2016 NEO Dining Highlights with Doug Trattner

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When it comes to some of the best things he ate in 2016, Cleveland Scene dining editor Doug Trattner wouldn’t be surprised if the old animated series “The Flinstones” popped into your mind if you order the beef rib at Michael Symon’s popular East 4th street eatery Mabel’s BBQ.  The 2-2 ½ lb rib looks like something Fred would have consumed, but only have needed the help of Barney, Wilma and Betty.  Trattner described the rib’s consistency as being closer to “beef pudding” and said it was so tender that if you look at it wrong it “falls of the bone.”

 

Trattner continues to be a big fan of the small plate menu that chef Jill Vedda is offering at her Lakewood spot Salt…most notably the lamb carpaccio. The meat is lightly seared and paired with a punchy, Moroccan-spiced yogurt for a dish that Trattner describes as “melt in your mouth tender.”

 

One of Trattner’s seafood favorites from 2016 was the grilled octopus that’s being served at Bold Food and Drink in the Flats.  Trattner was pleased with the texture, which he noted “was firm, yet not chewy.”   He also noted that the “glorious bits of char” delivers a wonderful flavor, especially since the octopus is served as part of a cool Mediterranean salad that also features tomatoes, cucumber, hearts of palm and a touch of feta.

 

To find out some of Trattner’s other favorites, including a spicy, messy fun seafood dish served in a bag,  listen to Here and Now featuring The Sound of Applause Thursday at 12:33 p.m. and 1:40 p.m.

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