 movie but Leigh was awesome and we made it just in time for the previews.
Summary:  I heart Great Lakes- especially during Holy Moses season!  I can’t wait to go back and have another Buffalo Chicken Pizza.  Hopefully, it will stay on the menu a long time!

3. Michaelangelo’s (Little Italy)
Who I went with:
 Our bill was $95 (before tip).  I had a $50 Groupon.
What we had:
One glass of wine each.  Appetizer- Calamari, Dinner- I had Veal Canniloni & Chris had Raviolini, Dessert- Tiramisu
The food was AMAZING.  I can honestly say that the calamari was probably the best I have ever had.  Both Chris and I loved our dinners.  I didn’t get a picture of dessert because it was devoured too quickly.
 Sadly, the bad service ruined the evening for me.  We spent a lot of time waiting- for someone to take our drink order, between our appetizer and entry and through the whole second half of the meal it felt like we were constantly waiting.  It took 20 minutes to get our check after we were completely done with our dessert.  It wasn’t a good service experience.  So much so, that I called to complain- something I VERY rarely do. The
manager was very nice on the phone and said I would get a call back from the General Manager about it.  That was on Monday. I have yet to hear from him.
  Amazing food but terrible service.  Part of me wonders if it had to do with the Groupon?  Either way- when I spend almost $100 on a meal- I expect the full experience and I didn’t get it.  At this point, I probably won’t go back.
5. Dante (Tremont)
Who I went with:
My friend, Candice
The 2 of us spent $61 (before tip) at Happy Hour.  Candice paid for this one because 1. she’s awesome and 2. she’ll likely be joining me for more restaurants on the list so I’ll get her back in time.
What we had: We both had 2 pomegranate lemonade martinis.  Sara- happy hour spicy tuna roll, tastings of the Pappardelle Bolognese and Black Forbidden Rice with shiitake mushrooms and rock shrimp.  Candice- 3-Cheese Polenta and the “Vegan”- hawaiin palm hearts, truffled beets, arugula and toasted pumpernickel.
Food: Candice and I both LOVED our martinis. I would have one again, um, right now.  My sushi had an awesome spicy sauce  and the Bolognese was delicious.  The rice was good but I don’t know if I would get it again.  Candice practically licked the plate her polenta was on so I would say that was a winner.  She liked the Vegan but it wasn’t much for the price (almost $20). 
The service was good.  Our waitress was very nice and attentive without being annoying. 
I will definitely be back.  Especially for happy hour and that glorious martini. Each of the 3 items I ate were $4 and my martinis were $5 each!  Dante Boccuzzi seems to get that fine dining should be flexible.  I was able to try multiple things without breaking the bank which makes me SO happy.  Next time, I might get the larger size of the Bolognese and skip the rice.  OH, and BTW- don’t be turned off by the term “tasting.”  It was a nice portion and the 3 I had filled me up to the point where I had to unbelt my belted sweater when I got in the car to go home (hey, don’t judge- at least I waited until I got in the car!). Bottom line- Go to Tremont and try Dante! You won’t be disappointed.
So there you have it- Scene Challenge Restaurants 2-5. 
What’s next?  My goals for May include trips to Sergio’s, Flying Fig, The ParkView and Sokolowski’s. But, if any of the restaurants above catch your eye, let me know!  I’m flexible and I love company!
So, any thoughts on the restaurants I hit up in the last month?  Been there? Want to go? Good experiences? Bad experiences?  Let me know!

3 thoughts on “5 down! 20 to go… Scene Challenge Update

  1. Carrie says:

    Hey Sara…cool that you are taking on the challenge! I am a huge fan of Tommy’s! I LOVE it because I am a vegetarian and there is plenty on the menu for me to enjoy, but also for those who are not vegetarian’s, such as my husband. Even though I was just at Tommy’s a few days ago, I am always game….let me know if interested….they have awesome milkshakes also! 🙂

  2. […] embarrassed to say that it has been almost 2 1/2 months since my last Scene Challenge entry.  However, I’m back with restaurants 6-10!!  Hopefully, I’m still on course to finish […]

  3. […] 4 left!!!!! (Click here, here, here, here, here and here for more Scene Restaurant Challenge […]

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