Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

I went up to Cleveland last Saturday to help a friend celebrate her thirtieth birthday. We had a great time soaking in all the tacky at the Christmas Connection convention, and then had a fantastic meal at Hodge's. It was so interesting, I just had to share.

First, we split a few appetizers - as the portions are small, we could have a real tapas-like experience. We had the deviled eggs pictured above (with bacon fat aioli, siracha, and chives); hanky pankies (crostini with chorizo, cheddar, and jam); blue crab hushpuppies (with old bay mayonnaise); and a goat cheese tart (with arugula, onion jam, and proscuitto on top).

It was all so delicious! For me, the standout were the deviled eggs, which had a pleasant heat without searing my mouth. As I'm a big baby when it comes to spicy, I liked that it was a kick to change things up without being too much. The bacon fat aioli added a great creaminess to the yolks, and the whole thing was positively decadent.

For my entree, I ordered the Ohio chicken, which was a melt-in-your-mouth braised chicken thigh nestled in broth with root vegetables, rapini, bacon, and gnocchi. I am a sucker for gnocchi. I always order it, and then sigh when it comes out heavier than bricks. But this gnocchi (made by Ohio City) was amazing - dense, but light, and the perfect accompaniment to the dish. It was hearty comfort food without feeling too heavy. The perfect winter dish.

My friends both ordered pan-seared scallops over New England clam chowder risotto with a parsley puree. It looked delicious and also received rave reviews. If you're ever in Cleveland, Hodge's is definitely a place to check out.

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