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This past Sunday, I was lucky enough to enjoy Sunday Brunch at one of the top restaurants in Cleveland: fire food & drink:
I wanted to check out fire food & drink for a very long time. It is located in the Shaker Square district, which is surrounded by a black hole of mangled side streets that some people call Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights. Even though I’m pretty good when it comes to directions, I always take a wrong turn in this area, so I was a bit stressed when I realized I was going to be a few moments late. I’m a Westsider and anxiety prone – what can I say. Luckily, fire offers complimentary valet parking to their guests. It’s their way of saying “thank you” to their customers. LOVE IT.
This was another work meeting = no pictures to share! You’ll just have to go to fire and enjoy these fine dishes yourself!
One of the lovely ladies I brunched with suggested doing a “Best of fire” brunch, where we ordered a bunch of items and enjoyed family style. Being the breakfast fan that I am, I happy obliged.
We started by sharing a housemade sticky bun. OH. MY. GOODNESS. Over the years, my eating patterns have changed DRASTICALLY and I rarely crave sweets. Since trying this breakfast treat, I haven’t stopped thinking about the gooey caramel and soft dough that was presented to us. Since I was incredibly giddy to get the rest of the breakfast selections, I held back, ate just a few bites and shared with the rest of the table. And most importantly, didn’t lick the plate clean. I was trying to show SOME professionalism, even on a weekend.
We ordered a bunch of items which we somehow fit on our table for five:
The heavens opened and the angels sang as the lovely pile of three lemon souffle pancakes with blueberry compote was placed down in front of me. Lightly dusted with powdered sugar, the lemon in the pancakes was a wonderful surprise. Hans loves blueberry pancakes as much as he loves gnocchi, so when there was half a pancake left, I made sure to snag it for my man.
The vegetable frittata of the day had spinach, mushrooms and brie. It’s like the chef KNEW I was coming that morning. Served with a small pile of green with vinaigrette (which I never got to), the brie was perfectly distributed in every bite. YUM. Within the frittata, the spinach and mushroom were cooked thru without being soggy. I would definitely get this on my own if ordering in a normal dining scenario.
Not something I would normally order, the breakfast pizza had sunny side up eggs with bacon and cheese. Somehow, I managed to get the only piece without bacon. WTF. But I was perfectly satisfied with the perfectly cooked egg & cheese combo I did receive. The crust was the perfect combo of a crisp bottom and a doughy top layer. Overall, another solid savory breakfast item.
The only dish I did not try was the house cured salmon plate with a bialy’s bagel, egg salad, shaved onion and capers. I am not sure why I never got to this dish, but the presentation was well done, with plenty of each component to enjoy. One of my fellow diners was extremely happy to just eat that dish for her meal, so we let her!
But my favorite had to be the almond stuffed french toast strawberries with toasted almonds and snake hill farm maple syrup. The pieces of french toast were melded together with an almond paste that sang in my mouth. Used to having them in the summer time, the fresh strawberries paired with the nuts and syrup made this savory breakfast girl a sweets lover for a morning. I went back for seconds AND snagged the leftovers to take home to Hans.
Upon their arrival in Parma, I’m happy to report that my leftovers warmed up nicely in the microwave where they were happily enjoyed by my hubby.
I have to also mention the service at fire was outstanding. Our server was perfectly in tune with our table: offering refills at the exact moments they were needed, clearing plates, checking in with us just enough over the course of our two hour visit. She was able to answer all our questions regarding the food choice. One of our diners had a severe nut allergy, so when we suggested just having the almonds on the side of the french toast, she was able to inform us of ALL the ingredients in the almond paste between the toast layers. Major kudos to her.
After this visit, I know see why Travel + Leisure Magazine named fire food & drink “one of America’s best Sunday brunches”. If you have the craving for a solid breakfast on a Sunday, venture out to Shaker Square. You might get lost on the way, but at least you can park your car for free when you get there!
FEBRUARY RESTAURANT REVIEWS TO LOOK FORWARD TO: We’re going to Light Bistro for Valentine’s Day dinner (thanks again, Cleveland Independents), and I’ll be hitting up Zack Bruell’s new place Chinato at the end of the month for a work meeting. I love this new job!