One of the restaurants doing the restarurant week event is Michael Symons Lola. I have wanted to go there for a long time. There was no getting a reservation through Opentable. Sometimes when this happens I call to make an reservation the old fashioned way. Most times I get a table. When I called Lolas the young woman who answered the phone was very smug and announced to me that they are booked until 10:45. It would have been nice if she tried to sell me another night or even said gee I am sorry but we can't accomadate you until 10:45. I am not going to hold this brisk behavior against our famed Michael but as a potential customer she could use a little training in the customer service department!
This years event is focused on Pierogis. We got reservations at Sans Souci in The Renaissance Hotel. This was great because we could park for $2.00 during this restaurant promotion with the certificate I printed on line. The problem was we parked at Tower City underground parking and it has a automatic ATM like machine. We were committed at that point so we paid it. I would not recommend this parking garage. It is scary and hard to drive around in. The good thing was it was cold and once inside we could go to the restaurant and then over to the Casino all within Tower City without freezing! I didn't realize that if you dine in the San Souci restaurant they will stamp your parking ticket only if you park in the Renaissance Hotel parking which is much nicer!
San Soucis Chef Brett Montgomery was voted by some group or organization as one of the best top 5 Chefs in America. I was excited to taste his work. The restaurant is kind of dated French Country which is fine because it gives it a little tattered ambience. The service was good, a little stuffy at first. We ordered the price fixed menu promotion. The appetizer was a pierogi with sour cream and carmelized mushrooms. The mushrooms were great the pierogi just average. I ordered the Lamb with polenta and spinach. It was done perfectly with a great sauce. My campanion ordered the skirt steak with potatoes and asparagas. I liked his better(always do). The potatoes were layered like scalloped potatoes and very flavorful, The steak seasoned and cooked just right and the asparagas was perfect. For desert we both got the Caramel Torte which was fabulous. I am not a big desert eater but I ate more bites than usual.
I was suurprised that this restaurant wasn't busier considering the quality of food and the notoriety of the Chef. I would definetly go back and park with the Hotel next time. All in all Cleveland was buzzing with excitement in the dead of winter. We have so many fabulous Chefs and restaurants to choose from. The Casino was packed with people every machine and table busy. We drove home down 25th street and that was filled with people too. Even with the weather below 30 degrees Clevelanders are out there!