Mmmm...I just finished a meal of pan-seared tilapia with a spicy lime butter. It's the first dinner I've made for myself since Saturday and I'm feeling pretty good about it. Of course, because I am a pig, I'll be heading to the Slavic Village festival later for some kielbasa, but for now I'm feeling pretty satisfied.
Anyways, I took care of Sunday and Monday last night. Today, we're on to Tuesday. Since we had no plans with friends, we took the opportunity to try Cleveland's new restaurant, Lolita. Lolita is the child of Michael Symon's amazing restaurant, Lola, and stands in the same location (Lola is moving downtown). If you want to read my review of Lola, check it out here
Lolita, as it name suggests, is decidely younger and hipper. The price point is lower (I wasn't able to find one entree above $19) and, at least on the night we went, there were much less suits and more kids with spikey hair. In fact, a table near us was comprised of a bunch of kids younger than us, one of whom was being treated to his/her 18th birthday. I think the person was a relative of either Symon or someone else within the restaunt, but still..
The menu is divided into 4 sections: little plates, meats & cheeses, appetizers and entrees. Unlike our previous experience with little plates, at the now defunct Mojo, these were definitely tasting plates. In other words, as we were warned by our waitress, don't expect to be able to get 3 or 4 of them as an entree, unless you have a very little stomach. We got three (they are $4.50 each or 3 for $12.00) and found it to be approx. appetizer size. In fact, I would definitely suggest them over the actual appetizers, as (probably due to the inclusion of the little plates), that list was awfully meager, with just 4-5 offerings..and they were also amazing. We ended up splitting a three order, with a bowl of octopus salad (sliced octopus with chickpeas and olive oil, good, but not outstanding the the olive oil was thrown in with a bit of a heavy hand), a creamy polenta with fried mushrooms (amazing!) and an artichoke filo pie (to die for). We ended up skipping the meats and cheeses, as well, since we were looking at some pretty hefty dinners ahead. For entrees, we both ended up getting the same thing with a variation on the sauce. They were both a baked penne pasta topped with a awesomely creamy goat cheese, except while mine was in a lamb sauce, Genevieve's was in a tomato sauce. Both were excellent, though heavy. Vegetarians, be aware: despite what I thought previously, they do not have any veggie options on their standard entrees, but you can get two dishes (the baked penne or the gnochi) without meat. On the upside, half of their small plates are veggie as well as some of their appetizers.
We finished the meal off by splitting a flourless chocolate cake with chili and orange in a caramel sauce. Now, normally, I avoid orange and chocolate like the plague. It's a combo I've never gotten into. But this cake was soo good that I was able to overlook that, as well as my bursting full stomach, and finish my half.
For the young or young-at-heart crowd, I can't help but recommend Lolita. The price point on the entrees can fit easily fit within most budgets and the atmosphere and crowd was about as unstuffy as you can get and still be able to feel you're going out to a nice dinner.
I was hoping to get Wednesday in here too, but this has been long already and I want my Keilbasa, so that will have to wait.