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Lola Review – 7/10

August 29, 2009

Cleveland 013










My singular visit to Lola does not give me an exact picture for what Michael Symon does on a regular basis but this is my observation nonetheless.  In many ways, Lola personifies the Cleveland food scene.  Cleveland is a meat-centric city with heavy influence from German, Polish and Italian immigrants.  The Polish bring pierogi’s and sausages, Germans their bratwurst and cured meats and Italians have their own version of the sausage as well as heavy pork use.  Thus the menu at Lola features Michael Symon’s take on some of the cities ethnic foods, typically using French techniques.  Our dinner started with the veal sweetbreads and a charcuterie platter.  The sweetbreads were fried and piled atop a tomatillo sauce.  The charcuterie was a little disappointing as I was expecting the usual pate/mousse fare and instead it had all cured and smoked meats.  I believe all were done in-house and while most were good, a few left much to be desired. 

For the entrée, I chose the duck breast which of the three we ordered that evening was probably the least liked.  My companions had the pork and scallops entrée.  Both were excellent with the scallops in particular featuring a unique melon sauce.  The wine list was reasonable and featured a good selection of wines from various regions.  Overall, I thought Lola was a good restaurant but it reminded me that Birmingham still has one of the best per-capita restaurant scenes.  I think Highlands Bar and Grill and Café DuPont put out a better food product, although, the atmosphere and design of Lola leaves the other two playing catch-up. 









The duck breast above was the most dissapointing entree in the group but was still a well cooked duck breast.   The picture is quite fuzzy but you should be able to make out the look of the dish.

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