Tag Archives: postaday2011

Dinner at Deagan's with Ohio Blogging Association

Danielle, CLEGal and I at the Ohio Blogging Association's dinner at Deagan's

Last month, motivated by Cleveland’s results in the LivingSocial restaurant poll, I came up with my list of 10 restaurants I need to try.

After enjoying Flying Fig a couple weeks ago, I’m happy to say I can now cross a second off my list: Deagan’s in Lakewood.

Deagan’s opened last year and quickly became one of the more heralded restaurants in Cleveland for its laid-back “gastropub” attitude and the creative, well-executed dishes you’d expect from a fine dining establishment. Not surprisingly, this has led to many awards including the Cleveland Magazine’s Best New Restaurant in Cleveland.

Poise in Parma who organized the evening introduces Deagan's Executive Chef Demetrios Atheneos

Although I’ve enjoyed their food at Chef Jam and the Silver Spoon Awards, I hadn’t had a chance to visit Deagan’s until this past Wednesday during the Ohio Blogging Association’s monthly Cleveland Meetup.  

As I walked into the restaurant, the dark wood and brick interior created a warm and welcoming escape from Wednesday night’s cold rain. It immediately struck me as a place you can go to for almost any occassion — happy hour after work with friends, brunch, laid-back lunch during the week or an intimate date night.

After meeting up with my group, I set about the difficult task of what to order.  Wednesdays are Vegetarian/Vegan Nights featuring an additional menu with 4-5 vegetarian and/or vegan specials that are appetizing even to omnivores.

Pumpkin Bisque

I ended up ordering the Southern Tier Pumpkin Bisque from the Vegetarian menu and the Lump Crab Mac and Cheese from their dinner menu.  Before those came out, though, we were surprised by a few delicious charcuterie boards that featured an excellent variety of well-selected meats, cheeses, olives and spreads.

The Pumpkin Bisque sounded so good that a few of us at the table ordered it.  It was sweet and creamy with a very noticeable curry kick  that I haven’t tasted in Pumpkin Bisque before. That surprising heat made it the best pumpkin dish I’ve tasted all Fall.  I’ve been craving salty and sweet combinations lately so I put a little salt on a few bites to see how that would be — craving satisified!

As soon as I saw the Lump Crab Mac and Cheese on the menu, I knew that had to be my main course.  Crab is my favorite shellfish and I miss it not being as readily available in Cleveland as it is in Virginia or the Northeast.  So when I see an appetizing crab dish, I have to order it.  Plus, it was combined with mac and cheese, another hearty dish perfect for a cold night.

Lump Crab and Mac and Cheese

Unfortunately, because I didn’t have too much room left after the rich bisque, I got to try only a few bites of the mac and cheese.  However, I enjoyed the petite salad that accompanied the dish (loved the fresh, thinly sliced radishes!). 

It’s reasons like this why I love to-go containers. I had my mac and cheese for lunch yesterday and got to fully appreciate how good the dish is.  The lump crab meat was full of flavor which complemented the subtle tillamook white cheddar.

I also tried the Pork Belly Brussel Sprouts Danielle ordered. If you’re nervous about trying Brussel Sprouts, this dish is the perfect introduction.  They were very juicy and tender and the chunks of succulent pork belly paired with the care the chef took in preparing these brussel sprouts prevented the dish from having an overwhelming cabbage taste. 

Pork Belly Brussel Sprouts

Scott and I have had our share of bad brussel sprouts in the past and I think the next time we go to Deagan’s, I’ll have him order their version so he can get over his dislike of the misunderstood vegetable. When Executive Chef Demetrios Atheneos came to see how everyone was enjoying it, much praise and many thanks erupted from our table.

To complement the food, I had a room full of excellent dining companions.  For the 10th meetup of the Ohio Blogging Association’s Cleveland chapter (can’t believe it’s almost been a year!), we had a great turnout!

Similar to our April meetup at Touch Supper Club, the evening featured a roundtable discussion on blogging.

We started with introductions. As with previous meetups, my favorite part was not just the variety of topics our blogs cover but also how long everyone has been blogging. There was an excellent cross-section — from bloggers who’ve been around a couple months to 5+ years, to those who write about food, yoga, health insurance and parenting.

Bloggers Noshing and Chatting

At my side of the table, Alicia (Poise in Parma), Danielle (Namaste or Should I Go?), CLEGal (WhyCLE?), and Dave (Health Insurance Issues with Dave and Again? Really?)  discussed how to respond to blog comments and the techincal aspects of WordPress vs. Blogger’s spam filters. I had a good laugh when we compared notes on the different Spambot comments we all get.

While it was nice to hear different bloggers’ perspectives on the issues we run into, I moreso enjoyed meeting new faces and catching up with people I had seen online but not in person for awhile — like @SOS_JR who was debuting the coolest social-media-accessory I’ve ever seen:

The award for best tie goes to @sos_jr!

Here’s who was at this month’s Ohio Blogging Meetup.  Check out these great additions to my Google reader and Twitter feed:

Catching up with Alicia

If you blog — or are a fan of blogging — stop by one of Ohio Blogging’s upcoming meetups. For November, we’re planning a blog swap and December will feature the second annual cookie swap. You can keep up to date by liking the Ohio Blogging Assocation on Facebook.

You can also read other bloggers’ experiences of the night over at Poise in Parma and WhyCLE?.

Deagan’s Kitchen and Bar 411:

Thanks to CLEGal for sharing the photos of her, Danielle and me; Alicia with Chef Demetrios; and the blogger table.

LEGO KidsFest Giveaway Winner

It’s time to announce the winner of the LEGO KidsFest giveaway!

I love LEGOs and I’m glad to see how many of you do too! My favorite part about this giveaway was reading how these small blocks pieced together really fantastic memories for everyone who entered.

After placing all of the entries into an Excel document…

…and then using random.org to pick our winner:

I am happy to announce that entry 35– Sarah H has won two tickets to the  3pm-7:30pm session on Sunday, Nov. 6th! Please email me by Oct. 29 at clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com to redeem your prize.

If you didn’t win, you can still purchase tickets to the weekend-long LEGO KidsFest that will be stopping at the I-X Center Nov. 4-6. Check out this blog post for all the reasons to attend the LEGO extravaganza and then buy tickets here. Children 2 and under are free; children 3-17 and seniors 65+ are $18; and adults are $20.

LEGO KidsFest 411:

Photo from www.legokidsfest.com/photo_gallery.html

Enter to Win Tickets to Cleveland's LEGO KidsFest

Enter to win 2 tickets to LEGO KidsFest where you can enjoy giant LEGO models like this

UPDATE: Congratulations to Sarah H. for being selected by Random.org as the winner of two ticets.


Update: Even if you are unable to attend LEGO KidsFest, enter the giveaway anyway. If you win, your tickets will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House.


First things first: A huge happy birthday to the most patient, kindest person I know — my husband Scott. He deserves a lot of thanks for putting up with me and my shenanigans.

In honor of Scott’s birthday, I’m giving away two tickets to an event I know that he is really excited about: Cleveland’s LEGO KidsFest!

The LEGO KidsFest brings together all of the creative hands-on enjoyment of LEGO building in one family-friendly weekend. On November 4, 5 and 6, the I-X Center will host a slew of activities for people of all ages.

And, I have 2 tickets to give away for the 3pm-7:30pm session on Sunday, Nov. 6th!



There are 6 Easy Ways to Enter The Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment telling me what activity you are most looking forward to at LEGO KidsFest (a list can be found in this blog post).

2) Leave a comment sharing a favorite LEGO memory (your or your child’s).

3)  Twitter users can get an extra entry each day for tweeting: “Want to attend #CLE #LEGOKidsFest? Check out @ADHicken’s giveaway to win 2 tickets: http://wp.me/pPIgG-RQ”.  Each day you do this, you must leave a new comment.

4) Like “LEGO KidsFest” on Facebook.

5) Like “Clue Into Cleveland” on Facebook.

6) Follow @ADHicken on Twitter.

You have until Monday, October 24 at 11:59PM to enter.  On October 25, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – Good Luck   Congratulations to Sarah H!

Disclosure: I was provided 2 tickets to LEGO KidsFest. As always, though, my thoughts and the choice of events I share are 100% my own. Photos from  www.legokidsfest.com/photo_gallery.html and www.facebook.com/legokidsfest 

Giveaway Winner for Cleveland Museum of Art Tickets

Photo from ClevelandArt.org

UPDATE: Because the original winner could not attend, I redrew a winner through random.org and it is entry #6 – mryjhnsn. Congratulations!

Happy Friday! Last night I had an amazing girls night out filled with wine and cupcakes. There will be a post next week about it, but in the meantime check out Miss WineOH who hosted the event. Tammy’s a great host and really knows her wine — it was a nice way to relax before a weekend of birthday celebrations for Scott.

Of course, before this weekend can really get started, it’s time to find out who won two tickets to next Friday’s Bamboo Grove Night at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

After using Random.org to select a winner from the comments (minus any WordPress pingbacks):

The winner is Crystal from Eat*Drink*Cleveland! Email me at clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com to redeem your tickets.

If you didn’t win but still want to check out the Museum’s Young Professionals night, you can purchase tickets here or by calling 216-421-7350.

Qu Yuan, 1942 -- One of Fu Baoshi's works on exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Besides the food and entertainment, Fu Baoshi’s exquisite art is a huge reason to get tickets to the party. A few highlights from the exhibit (taken from the Art Museum’s website) include:

  • Qu Yuan, 1942. Fu Baoshi created this compelling image of the ancient poet-statesman Qu Yuan, emphasizing his psychological suffering before his suicide in the Miluo River. The image sheds light on the grievances and pathos of China’s modern intellectuals in the face of war and political corruption.
  • Gottwaldov, 1957. A vivid image of the smoggy, industrial city of Gottwaldov (present day Zlìn) in the Czech Republic, painted during his official visit to Eastern Europe, Fu’s portrayal is characterized by a dark mystery, which makes it a powerful statement on modern industrialization, subject to the viewer’s interpretation.
  • Heavenly Lake and Flying Waterfall, 1961. This strikingly simple and abstract composition effectively captures the awe-inspiring beauty of Changbai Falls, which flows from a river outlet of the lake on top of Changbai Mountain in Jilin Province, on the border with North Korea. Glittering in the light, the silvery white water stands out against the deep, black ink washes creating the precipitous cliffs.
  • Heaven and Earth Glowing Red, 1964. The red globe of the earth floats in rose-colored air. Natural phenomena, including a pine tree, rock, falling leaves, ocean, wind, mist and lightning, are incorporated in an abstract design for romanticizing Chinese communist revolution. This is Fu’s interpretation of the political abstractions of the time based on Mao’s poetry. It fulfills the political requirement to direct art in the service of the Party and the masses.

It’s the season for giveaways so keep an eye out on Monday for a chance to win passes to the Cleveland Lego Fest!

#FlippinGoodDeeds Party for Soles4Souls Shoe Drive

Photo from Yelp.com

Since starting the Flippin’ Good Deeds Challenge last month, iNeedaPlaydate and I have been grateful for all of the shoes donated so far.

Now, we’re giving you another way to drop off your shoes:

Join us on November 5th at Mullen’s on Madison for
the Flippin’ Good Deeds Last Chance Party!

It will be a laidback night at this Lakewood neighborhood bar where you can drop off your shoes, enjoy $2 house wine and domestic drafts, and hang out with iNeedaPlaydate and me.

  • What: Flippin’ Good Deeds Last Chance Party
  • When: November 5, 7-10pm
  • Where: Mullen’s on Madison, 17014 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio

To RSVP you can leave a comment on this post or RSVP on Facebook.

We are also accepting items to be raffled off during the party.  You will not only receive recognition the night of the party but also the weeks leading up to the party. Email clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com if you have any gift cards, tickets or other items to donate.

Of course, if you can’t make it on Nov. 5th, but would still like to donate shoes, you can:

  • Drop off your donation in the box located in the Penton Media Building’s lobby, 1300 East 9th St., Downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Download the Blogger Donation Form and ship off your shoes to a Soles4Souls warehouse.  Don’t forget to include our blogger ID #024.

Remember, your shoe donations are tax deductible and Soles4Souls will accept any type of shoes (even if there are holes in the soles)! Check out this post for more details and FAQs.

Our shoe drive ends November 9th so you only have a few more weeks to donate.

Thanks to iNeedaPlaydate and Mullen’s on Madison for setting up the party. We hope to see you on November 5th!


Have you entered the Clue Into Cleveland giveaway for the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Bamboo Grove Party? Today’s your last chance!

Giveaway: Cleveland Museum of Art's Bamboo Grove Night

Heaven and Earth Glowing Red, 1964. Fu Baoshi (Chinese, 1904-1965). Horizontal scroll, ink and color on paper; 70.9 × 96.9 cm. Nanjing Museum

UPDATE: Congratulations to mryjnhnsn for winning 2 tickets to Bamboo Grove Night!
When I moved to Cleveland, the Cleveland Museum of Art was the first place I visited. Along with the Orchestra and PlayhouseSquare, it’s one of my favorite cultural gems in the city.

In addition to the museum’s numerous permanent galleries and collections, the Cleveland Museum of Art collaborates with museums around the world to bring more art to the city. 

Starting October 16, the Museum will host Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904-1965), the first retrospective in the Western Hemisphere of Fu Baoshi, a preeminent figure in twentieth-century Chinese art who revolutionized the tradition of Chinese ink painting.

Gottwaldov, 1957. Fu Baoshi (Chinese, 1904-1965). Album leaf, ink and color on paper; 48.7 × 57.1 cm. Nanjing Museum

The exhibition reveals the process of the artist’s self-discovery and personal struggle, as well as the complexity of art and politics in Republican and Communist China. Featuring 90 works on loan from the Nanjing Museum, one of the oldest and most comprehensive museums in China, this is the first collaboration between the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Nanjing Museum.

This is also the first time Fu Baoshi’s work will be viewed outside China. After the exhibit leaves Cleveland on January 8, 2012, it will continue its travels to the Met in New York.

To kick off the exhibit in Cleveland, the Museum of Art is hosting the Bamboo Grove Young Professionals Event on Friday, October 21 from 6:00 p.m.–8:45 p.m. . 

The Two Goddesses of the Xiang River, 1961. Fu Baoshi (Chinese, 1904-1965). Hanging scroll, ink and color on paper; 134 x 68.5 cm. Nanjing Museum

With the brush in his right hand and a glass of wine in his left, Fu Baoshi often painted after drinking to express his true feelings in his work (good idea!). To help young professionals unwind from the work week, the Museum invites the public out for an evening of drinks, art activities, and Chinese takeout.

You’ll have a chance to try your hand at the painting techniques used by the artist and to talk with experts in an informal setting while exploring the first major exhibition in the West of Fu Baoshi’s art. The event is for 21+ and tickets are $18, which include food, admission to the exhibition, and art activities. A cash bar will also be available.

Purchase tickets here or by calling 216-421-7350, or enter the Clue Into Cleveland giveaway to win a pair of tickets.

There are 4 Ways to Enter The Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Mandatory first entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite gallery or collection is at Cleveland Museum of Art.

2) Twitter users can get an extra entry each day for tweeting: “Check out @ADHicken’s giveaway for #BambooGroveCMA tickets: http://wp.me/pPIgG-Rd”.  Each day you do this, you must leave a new comment.

3) Follow @ADHicken on Twitter.

4) Like Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook.

You only have three days to enter — the giveaway closes on Thursday, October 13 at 11:59PM.  On October 14, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner of the 2 General Admission tickets on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – Good Luck!

(Although not part of the entries, while you’re on Twitter and Facebook, follow @ClevelandArt and like Cleveland Museum of Art to stay up to speed on what they’re doing!)


Disclosure: I was offered two tickets to the Bamboo Grove Young Professionals Event in exchange for this post. The choice of events I share and my opinions on them are 100% my own. Photos from ClevelandArt.org/FuBaoshi

And the Winner of the Mini Golf Par-Tee Giveaway is …

It’s time to announce the winner of the PlayhouseSquare Mini Golf Par-Tee giveaway!

After placing all of the entries into an Excel document to separate blog post pingbacks from actual entries …

…and then using random.org to pick our winner:

I am happy to announce that entry 32 – Mike –  has won two tickets to next week’s Par-Tee on May 17! Looks like all that daily tweeting paid off! Please email me at clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com to redeem your prize.

If you didn’t win tickets but would like to join me in playing putt-putt in the Palace Theatre, you can order tickets ($30 per ticket – or $20 if you become a Partner) by contacting Molly Franz at 216-348-5265 or emailing franzm@playhousesquare.org.

Also, keep an eye out on Clue Into Cleveland over the next couple of days because May has turned into the month of CLE giveaways and I have a new one to announce soon!

Guest Post on Poise in Parma about PlayhouseSquare's International Children's Festival

In honor of the International Children's Festival's theme, I was happy to share my experience from this weekend on PoiseInParma.com

This past weekend I was really happy to be able to volunteer at the 2nd Annual International Children’s Festival through PlayhouseSquare Partners.

So when blend (blogger friend) Alicia from Poise in Parma asked me to guest blog during her crazy busy May, I knew immediately I wanted to blog about my experience at the Festival and my involvement in Partners.

Read the post here: Guest Post: Clue Into Cleveland on PlayhouseSquare Partners.

One of the reasons Alicia is so busy this month is that as the Director of Special Events for the Northeastern Ohio Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, she’ll be rocking out the 17th annual Cleveland Magazine Silver Spoon Awards Party, whose proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation.

The strolling food and wine tasting event on May 26 at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown will feature thirty of Northeast Ohio’s best restaurants and eight international wineries (check out the full list of participating restaurants).

General admission tickets are $85/VIP tickets are $135 which go to support local programs and services for the nearly one and a half million Northeast Ohioans with doctor-diagnosed arthritis and the critical arthritis research conducted at local institutions in Northeastern Ohio.

You can purchase Silver Spoon tickets here and should follow Alicia on Poise in Parma as she shares her journey to find balance in this crazy town between her family, career, food, fitness and one amazing golden retriever, as well as the discoveries she makes in Believeland along the way.

And, if you haven’t entered my Mini Golf Par-Tee giveaway, you have until 11:59pm on Wednesday.  Twitter users can get an extra entry each day for tweeting  so if you’ve already entered – you have 3 more chances to tweet it today, Tuesday and Wednesday. Good luck!

Chef Jam 2011: Cleveland Music Meets Food at the Rock Hall

Have you entered my giveaway yet for PlayhouseSquare Partners’ Mini Golf Par-Tee? You have until Wednesday at 11:59PM. Check the link to learn how to win a pair of tickets to play putt-putt in the Palace Theatre.


One of my favorite events from when I first started Clue Into Cleveland was last year’s Chef Jam at the Rock Hall. It was the perfect culmination of a June weekend also filled with Parade the Circle and roller derby.

The sold-out event featured over 20 Cleveland chefs coupled with local bands and free access to the Rock Hall’s exhibits.  It was an epicurean dream and first introduced me to restaurants like Melange and Bistro on Lincoln Park which I would enjoy visiting over the course of the year.

Well, I’m happy to say Chef Jam 2011 is right around the corner. On Sunday, June 12 at 7 p.m., Cleveland’s top chefs will again descend on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, serving up specialties inspired by their favorite band or musician and dressed like the rock stars they are featuring.

Participating restaurants include:


Amp 150

B Spot

Bar Cento

Blue Canyon

Blue Point Grille



Flying Fig

Greenhouse Tavern






Pier W

Prosperity Social Club


Sweet Moses


Zack Bruell Restaurants

In addition to the culinary delights prepared by the chefs, Maker’s Mark – who is presenting the event – is inviting the chefs to create a special dish utilizing their bourbon. The winning chef of the infusion challenge will receive a trip to the Maker’s Mark distillery in Louisville.

Scott enjoying Melange's Watermelon 'Bad to the Bone' Ribs at last year's Chef Jam.

Paired with the food will be special performances by The Cream of the Crop All Stars and Cleveland’s Abbey Rodeo with special guest Jim Bonfanti of the Raspberries.

Tickets are $65 and will go on sale to Rock Hall members and staff on Monday, May 9 and to the general public on Tuesday, May 10. They are available through the Rock Hall website (www.rockhall.com/event/chef-jam-2011) or the Rock Hall Box Office.

Each ticket includes samples of all the dishes offered during the event, as well as Great Lakes Brewing Company beer, wine and tours of the Museum’s exhibits. One of the reasons I’m excited for Chef Jam is the chance to check out the new Women Who Rock interactive exhibition.

Proceeds from the event will support the Rock Hall’s education programs and The Ohio City Farm (be sure to check the links out for more information about these incredible programs).

Last year’s Chef Jam sold-out in three weeks and this year’s buzz is growing so get your tickets as soon as they go on sale.

Chef Jam 2011 is presented by Maker’s Mark and sponsored by KeyBank, Time Warner Cable, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Ohio Natural Gas and Event Source.

Chef Jam 2011 411: