Thursday, December 15, 2011

Urban Spoon Dinner Club - Club Isabella

The Urban Spoon Dinner Club (USDC), or Us-dick as the mature members of the club call it, came about through a necessity for trying out new restaurants after becoming bored of our usual eateries. We knew there had to be other places to try, but couldn't think of any that we could all agree upon. So we decided to Urban Spoon it and go with the first restaurant that we "shook up". We quickly termed it the USDC and, after a few drinks, the less classy term was coined as well.

There are several ridiculous rules that I won't bore you with, but essentially it has to be a place that most of us have never tried. Also, whatever Urban Spoon comes up with you have to go with. This way we don't spend hours trying to decide on an option we can all agree upon and we are constantly experiencing something different that the city has to offer. The group consists of six key members, but we do allow "temporary membership" for individual outings.

Our most recent venture was to Club Isabella in Little Italy. This quaint restaurant sits just over the railroad tracks from Case Western Reserve University. The interior decor is warm and inviting, while simultaneously upscale and modern. We arrived a few minutes before our 8pm reservation and were able to relax fireside in their lounge while we waited. The added ambiance of the musician playing at the other end of the room made the night romantic.

The meal began with a Sushi Amouse Bouche.

Tartar Trio Appetizer (Beef, Salmon & Tuna) with deep fried egg & toast.
Split between the hubby and I, we were expecting thinly sliced pieces of meat, but this was equally as tasty. I figured the tuna would be my favorite, but I fell in love with the salmon instead.

Wedge salad with deep fried egg.
 Consistent with what you would expect from a wedge salad.

Beef Cheek Ravioli
So different from what you picture as beef ravioli, but so amazing. This was by far my favorite part of the meal. The beef is literally from the inside cheeks of cows so it's super tender and tasty. Sometimes I'm disappointed by the number of raviolis you get while dining at fancier restaurants, but the combination of the appetizer and salad leading up to the main course and the richness of the beef cheek made five raviolis about all I could handle.

Of course, there's always room for dessert. The hubby and I split their Vanilla Bean Creme Brule, but were so eager to dive in that I totally forgot to take a pic. Sorry!!!

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