Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Date Night In University Circle and Little Italy

3 years ago, a boy named Howie that I had only known a couple of weeks took me to a fancy Italian restaurant near the central market in Florence, and asked me to be his girlfriend.  Try topping that kind of experience every year for your anniversary!  Since a trip to Tuscany wasn't in the near future, we figured a little art and a lot of Italian food would be the next best thing.  We took advantage of the later hours at the Cleveland Museum of Art on Friday nights, and planned a trip to Little Italy for dinner afterwards! While the art was pretty spectacular, I think my favorite part was the architecture of the atrium.  If you've only visited during the day, I would recommend going again at night because it was a completely different experience!  

By the time 8:00 rolled around, we were both hungry, so we ditched the art and fled to Mayfield Road for some authentic Italian cuisine.  After spending a full 2 minutes trudging up the hill against the frigid wind, we dashed into the nearest restaurant in sight, which happened to have won the Taste of Cleveland award for Italian food last year.  Mia Bella is DELICIOUS!  We started with a glass of Pinot Noir and an Eggplant Parmesan appetizer.  We were so hungry that I forgot to take a picture of the food, but I promise that the presentation was just as good as the taste.  For the main course, I ordered a Pesto Penne Pasta with Chicken; good pesto is really hard to find in the US, but it was so smooth and creamy that it made me feel like I was dining in Europe all over again.  We will definitely be heading back to Mia Bella!

Since I forgot to share a picture of the eggplant parmesan, I thought I would share my own recipe from my cookbook!  It's light, crispy, and always a favorite!

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