I married a wonderful, creative cook and since then my cooking skills have deteriorated to zilch. Hey, I can't be good at everything! I always enjoy his creative kitchen endeavors, but would be just as happy with a fried egg sandwich. You'd think I'd be skinny, wouldn't you?
My husband and I are in the habit of surprising each other with a dinner at a fancy restaurant for our birthdays. We've had several special evenings at some of these highly-overpriced places. Food is not really interesting to me and I am pretty much happy with anything but I do enjoy a relaxing dinner at a place with a pleasing ambience. This week was my husband's birthday. I decided to take him to "Lola" in downtown Cleveland. The reason this place is notable is because the chef, Michael Symon is a winner of the "Iron Chef" television reality show. It's a hot spot in Cleveland, of course. When we approached the restaurant my hubby sounded like he was pleasantly surprised at where we were to dine. We were seated at one of those tiny tables where one of the seats is a long bench so you are sitting about one foot away from other couples on each side. Both sides of us had two men (loud-talkers). We were also about twenty feet away from the kitchen that was located in the middle of the restaurant, not behind doors as it should be. I don't know if the famous chef actually ever cooks there now, but if he did you would be able to sit on a stool with an appletini and watch to your heart's content. This would be really boring to me, plus the noise of ten young men in baseball caps throwing pots and pans around was deafening. It may be where the action is (I think that was a show in the 60's) but I quite enjoy talking to the person I'm having dinner with.
Then comes the meal. I ordered a fish called Artic Char because I like fish and because it was accompanied by sweet potato something-or-other and I love anything with sweet potato. Now for a $29 entree you think they could afford more than a teaspoon of pureed sweet potato, but that was all I was able to locate. The fish serving was small too - and that was about it for dinner. Oh well, at least I didn't feel bloated afterwards. To be fair, everything was very tasty, but between the exhorbitant bill, the chaotic atmosphere and the tiny servings - well, we both said -at least we can say we've been here. No food memories there.