By Kathi Cannon
As we approach wedding season, it seemed appropriate for this month’s Progressive Dinner suggestions be more about the hanging out with friends for a bachelor or bachelorette party than a formal dinner. Willoughby is a great place to slow things down while enjoying good food and drinks with good friends. Restaurants can accommodate groups of any size, but it is better to give a heads up if you are larger than 10.
We will start with Ladies Night Out. These suggestions are more about hanging out and talking vs. eating a full-fledged dinner. The food is excellent and easily shared. With the exception of Baby Cakes (please see note about purchasing), the restaurants are across the street from each other. Again, it is all about the convenience of walking from one to the other.
Appetizers – Nickleby’s –
Homemade chips or the House Buffalo Chicken Dip are great starters. Either is a great way to start or any appetizer on the menu. Chef Dennis Brickman has created a menu that pairs all the comforts of home with the fun of eating out.
Dinner – Pranzo! – Wood Fired Flatbreads –
There are several to choose from so get a couple or five and put them in the center of the table. Don’t see a combination you like, just ask nicely, and they might just let you create your own.
Drinks – Olivor Twist –
If you like Martini’s, this is the place for you. The martini menu features 37 flavors as well as the Olivor Twist, which is a flavor changing infused martini. Ask you server for that days’ flavor.
Dessert – Baby Cakes Cupcakes –
The key to this one is timing. You need to make sure someone gets these earlier in the day as they close at 5 pm or sold out. If you like them on Facebook, you will get the update each day as to the flavors. Since they change everyday, you will need a variety to please your crowd.
Now for the guys:
On good authority, Willoughby has some of the best wings, pizza, and Guinness in the area. So to kick off a bachelor party for the guys who want to hang out, eat good food and drink some great beers, here you are.
Wings – Frank and Tony’s Place –
These are some of the biggest wings in town. To test your manliness, try the Hot, Lethal or Cajun wings. While you’re there and feeling manly, try the FATS Pizza Challenge – Andy’s Blazing Ridiculously Hot sauce, Jalapenos, Habaneros and Cheese. If you clean your plate, it is on them.
Burgers – Burgers-N-Beer -
After all that heat from the wings, slow down with stuffed burger, and the recommendation is the Bacon and Cheddar stuffed burger. But you can try anyone of the seven stuffed burger flavors. No in the mood for a burger, then try the Mimi’s Family Recipe Ribs, which are reportedly the best in Willoughby. (You will need to attend the rib burn off, May 19, to find out for sure.)
This one depends on your group. If you are into the microbrew scene – then you cannot go wrong with Willoughby Brewing Company. Brewer – Rick Seibt have six different flavors year round and a rotation of 13 seasonal beers. If you happen to be there at Christmastime, you must try the Christmas Ale. After one pint, you will be saying Great Lakes who?
Now, if you are a good Irish boy who loves his Guinness, then you are required to get one from Mullarkey’s Irish Pub. Mullarkey’s is the only pub in Northeast Ohio awarded the Guinness Certified Gold Standard Pint. For those of you who do not know, that means they have achieved the highest possible standards for storage, pouring and presentation of Guinness Draught. So if you think you have had Guinness before in NEO, think again. Come see the bartenders at Mullarkey’s for a real Guinness.
Shots – Wild Goose Willoughby –
Owned by the Coyne boys and friends, Wild Goose has become the party place in Willoughby. They make sure that you have a good time from the moment you walk in the door, until you crawl out hours later. Try the shot of the month or see if the gang can create something for your night out.
Ladies and Gents alike, before you start out on one of these nights out, make sure you have a designated driver. We like you visiting Willoughby and want you to come back!
Kathi Cannon is a Willoughby resident. Each month, she will suggest a new progressive dinner idea. A person enjoying a progressive dinner would continue or “progress” to a new location for each course. Each progressive dinner features a location for appetizers, dinner, desserts and just for fun, after dinner drinks. All locations are within walking distance of each other. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.