Weekend Adventures (Part 1): #LoveLago Blogger Preview at Lago East Bank

**I want to thank you all for the amazing amount of support and kind words I received on Part 1 of My Heart Story. It means so much to me. Don’t forget you can still enter my blogiversary giveaway, too!**

This past weekend basically started on Thursday for me, because I was invited to a special bloggers preview at Lago East Bank for their Love Lago Valentine’s Day event. I had actually never been to Lago before (apparently it used to be in Tremont, which Mike and I found out when we drove to the old address instead, haha). It was so nice meeting up with fellow CLE bloggers, drinking amazing wine and eating incredible food, all with such fantastic company! I was having a rough day that Thursday, but this was just what I needed to start my weekend off right and forget my troubles.

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If you don’t have Valentine’s plans yet, check out this prix-fixe dinner… The food, the wine, and the service are all amazing.

I brought Mike with me, and I got to meet Crystal (finally!) from Eat. Drink. Cleveland, and see Julie from Wearing Mascara again (when we aren’t crossing paths in our apartment elevator… haha!)… Also in attendance was our host, Charlene from Life in the CLE; Kimberly from Smitten in Cleveland; Nadine from Blog The New BlackJacquie Chakirelis; Reshae from CLE Food Goddess; Renée M. DeLuca from Brewer’s Daughter; and Paul DeLuca. It was so nice meeting you all! 🙂

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Sommelier Sean Brickley was amazing, he started us off with a Prosecco toast, and throughout the night gave us different wines to pair with our food.


(Love this photo by Nadine of Blog, The New Black)

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We started out by sharing family-style appetizers: arancini (fried risotto, mozzarella, and a simple tomato sauce), Salerno family meatballs (beef, pork, and veal in a simple tomato sauce), and calamari (sautéed with roasted tomato in a spicy white wine tomato brodo). Everyone loved the calamari, and it was really good but I apparently have zero heat-tolerance anymore because it was too spicy for me (Mike loves spicy food though and he loved it!). My favorite was the meatballs (although everything was fantastic)! We had a full-bodied Italian white wine with our appetizers – the Roberto Scubla Friulano. I enjoyed trying a white wine with our pasta and red sauce dishes, because usually I’d choose a red. The one thing I was really impressed with is that a lot of the wines are really budget-friendly, and Sean can recommend anything for your needs!

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For our entrees, we each got to choose something off the menu, but Kimberly and I had a similar dilemma: 2 dishes caught our eye! The scallops (with manchego polenta, pistachio pesto, and crispy kale) and the vegetarian risotto del giorno (with squash, zucchini, and red pepper). We we’re brilliant and decided to split the 2 and they were FABULOUS. Look how savvy we are 😉

Mike had the lobster gnocchi and I kid you not, it was TO DIE FOR. We’ve already decided that we’re taking his parents here when they come up in April.

Sean came around and recommended a wine for each of us based on our meals, and the one he chose for me honestly blew me away. It was so delicious. I ended up having Morgan Winery’s Double L Vineyard 2011 Pinot Noir, which isn’t even on the menu yet! Sean has been bringing in new wines to add to the already-robust wine list and this one did not disappoint.

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After much camaraderie and a wine buzz, we took some photos and decided what to order for dessert! Our options all sounded delicious, but since Mike and I were so full, we opted to split the Lemon Sorbet. It was so refreshing! I did get to taste the lemon panna cotta and that was yummy, too.

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We also had a chance to learn about some of their upcoming events and meet the owners, Nicole and Fabio. Here’s what’s coming up in the next couple of months:

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  • Beer Belly Dinner – February 27th at 7:30PM

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  • Fontodi Wine Dinner – March 25th at 7:30PM

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They also have a special brunch menu and Bloody Mary bar every Sunday from 11am-2:30PM. This is definitely getting added to my to-do list!

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Check out Kimberly / Smitten in CLE’s post about the blogger preview, too! Don’t forget to like Lago on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to stay up to date on news & events!

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**Disclosure: I was invited to attend the blogger preview dinner c/o Lago East Bank in exchange for writing about my experience and their upcoming Valentine’s Day event. Graphics/images are courtesy of Lago. No other compensation was received, and as always opinions are 100% my own.**

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