Hoop Dreams

I’ve never been much of a pro sports fan.  I love college football, but couldn’t care less about the NFL.  Basketball at any level I could take or leave.  Then we move to Cleveland and there is this guy:

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and these guys:

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Wally (aka in our house: Zoolander), Joe, Delonte (my favoriate Cavs player), & Big Ben Wallace

and for the last year and a half I’ve been a huge Cavs fan.  We’ve gone to a couple of games and we watch them ALL on our 52″ LCD at home. I know their plays, I know their stats and I LOVE this game.

They took the  momentum back in game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals last night and I cannot wait for game 6 on Saturday.  Me…a NBA fan – I would have never predicted this, but it is so much fun. All I can say is One Goal, baby.  One Goal.

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Finally! The Greenhouse Tavern

This weekend we finally got to check out the new restaurant on Cleveland’s trendy E 4th Street – The Greenhouse Tavern. Since opening about a month ago it has gotten nothing but rave reviews in the press and the blogosphere and I’ve been drooling over the tweets posted by some of my friends who have dined there. We’ve been dying to taste it for ourselves but we could never find the 1) time, 2) money and 3) a babysitter on the same night. Finally, I got tired of waiting and shot a question off to Chefs Widow on twitter if kids are okay and when I got the all clear from her we decided to head down on Saturday night with M in tow. I am so glad we did.

I’m not a food writer or critic so I’m just gonna lay it out there– this place was amazing. A-MAZING. The space is comfortable, clean and chic. The music was great (M was dancing in her highchair). The staff was attentive, extremely knowledgeable and friendly. We were seated in the basement next to the kitchen which got hoppin’ as our dinner progressed and it was fun to see everything come together before our eyes; this was great seating since M was with us as we could take her closer to the kitchen to watch when she started to get antsy. We got there about 15 minutes after they opened and it was already busy. By the time we left just before 7 the place was packed.

On to the food… Our waiter Jess (or was it Jay?) started us off with pork rillette and crusty bread (as this was not on the menu I’m relying on my memory here – I may be wrong but I’m 99% it was pork rillette) which was divine – salty, fatty lovely pork mash spread on bread. Yum. We then ordered the bread & butter as we knew M would at least eat that. I know some people would scoff at paying for bread & butter but quite honestly if I always got something as delicious as this tasty little gem I would never mind paying $3 for it. Because what we got was so much better then the flavorless, floury things that you get for free. The bread itself was delicious and grilled. And the butter – OMG the butter! Goat’s milk butter with sea salt…it took a lot for me to not just dip my knife in the crock and lick the butter off. M devoured most of the order and kept asking for more butter, so I think she liked it too.

Mark got the Crispy Chicken Wings while I got the Beef Tartare (my first tartare!). Marks wings were wonderful – crispy and juicy and tender with a good kick of spice. And it was a big serving – more then enough to share. My tartare was beautiful, with a poached egg perched on top. M ate all of the egg white while I let the yoke ooze over the beef before I spread it on the toast points. It was lovely – creamy and just enough spice. Again, the portion was large and I only ate about 2/3, Mark had a bit but didn’t like it as much as I did. We also ordered the Whole Grilled Peas for M which were soooo good. I don’t even like peas and ended up eating several of the pods myself. I’m going to have to pick up peas next week at the Farmer’s Market and try this at home.

On to the entrées; after much discussion I settled on the Steak Frites and Mark got the Tom Cod In Papier – a reversal for us as I’m usually the one who goes for the fish. My steak was cooked to perfection – I like it nice and rare inside and almost always end up with an overcooked steak when I get it in a restaurant. But not at the GHT! It was perfectly cooked all the way through. Marks Cod was also perfect – firm and moist and extremely flavorful.

We were entirely smitten with this restaurant. When a menu can tempt you to try new things or like things you previously shunned you know you are on to something. I can’t think of a time in our 10 years together that Mark has ever ordered fish at a restaurant, let alone devour the whole thing. I’ve never liked oysters but listening to the woman at a nearby table gush about how fabulous her oysters were, I was tempted. The French Breakfast Radishes were also a dish that I almost ordered even though I have never really cared for radishes. There is not one thing on the menu that I would hesitate to order, and given that prices range from $3-21 it is a very affordable place to expand your pallet.

The evening was capped off when M and I ran into the Widow herself in the ladies room. (This was also my first time as introducing myself by my twitter handle – kakaty – which was about the most awkward think ever since it makes me sound like I’m stuttering over my own name). I told her what I will say now – we will be back to the Greenhouse Tavern, hopefully often.

Quickie

First – another Oliver + S Lazy Days skirt.  This one took about an hour including making the hem “ribbon” from fabric.  The fabric has been sitting im my mom’s basement for nearly a decade – it was just enough for this adorable skirt.  M loves it and had to wear it to school today.

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And also – I want this:
Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes
and they are giving two away. How fun would it be to ride to the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, or haul M and a friend to the park?

Stereotypical Mom Post

Excuse me for a second while I become a stereotypical mommyblogger and gush about how awesome my offspring is.  Because she’s doing some pretty funny things lately…here are just a few.  M at 2 1/2:

Jumps up and down shouting “I ‘xited!” when she is happy about something.  This could be being excited about going on a daytrip to getting a hotdog for dinner.  It’s so much fun to see her get so worked up about something.

Says “Oh, mama!  THANK YOU!” for just about anything.  Hand her some toilet paper and “oh THANK YOU, mama!” like you just handed her the keys to a brand new car.

Wants to wear her new Hello Kitty boots EVERYWHERE, even to bed.

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Makes a statement while tilting her head to the side and nodding her head yes, then ending it with “okay?”.  “Daddy, I have some ice cream now.  Okay?”  It’s just about the cutest thing ever and cracks me up as I’m telling her no.

Tells wild stories in all run on sentences about her day at school on the way home.”There was a BIG giant in a tiny castle who said “roar!” then he ran back in his bear cave and I went in and said “roar” too and made him an egg and closed the door and said I’ll eat you up!  Okay?”

Loves to go on walks but stops to pick every blessed dandelion in the tree lawn… and there are a ton.  And the way she’ll run towards any flower, stand near it and sniff.

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Digs in the dirt with her sand toys (we don’t have the sandbox yet – just the toys).  She loves finding bugs and worms and picking them up and showing them around the garden.  She also will pick up a handful of dirt and, pretending it is seeds, sprinkle it around. 

Spends time in the purple Cozy Coupe car we picked up garage sale last weekend for $5. It’s funny to watch her imitate us as she “goes to work” or to the “grocery store to get food”.  The best was when she pulled the car up next to the house, got out and started pressing the house like she was pressing buttons.  When I asked her what she was doing she said “I at the money store, mama!”…her very own ATM!

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A Birthday Party Manifesto

M is 2 ½ and in daycare.  Her room has kids from about 18 months to just over 3 years old and in the last few weeks we have been invited to FOUR 3rd birthday parties.  Each invitation says that the party will be at some kiddy gym or activity space around town.  And to each one we have politely RSVP’d “no”.  Because COME ON – they are 3!  Do they really need to have a party, with outside friends at age 3?

I’m all for birthday parties, I think it’s a fun way to celebrate a child and reflect on all the milestones of the past year.  But I also think that these celebrations are fundamentally for the family and family friends of the kid – not the entire preschool class.  For one the kid is not going to remember if she had 2 hours of screaming chaos-like fun with her school friends or a day to play with her family who dote one her; either way she will remember having a special day and feeling loved.  Second, I just don’t want to spend my weekends making small talk with other parents I don’t know while we all silently judge the behavior of each other’s kids.

So here it is, my Birthday Party Manifesto: we will not be hosting any birthday parties for M’s classmates in the near future.  Nor will we be attending any.  I think 5 might be a good age to have a few friends over for some giggly fun.  But for the next couple of birthdays at least it will be just be our family (including the cousins she so adores) and maybe a close family friend or two. 

Because quite frankly the thought of a houseful of toddlers terrifies me.

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This photo has nothing to do with this post other then to show how happy M is with her cousins – taken this weekend at Kingwood Center