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Fire Food & Drink - Cleveland


edsel
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At Cleveland's Fire Food & Drink, the focus is on fresh top-quality ingredients. Having both a wood-fired oven and a tandoor gives Fire some interesting options in preparing roasted foods.

I attended a wine tasting dinner last night. The featured vineyard was Vinum Cellars (Napa). Caleb Taft from Vinum was on hand to introduce the wines and answer questions.

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saffron linguine with canadian cove mussels, garlic, parsley and lemon butter

rosé, napa valley 2005

The pasta was made in-house by one of the sous chefs. The texture and flavor were wonderful - this is a first-rate dish of linguine! The wine was an interesting choice to pair with the pasta - it's a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, deeper in color than many rosés, with lots of fruity and floral notes.

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crispy quail, honey poached meyer lemons, spring greens, toasted almonds and seared foie gras

vio viognier, san benito 2005

I don't know whether they used the wood-fired oven or the tandoor to roast the quail, but it the crisp skin was wonderful and the interior was juicy. The foie was gorgeous, and greens were delicately dressed.

The Viognier was more buttery than I expected - a bit like a California Chardonay.

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lime-coriander dusted skate wing, anjou pear, candied salsify and parsley puree

white elephant, california 2005

Skate has a delightful texture when it's done right (as it was here), falling apart into distinct segments. This dish was not overly sweet, despite the presence of pear and "candied" salsify. The latter had a smokey complexity to balance it's natural sweetness.

The wine is an uncommon blend of Chenin Blanc, Roussane, and Viogner.

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tandoor roasted organic valley pork, sage gnocchi, local mushrooms, apples and pork jus

pets petite sirah, clarksburg 2005

Both the pork and the mushrooms were highly seasoned and delicious. The gnocchi were excellent.

The petite sirah took a long time to open up. It was a bit rough to start with, but eventually took on a deeply fruited richness.

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pan seared new york strip steak, rutabaga-truffle purée, pea tendrils, foie gras jus and grey sea salt

red dirt red, el dorado 2004

The menu listing is incorrect - instead of pea shoots we had golden beets and baby turnips which were sweet and mild. I loved the purée.

The wine is a Syrah-Mourvdre-Grenache blend.

Fire hosts wine dinners once a month. I think I'll be going to more of these in the future...

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How did the skate compare to the skate you had at Parallax last summer? 

The skate was almost as good as at Parallax. I say almost only because the skate at Parallax was served on the bone, so it had just the slightest bit more of that special succulence that good skate has. The skate at Fire was filleted, so it was easier to eat. A reasonable compromise, considering that it was very nearly as good.

I see that I forgot to mention the dessert course.

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bittersweet chocolate fondue with mike's marshmallows

The "fondue" is essentially a super-rich hot chocolate. Fresh marshmallows made by pastry chef Michael Kittle are light as air.

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The dinner was truely wonderful - thanks for posting the pictures Edsel! We all thought that it was quite a bargain at $65. The skatewing was fantastic - flaky and juicy. The pasta and gnocci were also standouts. I think that hot chocolate had about a million calories in it - it was soo rich, but so good - a little went a long way.

I too am looking forward to attending these wine dinners in the future.

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