When pigs die and go to heaven, the pearly gates lead to Michael Symon’s Lola Bistro on trendy 4th Street in downtown Cleveland. Cleveland may be one of the most underrated food cities in America, but the options for great food are endless and Lola Bistro is the pinnacle for fabulous food.
Forget about getting a table without reservations and if you’re early, expect to wait. If you have to wait, and I recommend you get there early so you get to wait at the Bar. The bar offers its wine and beer list on an iPad – and has a great selection. We found that the bartenders and wait staff are very knowledgeable and make great suggestions.
We started with appetizers and were not disappointed. The goat cheese and onion tart served with arugula, red peppers and oranges was indulgent, creamy, peppery and a bit of tart from the orange. I would order the tart again. My friend ordered the signature beef check perogi with mushrooms and horseradish. He loved it and said he would order it again (I was unable to taste it because of the tomato!)
For our main courses, we ordered the scallops with sweet potatoes, lemon, bacon and carrots. The scallops were cooked with a perfect sear and were delicious. The lemon was tart and the bacon added a bit of salty flavor to the dish. My friend ordered duck which was served with rye spaetzle, cabbage, mushrooms, caraway. Safe to say he liked it, the dish was clean when the server returned.
My favorite part of any meal, dessert, was the perfect end to the evening. We have the ice cream which was served beautifully and the Rhubarb which was accompanied by house made ricotta served with clementines, rhubarb consommé and pink peppercorn meringue. There was strawberry mixed with the rhubarb and that offset the tartness of the dish. The pink peppercorn meringue was surprisingly pleasant and added a bit of spice to the desert.
The service was very good, the wait staff was attentive, knowledgeable and welcoming. The atmosphere is energetic but the dining room was a bit noisy. Any trip to Cleveland wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Lola’s Bistro.