This Symon guy is no Top Chef – actually, he’s an Iron Chef

After a long day of meetings in Columbus and driving to more in Cleveland, how much fun to end the day with friends Kelly and Paul at Iron Chef Michael Symon’s Lola in downtown Cleveland.

I have seen him on TV as a chef, talk show host and judge – but can his food live up to his status on Iron Chef?  There are after all lots of Top Chefs, but only 5 Iron Chefs in America.

Sitting at the bar waiting for Kelly and Paul to arrive, I had a chance to try the Apple Pear sangria, which had some great flavors – but inside the glass enclosed wine case I noticed a large glass container with fruit and learned that it was a Grapefruit, Lime, Lemon and Ginger infused vodka, which was delicious chilled.

For appetizers, we split the Beef Cheek Pierogi and Crudo, which was albacore this evening. The pierogi was absolutely stunning – moist, flavorful and in a delicious sauce with wild mushrooms and horseradish crème fraiche. Kelly and I liked the crudo a lot (cucumber, red onion, mint, fresno chiles, ginger), but it was heavy in ginger flavor, and that wasn’t as appealing to Paul.

It was a heavy meat evening as we settled on a Rib Eye and two Lamb Shanks – again, both cooked absolutely perfectly.  The meat on the lamb shank just falling off the bone – and the rib eye was just full of flavor.  While the Wild Mushroom side was really flavorful, it was the Roasted Potatoes and Caramelized Onions that we all agreed were so perfect.

And to end the evening, the Goat Cheesecake was unique, sweet and quite inventive; the Peanut Butter & Pretzel was quite tasty, and the Sticky Toffee Pudding took us over the top.

Would I dine there again?  Absolutely!

Was I impressed?  Absolutely!

2058 East 4th Street
Downtown Cleveland



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