Had a wonderful dinner at Lola last week with 5 friends. I think everyone was pleased with what they got and it was a great dinner overall.
As it was my 2nd visit, so I wanted to try some things I hadn't tried previously. I still don’t feel I've tried everything I want to, good thing I'm going back again soon.
We were given the house amuse bouche of smoked salmon "parfait" – small shot type glass of salmon mousse topped with horseradish crème fraiche – I could taste shallot and chive as well - even though I don't like salmon, this is a very cute, tasty amuse and I enjoy eating it for something different.
I started with the Bibb salad – hydroponic Bibb lettuce in a garlic-cream dressing with small croutons and shaved parm. Like a light version of a Caesar, this was a tasty, light starter. Other starters at the table included the foie gras sausage with cheddar-beer soup shooter, the charcuterie of the day, which was a lamb sausage, the onion soup, which was served in a crock with blue-cheese biscuits on the side, and the walleye croquettes.
I wanted a lighter/smaller total meal, so I ordered the beef cheek pierogi app as my entrée. It was exactly enough food for me – two small sour cream-dough pillows filled with wonderfully tender and flavorful beef cheek, topped with wild mushrooms and a light cream sauce. Two people ordered the ribeye steak which looked to be a hearty, lean cut (at least 8 oz), was done to the proper temp and topped in a savory brown sauce. The overall impression of the steak was so positive that it was said by 2 people at the table that they liked that steak better than what they've gotten at "Red" in Beachwood, which is supposed to be the best steakhouse in town, so that's a great endorsement. The steak was presented on it's own plate and accompanied by a side of the famous "Lola fries" – fresh, small-cut pomme frites dusted with sea salt & rosemary and served in paper inside a silver soda fountain cup. The fries were so plentiful they were enjoyed by the whole table. One friend ordered the lamb shank entrée which appeared to be cooked to fall-off-the-bone goodness and topped with a sprinkling of feta, and another got the halibut, which was served with roasted tomatoes, fennel and olive tapenade. Another adventurous diner got the squab which was pronounced delicious and was topped by a juicy slab of foie which was shared with the table, (yay, friends!).
Many of us saved room for dessert. I ordered the "Dark Day in Cleveland," a small scoop of Guiness-stout infused ice cream next to a small, rich chocolate cake with a molten center (another diner got the same but with a plain vanilla ice cream). Two others got the "6am Special;" 2 small pieces of french toast topped with a scoop of maple-bacon ice cream, one of Cory's best desserts in my opinion. One friend enjoyed the sliced pear dessert which was prepared in a brandy sauce with gorgonzola and walnut cake with a side of pear sherbet.
All in all, a wonderful time was had by everyone and we all enjoyed having a great meal in such a beautiful setting. Everyone thought the restaurant was just beautiful and we found the staff to be friendly, well-informed and attentive.