Review: 111 Bistro – Medina

It’s been about 111 years since I last posted on my blog, so I thought the opening of a new restaurant in Medina would be the perfect time for my return. This restaurant is 111 Bistro and I hope you see what I did there.

I’m always excited about food, and especially new-to-Medina food, but I’m extra excited about this one since they gave my kid a job. The kid I never thought would graduate high school not only did, but is now gainfully employed as a prep cook. I feel like I deserve a trophy. But anyway…

Here’s a photo of the front that I shamelessly stole from their FB page. And then sharpened and lightened in PS because otherwise it wouldn’t look like it went with the rest of mine and you would know I didn’t take it. Except for me just admitting it. Best restaurant reviewer EVER.

From what I understand, the philosophy behind 111 Bistro is fine dining in a casual atmosphere. I would say they hit that mark. The restaurant itself is nicely decorated. Nothing high end enough to make you feel underdressed, but tasteful enough that you feel like you are at a nice place. The servers were in jeans and company t-shirts. Some patrons were dressed up, others were in shorts. Really a mixture of all kinds.

Tonight was just the soft opening, which was theoretically by invite and reservation only. We had the invite because of my son working there, but didn’t make the reservation until 6:25 and they had one for 6:45. We were seated almost immediately when we arrived. One of the owners was at our table within a minute or 2 to introduce herself and welcome us, which I thought was nice. I did fess up and tell her I was Cody’s mom and we talked about him a bit. I didn’t, however, tell her I was going to review the meal or restaurant. Probably because I didn’t know. I did not take his future employment into consideration while composing this post.

Since the idea of this review kind of came to me midway through my second cocktail, I probably don’t have as many photos as I should. They’re also probably not as good as they could be because, well, cocktails.

But speaking of cocktails! Since it was a brand new place, I felt compelled to try one of their specialty cocktails. I’m normally either a beer or iced tea drinker (or margarita!), so I don’t know where this inspiration came from, but it was the best decision ever. Naturally, I don’t remember exactly what it was called. Hey, I’m not a real food critic or restaurant reviewer, cut me some slack! It was the first one on the mule menu… Georgia something. The ingredients were ginger something and ginger beer and I don’t know what else. I wish I’d taken a photo of the drink menu. I do have a photo of the drink, though!

Is that adorbs, or what? The server told me it’s a specially designed cup to keep the drink cold longer or something. Not like I needed THAT but it sure was cute. Not only cute, but actually the best cocktail I’ve ever had. No lie. I am pretty passionate about ginger, so keep that in mind, but boy howdy that was a good drink.

While we are on the subject of cute and water… we got an additional little carafe of water. Love these little touches, though I would have enjoyed some ice in the water. Not a huge deal, as I’m sure they’d have given me some if I’d asked, I just didn’t care enough.

My husband asked the server what red wine she recommended and then I punched him. Because, seriously, it’s basically her first day! She probably doesn’t even know what wines they HAVE, never mind which ones are popular or good. She didn’t miss a beat, though, and offered to go get the bar manager who “loves to talk about wine”. He came over right away and they discussed wine while I tuned them out and checked Facebook or whatever, because I don’t care about wine. He was very very happy with the wine that was recommended, though.

As a starter, I ordered the wedge salad because OMG I LOVE WEDGE SALAD. It took a while to come out, but not annoyingly so, and since it was their very first day, to be expected.

The dressing was absolutely to die for. The tomato confit was good, as well. The speck… meh. I’ve never had it before, so I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be like, but it was pretty much hard to chew, disappointing bacon. I’d have rather had bacon, but maybe I’m just not fancy enough to appreciate speck. It didn’t bother me, though, I still ate it.

My only real complaint was that it was just entirely too much lettuce. I could have had that salad as my meal and been full, except that there wasn’t enough dressing for that much lettuce. Honestly, though, they could have given me that same amount of dressing with half as much lettuce, still charged the same $7, and I would have been perfectly happy with it. The portion was just way too big especially considering I had a meal coming. Having said all that, I would definitely order it again!

My husband had the hummus appetizer, and again we thought the portion was overly generous. It was definitely enough appetizer for 2 or more. There were 2 kinds of hummus, both delicious, and pita triangles to dip. When I think of ‘pita chips’, I expected them to be crispy. They weren’t exactly crispy, but not soft like you’d think of pita bread, either. They were more like a dense biscuit, for lack of a better description. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the texture, but the flavor was good. No picture because… well I don’t know why.

The main course(s) followed soon after. Our table wasn’t really big enough for the salad plate and the dinner plate, and I hadn’t come close to finishing that salad, so it was a bit awkward to shift stuff around to make room, but it worked. I also only ever got the one fork, but I just attributed that to new staff. I didn’t mind reusing it, it’s my own cooties.

I ordered the Lobster Mac. I do not have a single bad thing to say about this dish. The sauce was divine, and there was just the right amount of it for the amount of pasta. The pasta was perfectly cooked. The bread crumb topping was good, and normally I am not a big fan of bread crumb topping. But the lobster… oh my stars the lobster! Delicious and so much of it. Very generous hunks, and lots of them. I don’t know what my star rating even is, but this dish gets all of them.

Just to throw one more dish in here, my husband ordered the Beef Short Rib, which was also delicious. It was tender and fell off the bone and fava succotash sauce, well I wouldn’t mind dying face first in a bowl of that.

Here’s a stunning across-the-table shot of his dinner.

He finished his all gone. I brought about 1/3 of my lobster mac home. I had better than half the salad left, but I didn’t bring it home, because ew leftover salad. Plus I’d basically licked all the dressing off. DON’T JUDGE ME.

All in all, an excellent meal. I highly recommend all of the dishes we had, and I look forward to trying many more (along with more of those cocktails. How late are they open?). They open for good on the 17th. Check them out at or on Facebook. They’re open for dinner only during the week, but have brunch on Saturday & Sunday.

August 1st – DigiScrap Parade Blog / FB Train is live!

Hey ho there riders! It’s time again for the DigiScrap Parade Blog/FB Train. I have mine on Facebook again, but I also wanted to get the download link up on my blog for those of you who don’t have/want/try to stay away from Facebook. :)

Here’s my part of the train:

To get back on the train – the next stop is ChrissyW, and her Facebook page is HERE.

To go back a step to the end, that would be Peppermint Creative

Thanks for stopping by :)

August 2013 News!

So, I fell off the face of the earth in July while I took time to study for my personal training certification exam (I passed!). Now that THAT is behind me, I’m ready to start moving forward over here.

I’m no longer at TDC, but have been slowly working on adding my stuff to MyMemories. I also have it at Etsy and my personal store, as always.

The big news for this month, is the debut of the Group Therapy project at DSA! I’m excited to have been chosen to be a part of this cool project, even more that this is the DEBUT month. The swatch we had to work with was great, and I just love so many things about how it is set up. All the packs are the same size, so you can pick and choose based on what you truly love, and not feel like you should just settle for the one that has the most ‘stuff’ (been there, done that!). They also all share a similar theme, which makes mixing and matching even easier! They’re also fantastically priced!

Enough of all that, here are my products for August!

Ok, maybe I got a bit carried away. Hee hee.

I even did a layout with my things!

Here’s the ad for the project. If you follow it along, there’s even a big e-zine of all the products in action. Pretty fun stuff!

Thanks for hanging with me through all of that, and my month “off” (clearly not OFF as I made all that stuff LOL). Hopefully I can get back into the swing of things here soon – 3 weeks until the kids go back to school! Hooray! Of course, I go back in 4, but we won’t focus on that part. :)

Just Be – June 13th Release

This kit seemed really different for me, color-wise. At first I almost ditched it, but I decided to push through and see what happened. When I saw the CT girls work it, I was so so glad I did! They did some amazing pages with this kit, which always gives me the warm fuzzies.

Here’s the kit:

And a few of the stunning pages from the TDC CT!

Anita (love love the blending!):

Hillary (love the B&W photos with the white background, and her super cute, and PINK, font choice):

Suzanne (love the fun way she used the polaroid frame, and all her clusters):

That’s it for this week. Next week I have some new cutting files (shhh… you heard it here first), and a couple re-released paper packs. Stay tuned!

6/6 Releases

No, I didn’t die or fall off the face of the earth. I just sometimes have a chaotic life around here with 5 kids, and being in school, and coaching running, and training for marathons and all that jazz.

I was actually working on a new kit for this week, but I didn’t quite wrap it up in time, so that’ll be here next week. In the meantime, here’s one of my fairly recent releases back from Two Peas. I love this kit. The colors and the theme! I hope you do, too.

See you next week with a brand new kit! Yay!

Week 2 Report

Week 2 went “ok”. Not as smoothly as week 1. The fast days were both fine – same story as before. I’m generally fine up until 2pm, then it starts to get a little hairy. But, it comes and goes and as long as I keep myself busy, it isn’t too bad. I’ve fallen into a good rhythm of eggs/spinach/cheese with fruit for breakfast and the Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken salad from Panera for dinner.

Total loss this week, .4

Now lets talk about Thurs, Friday, Saturday.

Aye, caramba! If it existed, I ate it. Sunday ended up a mix of “omg this is my last day to eat before I fast again” and “I need to get my shit together here!”

Hoping as we go along, my desire to eat the world on ‘feast’ days will diminish. But we are talking about a 42 year food addiction here, so I guess we are operating in baby steps. And 1/2 pound lost considering what I ate – I’ll take it!

A Couple Scrappies!

I’ve still been hit or miss with my scrapping, here’s are a couple random pages I’ve done.

This first one was way different for me. Not sure why. The style seems different from my usual, but yet I really love it.

For Digi Dare #323
Credits: Paper and Elements from Chin Up by Allison Pennington. Journaling cards from Be and Get Your Craft On by Micheline Martin. Beads, background paper and stitched frame from Get Your Craft On by Micheline Martin, Valorie Wibbens and Lauren Grier. Word art from Be Your Best by CD Muckosky. Fonts Pea Stella Noodles and Stampete.

And of course I love this one with my 2 wackadoodle boys!

Credits: Happy Hipster elements by Amy Wolff, Happy Hipster papers by Amy Wolff, Feb Freebie template by Amy Martin

Week 1 Results

I survived the first week of The 5:2 Diet. Of course, my fast days were 1 and 3, so the 4 after that were pretty easy.

As I stated in my post the other day, I tried to keep my “feast” days somewhere between 2000-2400. That was pretty easy. I wouldn’t call it “eating whatever I want” because I “want to eat everything”, but it was still quite a bit of wiggle room. I was able to have lunch at Chic Fil A, make a trip to Lemonberry, etc.

My weight fluctuated during the week with the fast/feast days, obviously, so I am only counting my Monday weights as official. With that, I lost 2.6lbs the first week. Far far exceeded my expectations, especially after eating all what I did on the feast days.

Today is another fast day, and I’m actually excited about it. Onward!

Fast Day 2

My second day of fasting was a little harder than the first, but honestly, I think it’s just because I wasn’t as busy. Still the hunger came and went, so it wasn’t like a hunger was gnawing at me all day, but I was getting a little squirrely by 4pm.

The kids coming home and making toast definitely did not help. Toast smells super amazing when you haven’t eaten for 8 hours. LOL

Instead of making my salad at home, I had the Strawberry Poppyseed Whatever salad at Panera. It was actually 350 calories, so technically I was over by 50. But, I only had one cup of coffee (cream) instead of 2, and I put a little less feta in my eggs, so I think maybe I was closer to target than that. It was delicious and filling and physically satisfying. What I really wanted was that baguette, though. I took a big smell of it and threw it away. That was definitely harder than fasting the whole day. I love that bread!

I spent the rest of the evening obsessing about food and joking about whether or not I was allowed to set an alarm for 12:01am and eat a cupcake. The whole thing was silly, because I was NOT physically hungry. It is my emotional relationship with food that is the issue, for sure. I wanted to eat everything, but for no good reason other than comfort, I guess. I suppose one doesn’t get to be 100lbs overweight (only 20lbs currently) by having a healthy relationship with food. One step at a time.

I’m officially done fasting for week 1, and I will say THAT is a good feeling. Now I have to try to not eat back all the calories I cut over the next 4 days. I totally could, I know.

As of this morning, I was down 5lbs since Monday. Sadly, most of that will bounce back today. But, it was still nice to see that number, even for a fleeting moment. I will only count my Monday morning weights as “official”, but I’m still going to weigh in every morning because I’m a rebel like that.

I am sitting here typing this having been up for 90 minutes, and all I’ve had was my coffee. So even after all the dramatics last night, I didn’t hop out of bed and run straight for food. I plan on making a protein shake once the kids leave in 45 minutes. B

All in all, it’s going well I think!